The current market for mining and construction is growing and with the initiatives taken by the new government, it is poised to gain momentum in the coming years. Continental India foresees this as a key growth enabler for tyre industry.
The expectations of corporate India rode high from the Union Budget 2015, being the first complete budget of the new government. Continental India is of the view that the Budget to be balanced and at par with the commercial vehicle industry expectations. Although there are not many direct considerations for the automotive and tyre segment, Continental feels that there will be some pro-business policies in the coming years. Highlighting the need to achieve a stable economy, Mallika Rawal, National Marketing Manager, Truck Tyres, Continental India, says, ´At present, the government needs to focus on bolstering the Rupee while trying to maintain a balance between interest rates and inflation.´
Looking at the Union Budget 2015, the company believes that commercial vehicle segment may emerge to be one of the biggest winners from it. Samir Gupta, National Sales Head - Truck Tyres for Continental India, elaborates, ´The increased allocation towards infrastructure sector, especially roads and highways, and greater focus on revitalising private sector investments in the infrastructure space will be positive in pushing demand for medium and heavy commercial vehicles in India over the medium-term. In addition, for the commercial vehicle sector, the privatisation of ports and setting up of ultra mega power projects will also help stimulate demand.´ The current market for mining and construction is growing and with the initiatives taken by the new government, it is poised to gain momentum in the coming years. Industry experts believe that mining and construction are the two key sectors which will increase India´s growth rates to 7 per cent. The latest coal block allocation initiatives taken by the government will enhance mining activities while a lot of new road projects approved by government will boost construction activities.
Foreseeing these developments, Continental has added new tyres to their TBX as well as TBR portfolio. Their new mining tyre Conti ML and radial tyre meant for construction and on/off segment HDX2 are specifically designed for these applications. Mining tyres often have to operate in high ambient temperatures while carrying very heavy loads. Continental is focusing on developing cooler running compounds with high resistance to chipping for mining tyres as higher load carrying trucks are being introduced in mining applications. Rawal says, ´Conti ML as part of Continental´s Truck Bus Bias portfolio and HDX2 in our radial portfolio will be the best options for our customers in mining and construction activities. These being the high technology tyres for India, will support our customers in reducing their overall operating costs.´
Elaborating on the demand trend for trucks as well as the growth trend visible for their business segment, Gupta says, ´The down cycle in medium and heavy commercial vehicle demand has already bottomed out due to better fleet operating environment, pick-up in infrastructural investments and re-start of mining activities. We are hopeful that this growth trend will continue and are focused on bringing the right products into the market at the right time. We have plans to develop more products for the mining and construction segment. Very soon, we shall be launching a dedicated bias tyre for the construction segment as well.´
So what is the future outlook for the company for the next five years? ´The expectations of our customers are increasing and we at Continental are constantly working to meet their requirements with our technology-driven, high-performance tyres. The usage of tyres in mining requires excellent durability, higher mileage, lower chipping and higher retreadability, with a prompt and assured after sales service. Continental as a business partner for our customers can give the best combination of all these to become the preferred brand for the customers dealing in such specialized operations,´ concludes Rawal.
Continental has added new tyres to their TBX as well as TBR portfolio.