INDIA: Apollo Tyres green lights Hungary factory

By Graeme Roberts | 18 September 2014

Apollo Tyres plans to start production at a new EUR475m greenfield plant in Hungary by 2017.

The supplier's board has approved the factory with capacity of 5.5m passenger car and light truck (PCLT) tyres and 675,000 heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) tyres a year, ETAuto.com reported.

The factory, which will complement an existing one in the Netherlands, will be built in a new industrial zone near Gyongyoshalasz and produce both Apollo and Vredestein brand tyres for all of Europe.

"This investment would be our first one into a greenfield facility outside of India and would be a significant milestone in the company's international growth journey. Our aim is to create a benchmark manufacturing facility, which would further increase our competitive strength in the European market," vice chairman and MD Neeraj Kanwar said in a statement.

Construction is expected to start next spring with the first tyre out in early 2017.

"Apart from providing direct job to 975 people, of which majority would be hired locally, this facility will also lead to creation of indirect jobs and contribute significantly to the development of the region," Kanwar added.

Apollo Tyres has four factories in India, three in southern Africa and the one in the Netherlands. Combined capacity is 1,700 tonnes a day.

The company decided to proceed with the new plant in eastern Europe after its failed US$2.5bn takeover of US-based Cooper Tire, ET Auto noted.