June 16, 2011
Apollo Tyres expands to Sri Lankan market
(Standing left to right) Aravinda De Silva, Deputy Chairman, Ideal Motors; Nalin Welgama, Chairman, Ideal Motors shaking hands with Rajesh Kumar, Head, International Sales, Apollo Tyres Ltd.
Apollo Tyres Ltd. has teamed up with Ideal Motors to enter the Sri Lanka market. Ideal Motors is the automobile distribution and marketing arm of the Ideal Group of Companies.
Apollo Tyres, India’s largest tire manufacturer with annual sales of $2 billion, says the Ideal Group is one of Sri Lanka’s fastest growing auto companies. Ideal focuses on the assembly and distribution of automotive spares and accessories, with multiple outlets throughout the Island. Ideal has also formed a new company, Ideal Wheels Tyres, for the distribution and retailing of Apollo tires.
The company says that initially it will focus on passenger vehicle and cross-ply truck and light truck tires. This will be gradually expanded over time to include Apollo’s entire range currently sold in India, including truck bus radial, agriculture and off-highway tires, if and when needed.
The $50 billion Sri Lankan economy is at a critical inflection point in its growth, spurred by large scale development projects, and is expected to grow at a healthy 7-8% over the next few years. With its entry at this point in time, Apollo Tyres is taking part in this growth phase of construction of key infrastructure projects, with tires that can meet the country’s evolving transportation needs.
“The accelerated development projects are critical for the post-conflict Sri Lankan economy,” says Satish Sharma, chief, India Operations, Apollo Tyres. “We have the Indian experience on the kind of tires, services and training required to allow vehicle owners to maximize on performance. Sri Lanka is currently primarily a cross ply market in the commercial segment. We will work with our partners as they gradually make the shift to radial tires.”
The 55,000-tires-per-month commercial vehicle market in Sri Lanka is dominated by cross ply tires – a segment where Apollo says it has a clear product technology and service leadership position. The other growing segment is the 75,000-tires-per-month passenger vehicle tires. Apollo Tyres plans to make available in the Island Nation, through its partnership with Ideal Motors, its entire range of passenger vehicle, 4×4, commercial and industrial tires. The company also plans to introduce its high end commercial radial range called Endurace, very shortly.