Continental launches of radial truck tires
International tire manufacturer and automotive supplier Continental recently declared that it has started the production and distribution of radial truck tires in the Indian market.
With an initial annual production capacity of 220,000 radial truck tires, a dealer network of more than 1,400 outlets and sales & customer service teams in more than 70 cities across India have been set up, Continental recently took the next step in expanding its reach in India after acquiring Indian tire manufacturer Modi in 2011.
Andreas Esser, Head of the Commercial Vehicle Tires business at Continental said, "Introducing Continental radial truck tires into the Indian market is a momentous occasion for us."
Esser added, "India is the second largest market for truck tires in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) and we strongly believe that our premium technology products, manufactured locally and distributed through our Indian market organization, will make Continental a preferred partner in the tire replacement and original equipment business."
Investing in local production capacities is a part of Continental's strategy to diversify its global manufacturing footprint and expand business in growing markets, such as India.
Continental has invested heavily into the construction of a new production building alongside with machinery for making radial tires.
Furthermore, Continental also brought experienced staff from some of its other international production sites to India in order to train local staff on the new machinery and production techniques.
Also, more than 100 local employees were sent abroad to the international production sites in Germany, Romania, China and Malaysia for comprehensive training in radial tire production and technology.
Thierry Wipff, Head of Manufacturing Commercial Vehicle Tires at Continental said, "We firmly believe that the personal training of our local staff through experienced experts from other production sites is a key factor for the successful ramp-up of a new tire plant."
Wipff said, "The strong Manufacturing network supports excellence in operation, especially the case for the switch from producing bias tires to radial tires, where the technology involved is more complex and requires additional know-how."
Continental's initial radial tire product portfolio for India covers the goods, people and construction segments.
In the goods segment, the HSR2 steer tire and the HDR2 drive tire offer strong reliability and high mileage.
For the people segment, Continental launched a dedicated coach tire, which stands out through its smooth ride, excellent mileage and directional stability.
The high-tech construction tires HSX2 and HDX2 round off the product portfolio with their excellent durability and strong off-road performance.
The Indian truck tire replacement market has a volume of approximately 14 million units per year, out of which almost 4 million units are radial tires, whereas the other 10 million are bias tires.
Over the last five years, the market has not only grown by approximately 24 percent, but has also seen a strong shift towards radial tires.
It is expected that radialization will gain further momentum in the next years, the officials informed.
With provisional sales of around €33.3 billion in 2013, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide.
As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection.
Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication.
The Tire division achieved sales of €9.7 billion in 2012.
Today, the division has 22 production and development locations worldwide. The broad product range and continuous investments in R&D make a major contribution to cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility.
The Commercial Vehicle Tire business is one of the largest manufacturers of truck, bus and commercial specialty tires worldwide.
Continental's Tire Division is an official sponsor of the German DFB Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the UEFA EURO 2016 in France.
(Posted on 02-04-2014)