Michelin launched the 10.00 inch R20 Michelin X Multi tube type radial tyres in India. Manufactured in India, this range of tube type radial tyres is specially engineered for the Indian road and load conditions for commercial vehicles. Mohan Kumar, Commercial Director, Michelin India said, “We are confident that this tyre range will offer international standards of versatility, safety and optimised operating cost efficiencies to fleet owners that transport goods across the country.” The tyres offer a new tread rubber compound, which it claims will offer better rolling resistance, that would inturn result in lower fuel consumption. Additionally, the 1mm tread depth with an improved tread design promises a better grip on wet and dry roads, for a safer driving experience, and better tyre mileage. The crown ply and reinforced bead also claim to enhance the tyres capability to be retreaded multiple times. Starting at Rs.20,000 onwards plus local taxes, the 10.00 inch R20 Michelin X Multi D (drive axle) is already being sold, while the 10.00 inch R20 Michelin X Multi Z (steer axle) will be available April 2016 onwards.
ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which specialises in drive-line, chassis technology, active and passive safety technology, is looking to strengthen its base in India through localisation. The automotive supplier however, has found localisation challenging in the past. Suresh KV, President, ZF India expressed, “With the inauguration of two manufacturing plants, we intend to strengthen ZF’s presence in India. Riding on the ‘Make in India’ wave, we are streamlining our efforts towards the localisation of our products. In the coming years, we hope to make India a sourcing hub for ZF’s global portfolio.” With a focus on expanding its market of off-highway products, ZF is looking to cater to market segments such as the pick and carry crane, and the self-loading concrete mixers amongst other segments. As such, adoption of the relevant manufacturing technology, meeting the requisite quality standards and production of volumes within the scope of low cost solutions are concerned, ZF is looking to overcome these challenges.
The Board of Directors of Scania have appointed Henrik Henriksson as the new president and CEO of Scania AB. Henriksson will take charge on January 01, 2016. Succeeding Per Hallberg who has been with Scania since 1997, Henriksson will also play the role of the member of the Volkswagen Truck & Bus Management Board (Truck Board). Currently the member of Scania’s Executive Board since 2012, and also the Executive Vice President and head of Sales and Marketing, Henriksson joined Scania in 1997 as a management trainee. Over the years, he has held a number of senior positions in the company’s marketing organisation. Per Hallberg will resign from his operational positions during 2016.
Isuzu Motors Limited, Japan, has set up a new company, Isuzu Engineering Business Centre India Private Limited (IEBCI) in India. This company, as yet another business vertical of Isuzu, Japan, will be responsible for R&D and sourcing related activities. It will primarily focus on enhancing efficiency and quality levels of Isuzu Motors India (IMI) products, enabling the company to achieve 70 per cent localisation at the start of production, and achieve 100 per cent localisation in the future. IEBCI will also serve as the specialised hub for sourcing parts for Isuzu’s global operations. Naohiro Yamaguchi, Managing Director of Isuzu Motors India will also assume the role of Director, IEBCI with immediate effect. Isuzu Motors India manufactures the D-MAX range of pick-up trucks and MU-7 SUV in India.
Apollo Tyres has acquired German tyre distribution firm Reifencom GmbH for Euro 45.6 million. Reifencom deals in tyres for cars, motorcycles, off-roaders, SUVs and vans. The deal is expected to take the Indian tyre major closer to customers in Europe with the online market presently contributing to one-third of the total European tyre retail space. Enabling Apollo Tyres to improve its mix of distribution channels in Germany and Europe, and aid in increasing the visibility of Apollo and Vredestein tyres offline as well as in the fast growing online retail space, the acqusition follows an announcement to set up a greenfield plant in Hungary at a capital expenditure of Rs 2,260 crore, which will start production by early 2017. In 2009, Apollo Tyres acquired Vredestein Banden for an undisclosed sum. Reifencom operates 37 stores and service centres in Germany and its ecommerce portal is active across Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.
Tata Motors has appointed Ashok Auto Sales as its commercial vehicle dealer at Firozabad. A 3S (Sales, Service & Spares) facility at Firozabad, the dealership is one of the five facilities operated by Ashok Auto Sales. The flagship dealership being the one at Agra, and the other three, at Aligarh, Mathura and Etawah. Located strategically, and reaching out to the Kolkata-Kanpur-Delhi highway, the dealership has a vehicle display area along with a fully equipped workshop with seven bays. It is staffed by professionally trained technicians, and has an air-conditioned and a wi-fi enabled customer lounge. It has a capacity to handle about 500 vehicles a month, with amenities like dedicated express service bays, overnight driver and technicians’ rest rooms, environmental friendly water conversation equipment treatment plant (ETP), electronic and bio-metric attendance systems and service parking, making this facility truly world-class.
Low fuel prices may have improved fleet operator cash flows and collection efficiency of CV financiers, it is yet to help some of the CV segments to recover. The LCV segment continues to drag even though further deterioration in asset quality indicators is unlikely. LCV segment’s prospects continue to be influenced by overcapacity issues and constrained financing environment amidst rising delinquencies. Growth prospects over the medium-term are intact, steady demand for LCVs is likely to come from further proliferation of ‘Hub and Spoke’ logistics model as GST is implemented; from relatively untapped potential in semi-urban and rural areas; improving urbanization levels and emergence of SCVs, which would present attractive employment opportunities for first time buyers.
According to an ICRA report, M&HCV (Trucks) industry is expected to grow between 19 and 21 per cent in FY16 on the basis of improving fleet operator viability and replacement-led demand. Pre-buying ahead of the implementation of BS IV emission norms and ABS may have reflected a 35.1 per cent growth in M&HCV (Truck) segment in the first half of the current financial year, the demand for road logistics hasn’t improved meaningfully.