JK Tyre to expand OTR capacity soon

JK Tyre & Industries is investing Rs 270 crore in expanding its off-the-road (OTR) tyre production capacity by March 2011.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 18 May 2009 Views icon7395 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
JK Tyre to expand OTR capacity soon
The tyre maker, which has a 42 percent market share in the 95,000 units Indian OTR market, is adding new capacity of 9,000 units per annum at its Mysore plant, taking total capacity to around 44,000 tyres per annum over the next two years. This expansion programme will also enable the company to explore export opportunities.

The project is a result of an agreement with Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) for the supply of these tyres to both BEML and Coal India Ltd, which are among the largest consumers in the world for OTR tyres for construction machinery. Each OTR tyre costs upto Rs 2 lakh and is available in three sizes of 18.00-33, 21.00-35, 24.00-35. According to Dr R P Singhania, vice-president and managing director, “We have delivered the first consignment to BEML. The 24.00-3548 PR tyre weighs almost 750kg and stands almost seven feet tall. The largest tyre in the range for BEML will be 40.00-5758 PR weighing almost 3,700kg and almost 12 feet tall. Apart from the Indian market, we are also looking at exports. We will invest Rs 120 crore for adding a capacity of 4,000 tyres till March 2010 to our existing production capacity of 35,000 OTRs, while the other Rs 150 crore investment will help add an additional 5,000-unit capacity by 2011 to cater to the overseas markets.”

He added that the company has put on hold its Rs 25 crore expansion programme for specialty tyres at its Mysore plant since November last year.

“We are waiting for the market to recover and at the moment, we are not sure when it will happen. We have restarted the Rs 50 crore expansion project for our passenger car radial tyres plant at Gwalior to increase capacity to 50 lakh tyres from the current 44 lakh. We are also scouting for a location to set up a Rs 300 crore greenfield facility, with a production capacity of 2.5 million tyres a year; this is likely to be finalised within a couple of months. It is most likely to come up in Southern India, logistically closer to the fast-growing auto industry hub. We have already completed the Rs 315 crore expansion project at our Mysore truck radial tyre facility to hike capacity to 800,000 units from 360,000 units. Plant trials are underway and we expect to start production there soon,” he pointed out.

Wide product portfolio

In the domestic market, the company has a product range catering to various segments including trucks, LCVs, passenger cars and farm vehicles like tractors. The company’s tyres are specifically designed in accordance to varying loading and application requirements of its customers.

The unique ‘SEV system’ in its truck, bus and LCV range of tyres ensures a highly efficient and uniform tyre curve, which is claimed to be the ideal option for a wide variation of road and load conditions under which trucks operate in India. The SEV System offers operator benefits such as good mileage, improved strength and higher retreadability.

JK Tyre has been at the forefront of the radial revolution in the country and has been launching high quality tyres at regular intervals. These include the ‘T’-rated Ultima tyre in 1994, the H-rated Ultima 210H in 1996, the Aquasonic dual contact high traction steel radial, India’s first range of eco-friendly coloured tyres, V-rated unidirectional tyre in 2006, and special application Z-rated motorsports tyres. JK tyres are OE fitment on a number of passenger cars including the Maruti SX4, Maruti Swift and Mahindra Renault Logan.

The tyre maker has recently won the prestigious ICWAI National award for excellence in cost management. Arun Bajoria, president, JK Tyre & Industries, said: “We have not only managed our cost techniques effectively but have also adopted various innovative practices that have strengthened the cost. This award will support us in emphasising our focused areas of cost management more vigorously.”
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