By J Srikant

Continental, the fourth largest tyre manufacturer globally, today entered the fast growing radial tyre segment for the commercial vehicle in India by launching 4 tyres. It also announced that it would start distribution of radials for passenger car by the end of year 2014.

 Nikolai Setzer, Head - Tyre Division and Member of the Executive Board of Continental

Nikolai Setzer, Head – Tyre Division and Member of the Executive Board of Continental

“It was a strategic move in 2011 to come to India, and we are very happy now in 2014 that we have finished this investment and now we are in ramp up phase in order to increase our business in Asia Pacific and particularly in India,” said Nikolai Setzer, head of tyre division and member of the executive board of Continental. “We think we are not entering the market late. With the launch of these radials, we now have complete portfolio of premium products which is clearly needed in this big country.”

Launching the radials, R K Agarwal, head of marketing and sales truck tires, India, said,” We have a product portfolio which is most suited to Indian operating conditions. We tested the tyres in India so that we could get the feedback from the customers and now we have launched the tyres,”

To begin with, Continental launched four radials namely HSR2, HDR2, HSX2 and 295/80 R22.5 HSR2 (tubeless). HSR2 is built for the front axle of trucks (steer wheel) and all-wheels for buses. HDR2, on the other hand, is primarily for rear wheel of trucks and provides good grip and traction to the vehicle. HSX2 is an all-wheel tyre for both on and off-road conditions. The 295/80 R22.5 HSR2 is a tubeless tyre for the Volvo coaches. Continental said that it would soon launch HDX2 targeting construction segment.

 L-R - Vivek Devgun (Plant Manager Modipuram), Stefan Schwass ( CFO, Continental Indi), Ralf Benack (Sales & Marketing Head Asia Pacific), Mallika Rawal (National Marketing Manger), Nikolai Setzer, R K Agarwal (Sales & Marketing - head India) and few other officials from the company

L-R – Vivek Devgun (Plant Manager Modipuram), Stefan Schwass ( CFO, Continental Indi), Ralf Benack (Sales & Marketing Head Asia Pacific), Mallika Rawal (National Marketing Manger), Nikolai Setzer, R K Agarwal (Sales & Marketing – head India) and few other officials from the company

The German company will also launch radials for passenger cars by the end of this year, for which the production has already started. It will continue manufacturing bias tyres at its Modipuram plant.

Continental’s Modipuram plant in Uttar Pradesh has an annual production capacity of 1.1 million bias tyres for trucks and buses with additional capacity for another 2.2 lakh radial tyres.

According to the company, 28 percent of the Indian commercial vehicle market is already radialised, and by 2018 it will go up to 42 percent. However, this number is almost cent percent in passenger car segment in the country.

Continental tyres entered India in 2011 with the acquisition of Modi Tyre Company and invested 50 million euros

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