Michelin India has launched two new X Multi tubeless radial tyres that will target the commercial vehicles in India. This X Multi range is completely made in India and has been launched at a starting price of Rs 20,000. The tyres are being manufactured at Michelin’s Chennai plant and are said to be specially engineered for Indian roads and climatic conditions.
According to the company, these new tyres offer 30 per cent increase in mileage and up to 4 per cent savings in fuel, which will improve the operating economics for the fleet owners. The Indian medium and heavy commercial vehicles sector is shifting to radial tyres from bias-ply tyres. This radialisation is currently seeing an annual growth of 30 per cent. Most of the inter-city coach makers like Volvo, Daimler and Scania are preferring radial tyres due to their safety and mileage benefits.
Mohan Kumar, Commercial Director, Passenger car and Light Truck and Truck, Michelin India, said, “We tried to transform the pre-dominantly bias-ply tyre market to radial in India. Now, with the new tyres, we are trying to bring tubeless radial tyres in this market. We see positive trends from customers for evolving technologies.”
Customers in India are now understanding the benefits of radial tyres and therefore, there is a surge in the demand as well. The company said the X-Multi range of tyres has a new tread compound that slows the wear rate and its wider casing offers improved road grip and safer driving experience.
Michelin India is also offering tyre retreading through its 19 franchisee shops across India. Commenting on the export strategy of the company, Bouhassoun said, “The focus of India plant is the domestic market but all our factories globally export. The Indian plant has also started exports to Middle East, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, though not on a large scale as the capacities are limited at the plant.”
Michelin has allocated Rs 4,000 crore for investment at its plant that is spread across 290 acres on the outskirts of Chennai. The Indian plant started operations in Q1 2014 and in 2014, the factory produced 11,000 tonnes of tyres.