Michelin to roll out radial truck tyres in 2012

July 6th, 2011 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, July 6 (IANS) French tyre major Michelin is expected to roll out its truck and bus radial tyres made out of imported rubber from its Rs.1,700 crore plant near here by the end of 2012, said a top official Wednesday.

“Use of radial tyres by truck and bus segment is expected to go up to 50 percent from the current 14.5 percent. We will be rolling out only radial tyres targeting the replacement market in a major way. We are in touch with vehicle manufacturers as well,” Nicolas Beaumont, president, managing director of Michelin India TamilNadu Tyres Pvt Ltd, told reporters here Wednesday.

The company is a subsidiary of Michelin, France.

He said the plant will roll out 300,000 radial truck tyres (investment between Rs.1,500 crore-Rs.1,700 crore) during the first year of operations and ultimately it would have a capacity to make 2 million truck tyres per annum.

“The optional capacity for a truck tyre plant will be anywhere between 1.8 million and 2.4 million tyres per annum,” he said.

According to him, the upcoming Indian plant on 290 acres near here would be Michelin’s largest facility in the world in terms of surface area and could have a production capacity of 450,000 tonne per annum (tpa).

Though the French company has been selling imported radial tyres for two wheeler, car, bus, truck, agriculture and construction equipment, Beaumont ruled out entering the radial car tyre segment.

“There are wide varieties of cars - small to big - in India and it is very difficult to decide on which segment to cater to. Further the market is saturated,” he said.

He did not rule out the possibility of Michelin looking at another location for another tyre plant for catering to other vehicle categories at a later stage.

He categorically stated that the company is in possession of 290 acres and the company has no problems with the locals in connection with land acquisition.

“We have done the due diligence of the land and we have leased the land from SIPCOT (the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu) for 99 years,” he said.

On the progress of construction work at the site, he said the main building that would house the factory will be covered before the end of this year.

He said the training centre is operational since May this year and will conduct soft and technical skills training to improve the employability for the villagers. Training on computers, accounting and vocational courses like plumbing and carpentry will also be held.

Currently Michelin India TamilNadu has around 360 employees and by the time the plant is commissioned the number of employees on its rolls is expected to go up to 1,500.

All the white collar employees are given basic training in French language while the foreigners are given such training in Tamil language, he said.

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