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Working on products for American, global mkts: Apollo Tyres

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Apollo Tyres today said it is working on products for American and other global markets, including ASEAN and the Middle East, as part of its strategy to explore attractive destinations where it is not present.

The company, which in April had opened its new manufacturing plant in Hungary -- its first outside India -- has already introduced specific products for markets including Malaysia, Thailand, Europe and India in the last fiscal.

"Like Europe, our company continues to work on products for the American market and other markets, including ASEAN and the Middle East, to ensure our products are available in various countries," it said in a statement quoting Chairman Onkar Kanwar.

He addressed shareholders at the company's AGM held in Kochi today.

He said that as requirement for each market is different, the product development team has to overcome the challenge of understanding customer needs while designing and testing new products.

"Despite such challenges, last year saw specific products introduced for markets, including Malaysia, Thailand, Europe and India. We have seen success in adopting such a strategy," he added.

Kanwar said that as part of premiumisation strategy, Apollo Tyres had decided to set up its first greenfield plant outside India, in Hungary.

"We have been seeing high capacity utilisation in our plant in the Netherlands even as our customers have been demanding higher quantities. Europe is one of the key markets for us and it is important to ensure a consistent supply to the market," he added.

On the home front, he said: "Beyond Europe, our focus on India continues. We remain determined to strengthen our home base."

Apollo Tyres will continue to invest in its various plants in the country for capacity expansion and technological upgradation, the chairman added.

"We see our investments as part of the over-arching strategy to build leadership in India," Kanwar said, without sharing details.

He, however, said that due to increased low-cost imports from China, the company's plants in Kerala are under pressure.

"The import of low-cost radials for truck and bus is proving to be a challenge for our bias products manufactured in our Kerala plants. This is a big issue as we saw a unit closing down because of these low-cost imports," Kanwar said.

Yet, he said Apollo Tyres has put in place a strategy of expanding its bias product portfolio for other segments like mining, agriculture and build a leadership position in these segments.

Kanwar said 2016-17 was one of the most uncertain years he could recall.

"There was the huge surprise of Brexit, the sudden demonetisation and the results of the US presidential election, all making it one of the most unpredictable years we have encountered," he said.

On the outlook for the ongoing fiscal, Kanwar said "the year ahead will be challenging as it will be uncertain", without specifying reasons.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, July 05 2017. 13:48 IST