Japan-based Yokohama, the eighth largest tyre manufacturer of the world, is discussing the possibility of supplying its made-in-India tyres to the carmakers in India – both domestic and international players. After investing Rs 300 crore, Yokohama started its first Indian manufacturing facility in Bahadurgarh, Haryana last year. The tyre maker established this plant to get a strong foothold on the rapidly-growing automotive market in the country. Earlier, Yokohama was able to capture 3 per cent of the total market share just through Japanese imports. Now that it has a manufacturing facility in India, it is a good enough reason for the company to compete for OEM supply deal.
Yokohama specifically designed the Earth-1 tyres for Indian environment as these tyres are said to be rugged enough to handle harsh roads. The company had initially decided to target the Japanese OEMs to become a distinguished supplier for their passenger vehicles. The tyre manufacturer is also considering to produce tyres for small and light commercial vehicles in India.
Sanjay Chatterjee, National Sales Manager, Yokohama India, said, “Anticipating a surge in demand from both after market as well as from OEMs, we have set up a greenfield factory at Bahadurgarh in Haryana in November 2014 and started marketing India-made tyres through 750 dealers and 33 exclusive Yokohama Club Network dealers across the country with first phase of our operations.”
Yokohama’s Indian manufacturing facility has a production capacity of 10,000 tyres a day
but initial plans are to cap the production at 2,000 tyres a day. Sanjay Chatterjee said that even though the company is targeting OEMs, it will continue to make a strong presence in after-market. The manufacturer plans to add 150 dealers by the end of this year and take the total number of dealerships to 900. Yokohama’s exclusive dealerships are also expected to go from 33 to 45.