Home Cover Story The R&D spend by Indian tyre industry has gone up by four times

The R&D spend by Indian tyre industry has gone up by four times

The R&D spend by Indian tyre industry has gone up by four times

Automobile revolution in India has been perfectly matched by enhanced capacities and R&D in tyre manufacturing. India produces one of the largest categories of tyres produced anywhere in the world. Tyre production in India has witnessed fast growth from 80 million units to 180 million units in the last 10 years. State-of-the-art Truck & Bus radial tyre manufacturing units in India vie with the best in the world. The country is home to 4 of the 30 largest tyre companies in the world, second only to China. India is a key destination for both greenfield and brownfield tyre investments. KM Mammen, Chairman, ATMA talks about challenges and sustainability addressed by the Indian tyre industry.

Shed some light on the regulations front and how tyre industry is coping with them?

It is quite positive to note that auto OEMs and tyre companies are working closely. Meeting new regulatory framework is a major issue in India. In few months from now, India will make a transition to BS VI emission standards. What other countries have taken 10-12 years, India will be achieving that transition from BS IV to BSVI in three years time. Meeting such stiff regulatory stance requires a concerted approach and that is what Auto OEMs and tyre partners are engaged in.

Indian Tyre Industry is looking ahead towards capacity building seriously. The production by tyre industry has been ahead of the
demand curve in the last few years. Automobile revolution has been matched by setting up of new tyre manufacturing capacities. While a new vehicle is being conceived, tyre industry is ready with the fitments. Lot of global auto majors are exporting vehicles from India fitted with Indian tyres signifying higher confidence in quality of Indian manufactured tyres.

How Indian tyre industry addresses sustainability challenges?

Indian Tyre Industry is well
conscious of the leadership role. India is a preferred destination for new investments in tyre manufacturing. Interestingly, 6 of the top 10 global
tyre majors have a presence in India
and are manufacturing in India too, making India as one of the competitive markets globally.

The range of tyres being manufactured by Indian companies is one of the widest in the world and ranges from bullock cart to fighter
jets. The R&D spend by Indian tyre industry has gone up by four times in the last one decade and currently matches with the average R&D spend by the global tyre companies.

Now coming to the point of sustainability, major research is currently on to use raw materials
which have low carbon footprint. Indian tyre industry uses natural rubber which is a far more sustainable material. ATMA’s platform—ATMA Partners Summit helps to create a dialogue between tyre industry and raw material partners to discuss ways and means to make the entire industry sustainable
and competitive.

Automobile ecosystem is undergoing a metamorphosis of
sorts to meet newer demands of sustainability and environment protection. Indian tyre industry is matching efforts and is intensely involved in developing new generation tyres. For example, in development of tyres for electric vehicles (EVs), industry is studying to meet requirements and overcome challenges.

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