Apollo Tyres has laid the foundation stone for its new India manufacturing plant in Chinnapanduru village, Chittoor district, in Andhra Pradesh State.

Apollo Tyres has purchased 200 acres of land from the AP government for the manufacturing facility and will invest nearly INR18bn (US$282m) in the first phase.

Construction will start within the next six months, and tyres are expected to be manufactured in the following two years.

The company plans to start with manufacturing of passenger vehicle tyres in the facility, due to the growing demand in this segment, and will later expand to start producing other product categories.

“This will provide direct jobs to nearly 700 people and to many more indirectly, in the first phase,” said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu. “The employment opportunity would further get increased when the company expands in the future.”

For his part, Apollo Tyres chairman, Onkar Kanwar added: “While planning for this manufacturing facility, we have provisioned for future capacity expansion requirements in India for the next five years and more. As a responsible corporate, we would be more than happy to contribute towards Chandrababu Naidu’s vision of making Andhra Pradesh a ‘sunrise’ state.”

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Apollo Tyres currently has four manufacturing facilities in India – two (including a leased facility) in the rubber-producing state of Kerala and one each in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Outside India, the company has a manufacturing facility each in The Netherlands and Hungary.