Bridgestone India to roll out TBRs, launches B290 for cars

Bridgestone India plans to commence supplies of truck and bus radials (TBRs) for the OE segment from its Chakan, Maharashtra plant and will launch the M751 as one of its first offerings by the end of October 2013.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 18 Oct 2013 Views icon12186 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Bridgestone India plans to commence supplies of truck and bus radials (TBRs) for the OE segment from its Chakan, Maharashtra plant and will launch the M751 as one of its first offerings by the end of October 2013. The company currently supplies TBRs to the aftermarket.

Vaibhav Saraf, general manager, PSR (passenger cars) sales and marketing, made these comments at the launch of the B290 passenger car radial which will, over a period of 18-20 months, replace the B250 tyre. He also said that given the tough phase that the commercial vehicle sector is experiencing, the company has to accordingly calibrate its ramp-up plans.

The press conference in Mumbai was addressed by Bridgestone India managing director TomioFukuzumi who gave an overview of the company’s global operations. The B290 will be launched in 25 sizes from 12- to 16 inches across India for the passenger car segment. The tyre has been developed using the 2-ply construction in order to withstand the kind of roads of varying quality in the country.

Earlier this year, on February 5, Bridgestone India inaugurated its second plant at Chakan, near Pune (its first is in Indore) which is also its India HQ. The new plant will roll out 4,000 tyres a day by end-2013 and will increase to 10,000 tyres a day by end-2015. As far as TBRs go, the company will start with 250 tyres a day and ramp up to 1,000 by 2015 but much depends on the market scenario.

Bridgestone India has approval from its Japanese parent company to invest Rs 2,600 crore in the India facility and has so far invested Rs 2,100 crore in land, machinery, plant and office premises. The company’s current market share in the PSR OE segment is 20-22 percent and in the replacement market, 26-29 percent.

As a result of the rising value of the dollar, Bridgestone has had to grapple with higher costs as 50 percent of its raw material is imported. However, Saraf said it has been able to maintain competitive pricing.

On the retail front, the company plans to expand its Select New concept stores under the family channel to 360 touch-points this year and in the non-family channels, to 2,340 touch- points. The Concept Store, which was launched in 2011, has been positioned as a store that also offers front end mechanical work, oil checks and battery changes. In the replacement sector, the company hopes to record a CAGR of 15 percent over the next four years.

Bridgestone India launched its Ecopia range in 2011 and followed it with the Potenza in 2012 and Turanza in 2013. The Turanza range comprises the GR 90, ER 300, AR 20 (launched in August 2013) and the ER60.

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