French tyre maker Michelin on
Tuesday said it has started work on doubling truck tyre making capabilities at
its Thervoy Kandigai plant on the northern fringes of Chennai. The decision
assumes significance in the wake of reports that competitor CEAT tyres are
planning to invest Rs five thousand crores in North Tamil Nadu for putting up a
green field tyre manufacturing project soon.
The company now makes nearly 15,000 tonnes of tyres a year at the plant.
"We will double this to 30,000 tonnes by the end of 2018," Jean
Dominique Senard, CEO of Michelin group said. The quantum of investment for
this doubling of capacity was not disclosed.
The company will recruit another 150 persons to operate the expanded
capacities as direct employees. Michelin's plant now employs 850 people
Till date the French firm has invested nearly Rs 3,500 crore both in plant
and an R&D centre. The company has decided on this capacity expansion.
"We were very small few years ago and we have decided to change
French Ambassador to India inaugurated a new manufacturing line which will
make X Guard range of truck tyres. The company also announced that it has also
signed up an agreement to supply X Guard range of tyres to Ashok Leyland, India's
second largest truck maker.
Under the terms of agreement,
Michelin tyres will be factory fitted original equipment for Leyland 37 tonne
truck range. The newly launched tyres, delivered a ten per cent additional fuel
savings for the operator.
We are committed to the partnership and we will continue to grow without
partners," said a spokesman of Michelin India. At present the company
imports passenger car tyres and other special needs tyres while it makes all
the truck tyres in India.