Apollo To Bring Vredestein Tyres in India


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Apollo Tyres is set to launch the Vredestein brand of premium tyres in India by mid-2012, sources have told Autocar India. Although Vredestein caters to the high-performance segment, it has studied the demands of the Indian market under the premium segment. It found that in India, low-level and heavy tyres are present in mass segments. The company will carry out certain adjustments to its product line-up before the India launch.


With an aim of expanding its global footprint, Apollo plans to build two new facilities in East Europe and Brazil in the next couple of years at an investment of over Rs 2,500 crore. Back in 2010, Apollo had launched its own brand of tyres in Europe, banking heavily on Vredestein’s prevailing infrastructure. Company insiders have confirmed that Apollo has sealed a deal of providing space-savers for Volkswagen cars in India.
 
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Apollo Tyres Ltd has announced the company’s audited financial results for the fourth quarter (January to March 2012) and the financial year 2011-12. Consolidated annual revenues, across operations in Asia, Africa and Europe, grew 37 percent to reach Rs 12,153 crore (US$ 2.5 billion).

While Apollo’s Indian operations’ revenue grew 49 percent in 2011-12 as compared to 2010-11, its business in Europe saw a growth of 27 percent, and that in Africa 10 percent, despite challenging local circumstances. Operating profit grew 18 percent to Rs 1,200 crore from Rs 1,020 crore. Net profit, however, stood reduced at Rs 410 crore as against Rs 440 crore in 2010-11.


May 10, 2012: Apollo Tyres Ltd has announced the company’s audited financial results for the fourth quarter (January to March 2012) and the financial year 2011-12. Consolidated annual revenues, across operations in Asia, Africa and Europe, grew 37 percent to reach Rs 12,153 crore (US$ 2.5 billion).

While Apollo’s Indian operations’ revenue grew 49 percent in 2011-12 as compared to 2010-11, its business in Europe saw a growth of 27 percent, and that in Africa 10 percent, despite challenging local circumstances. Operating profit grew 18 percent to Rs 1,200 crore from Rs 1,020 crore. Net profit, however, stood reduced at Rs 410 crore as against Rs 440 crore in 2010-11.

Commenting on the results, Onkar S Kanwar, chairman, Apollo Tyres (pictured), said: “Despite the challenging circumstances, we have crossed yet another milestone of US$ 2.5 billion in 2011-12. The conditions in our largest market – India – have not been easy. The same applies for the South African economy. But the positives are many – primarily expansion of our passenger vehicle range and the launch of three ultra- high performance tyres in Europe. In the critical truck and bus radial segment, we now enjoy a leadership position in India, and are poised for higher growth. The stability in the raw material prices, especially in the second half of the fiscal, has eased some pressure on our margins. We are in a growth and planning mode across our operations, where we are working towards faster market expansion outside India. We are, therefore, seeking ways to fulfill this higher demand with additional capacities.”

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Apollo Tyres to invest Rs. 300 cr in Kalamassery, Kerala

Apollo Tyres will invest Rs.300 crore over the next two years in its Kalamassery unit to convert it into an export unit for industrial tyres. Chairman Onkar S. Kanwar told reporters here on Wednesday that the company was eyeing the European, North American and South African markets for exports.

He also said that the company was looking to establish a greenfield unit in East Europe. The choices before the company were under study he said.

Apollo Tyres plans a capital expenditure of Rs.150 crore across its units this year.

Meanwhile, the company recorded a 79 per cent rise in net profit during the first quarter of the current financial year at Rs.138 crore against Rs.77 crore during the year-ago period. Net sales grew 12 per cent. The operating profit stood at Rs.361 crore.

The shareholders have approved a dividend of 50 paise per share at the company’s annual meeting.

The investments made in the Chennai plant two years ago on product and process technologies were showing results, Mr. Kanwar was quoted as saying in a release.

Apollo Tyres closed the last financial year with a turnover of $2.5 billion, a growth of 37 per cent over the previous year. Mr. Kanwar said that natural rubber price still ruled high. He wanted the government to allow duty-free import of natural rubber to meet the gap in production. He said that efforts were on to acquire rubber plantations in one of the Southeast Asian countries.
 
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Apollo Tyres opens global R&D Centre in the Netherlands

Apollo Tyres has announced the opening up of its global R&D centre in Enschede, the Netherlands. This state-of-the-art facility will serve as a hub for the development and testing of car and van tyres for all product brands -- Apollo, Vredestein and Dunlop (32 countries in Africa) -- of the company. Apollo Tyres Global R&D BV will start operations with more than 100 R&D specialists from various parts of the world, including 20 car tyre specialists from India and South Africa, and will later be scaled-up to nearly 150 people.

“The Global R&D Centre is an important milestone in our journey to become a $6 billion tyre company by 2016. This world-class centre will play a key role in bringing cutting-edge technology and innovation in the development of car and van tyres of the future,” said Onkar S Kanwar, chairman, Apollo Tyres Ltd during the inauguration of the R&D centre.

The deputy chief of mission from the Indian Embassy to the Netherlands, R K Singh and the mayor of Enschede, Peter den Oudsten, inaugurated the new facility in the city of Enschede. Onkar S Kanwar, chairman, and Neeraj Kanwar, vice-chairman and MD, along with the senior management team of Apollo Tyres were present on the occasion.

R&D Restructuring

Recently, Apollo Tyres restructured its R&D team, across its three key markets, to create synergy and greater alignment to the company’s growth aspirations; and to generate speed and relevance while entering new markets. The new structure connects the entire organisation via 2 major R&D centres -- for commercial purposes and car tyres. In line with this strategy, the company is bringing together its R&D resources comprising almost 250 people in Africa, Europe and India to create two global R&D hubs -- Enschede, the Netherlands for car and van tyres and Chennai, India for commercial vehicle tyres.

The two locations were chosen based on current and potential markets. The Middle East and Asia form nearly 59 percent of the global market for CV tyres, while Europe and North America represent 51 percent of the car tyre market. Both R&D departments will be in close contact with OEMs and replacement clients, test centres, raw material suppliers and research institutes.

Neeraj Kanwar said, “While we have merged our R&D resources, smaller teams across key markets will work on customising each global product to market requirements and testing under local conditions. Going forward, R&D will continue to be the cornerstone of our vision, as we plan to ramp up the R&D spend to 3 percent of our sales revenue.”

According to Peter Snel, Group Head, PV R&D, Apollo Tyres Ltd, “Apollo has taken a bold strategic decision to centralise its R&D activities for car tyres in Europe. Given that Europe is one of the most advanced automotive markets in the world, the facility will help Apollo to further step up efforts to build tyres for the future. It will also strengthen our relationship with the global OEMs.”

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VW appoints Indian company Apollo to supply tires for the Passat worldwide

One of India’s largest tire makers, Apollo, is all set to supply tires for the Volkswagen Passat across the globe. The exact timeline for the start of this partnership is not clear at this point.
Apollo is delving deep to contest in the European market where it faces fierce competition from the likes of Bridgestone, Pirelli and Michelin.

Apollo has restructured its Research and Development team to create synergy and greater alignment to the company’s growth aspirations. It is currently present in 14 countries across Europe.

In January, Apollo opened its global R&D centre in Enschede, Netherlands. This state-of-the-art facility serves as a hub for the development and testing of car and van tires for all product ranges of the Indian brand.

Apollo has also been honored with the ‘Tire Manufacturer of the Year’ Award recently at the international event held in Cologne, Germany. Besides making immense progress in the African and European market, Apollo is launching its 4G tire series with sizes ranging from 12-18 inches for the Indian market.

Another announcement from Apollo is that they are bringing their Dutch brand Vredestein to India in the third quarter of this year. Apollo will initially be aiming at Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities while importing its high performance and durable tires to compete against its foreign counterparts.


Read more: Apollo selected as tire supplier for VW Passat worldwide
 
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Apollo launches 4G range of passenger car tyres

Apollo has released their new 4G range of tyres in three different variants, which are specifically designed for mini, compact and premium compact four-wheelers here in India.

Apollo recently unveiled their new 4G range of tyres at the iconic Zaandvoort Circuit in Amsterdam, Netherlands. According to Apollo these fourth generation of tyres Aspire 4G, Alnac 4G and Amazer 4G are the most technologically advanced tyres from their portfolio. This launch of new range of tyres comes after Apollo was recently crowned as the Tyre Manufacturer of the Year in Europe at the Tyre Technology International Awards for Innovation and Excellence 2013 ceremony in Cologne, Germany.

Speaking on the occasion, Neeraj Kanwar, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Apollo Tyres Ltd said, “These tyres are a result of cross geography collaboration between our R&D, Manufacturing and Sales & Marketing teams in India and Europe. In line with Apollo’s commitment towards customer’s safety, the R&D team has given extra attention to the safety aspect of these tyres. To keep up with the introduction of newer and bigger cars in India, we would be adding 10-12 new products in the passenger vehicle category in the next 2 years.”

The 4G range has been specifically designed for better handling both in wet and dry conditions; reduce braking distance and tyre noise. For this Apollo designers have given the 4G range wider out shoulders with narrow intermediate grooves lead to better contact for dry handling and reduce aquaplaning. The Aspire 4G is high performance tyres with Y and W speed ratings and is available in 16” and 17” sizes.

Apollo Alnac 4G has been particularly designed for mid-size and executive car segments in India and has a speed rating of V and H (available in 15” and 16” sizes). The third range of tyre, Amazer 4G is designed for cars in the mini, compact and premium compact segments and have a speed rationg of T (available in 12” – 14” sizes). Apollo has had a good run recently with sales of its passenger segment tyres going up from 13.5 per cent last year to 16 per cent and hopes these new additions would further boost its market share.

Apollo launches 4G range of passenger car tyres| ZigWheels.com
 
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Apollo Tyres sells South African business to Sumitomo Rubber for Rs 340 crore

Apollo Tyres has sold part of its South African operations to Japanese trading firm Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) for $60 million (Rs 333 crore) including the Ladysmith passenger car tyre plant.

Apollo Tyres has retained its Durban plant, which manufactures truck & bus radial (TBR) tyres and off-highway tyres used in the mining and construction industries. SRI takes over Apollo Tyres South Africa (ATSA) and would also get ownership rights for the Dunlop brand that Apollo was selling in 32 African markets.

Sumitomo along with its global alliance partner Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company jointly owns the famed Dunlop brand in most of the global markets. Though in few countries Dunlop brand of tyres would still be used by different companies as in India, where the Kolkata-based entrepreneur PK Ruia owns it.

Apollo Tyres chairman Onkar S Kanwar said: "SRI gets a manufacturing location on the continent and control over the Dunlop brand, which they already use in many other countries across the world. Apollo retains one plant in South Africa and has the ability to develop further the markets for our global brands Apollo and Vredestein."

Apollo Tyres will continue to sell the Apollo, Vredestein and Regal brand tyres in Africa through its own sales and distribution network across the continent. "We have retained the manufacturing facility in Durban, as we would like to increase the presence of in-house Apollo and Vredestein branded tyres in Africa, which we have already been selling in South Africa for the past few years," Kanwar added.

Besides, both companies have also decided to have a contract manufacturing agreement of their respective brands at each other's facility to have locally manufactured products available for the African market, Apollo Tyres said in a statement issued to the media.

Apollo Tyres, which acquired Dunlop Tyres International in 2006, said that there would be no jobs lost in this entire process and all its employees, except for those in the Durban plant, will continue to be with ATSA, now owned by SRI.

Apollo Tyres sells South African business to Sumitomo Rubber for Rs 340 crore - The Economic Times
 
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Apollo Tyres to buy Cooper Tire & Rubber Company for Rs 14,500 crore

Apollo Tyres, India's largest tyremaker by revenues, has agreed to acquire Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of the US in an all-cash transaction for about Rs 14,500 crore ($2.5 billion), a deal that will make the Indian tyremaker the world's seventh largest. The acquisition, one of the biggest by an Indian firm in the automotive sector, will provide Onkar S Kanwar's company a footprint in the Chinese and US markets.

Cooper Tire & Rubber is the parent company of a global group of firms that specialise in the design, manufacture, marketing and sales of car and light truck tyres. Cooper is the largest supplier of tyres to Sears, the US retailer. ET NOW had, on October 11, 2012, first reported on Cooper Tire's possible acquisition by Apollo Tyres, and a report was carried in ET's October 12 edition. A wholly owned arm of Apollo Mauritius Holdings will buy Cooper Tire at $35 a share from American shareholders in an all-cash transaction, which represents a 40 per cent premium to Cooper's 30-day volume-weighted average price on the New York Stock Exchange.

Following the close of transaction and regulatory approvals — expected by the second half of 2013 — Cooper Tire would become a privately held firm, a press release issued by the company said. Apollo TyresBSE 3.02 % Chairman Onkar S Kanwar said, "This transaction provides an opportunity to serve customers across a host of geographies in both developed and fastgrowing emerging markets around the world."

A consortium of four investment banks — Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered — will raise $2.5 billion in new debt for Apollo and Cooper to fund the acquisition, said Apollo Tyres Chief Financial Officer Sunam Sarkar. Of this, around $1.8 billion will be raised through issue of bonds, a company executive said, while another $300 million will be brought in by way of asset-based lending through a step-down subsidiary based in Europe.

The Indian company will need to service new debt of $450 million post the acquisition while the remaining debt would be serviced by Cooper's subsequent cash flows. Apollo Tyres currently has net debt of Rs 2,300 crore, of which Rs 500 crore is said to be foreign debt. The $2.4-billion Apollo Tyres, which derives two-thirds of its revenues from India, will now have presence in markets across four continents. Nearly 23 per cent of its revenues come from Europe and the rest from North America.

The cumulative revenues of the combined entity, would be around Rs 35,000 crore ($6.6 billion), going by 2012 figures. The acquisition will enable Apollo to iron out the cyclical nature of its business, which is tilted in favour of the truck tyre business that is affected by the ups and downs in the economy.

Leading tyremakers have 70-80 per cent of their business accruing from car tyres, which is less affected by business cycles, whereas Apollo receives 35 per cent of its revenue from this segment, according to a May 15 Deutsche Bank report authored by Amyn Pirani and Srinivas Rao.

Apollo Tyres to buy Cooper Tire & Rubber Company for Rs 14,500 crore - The Economic Times
 
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