INDIA: Michelin puts Indian plant on hold
Michelin has said that its plans for a manufacturing facility in India will remain on the back-burner until radialisation of truck and bus tyres picks up in the country, according to the Business Standard.
The French tyre major also announced the launch of the Michelin Energy XM1, a product that is made from a silica-based compound, replacing the conventional carbon black.
The report said that radial tyres account for less than 1% of the truck and bus tyre replacement market in India.
The company, however, is hopeful of being a major player in the replacement market for car tyres.
Michelin, along with Apollo Tyres, had planned to set up a manufacturing facility in Pune. However the two companies parted ways last year, with the French company retaining the land where the plant was expected to come up.
The Energy XM1, that would be made available in the replacement market, will also be supplied to automobile manufacturers in the coming months.
The new range of tyres launched will be aimed at the mid-size segment. Company executives said that although major volumes in the car market in the country now comes from compact cars, there is a shift in buyer preference towards mid-size cars.
Until a manufacturing base is set up in India, Michelin will import its tyres from China and Thailand, where it has multiple plants. The company currently imports close to 5,000 tyres a month for the truck and bus radial segment.
The company said that the Energy XM1 range will be costlier by 5-10%, but will offer better road safety and mileage for users.