With equipment players setting up production facilities, tyre companies see opportunities in the near future, despite there is an overall slowdown world over. The leading off-highway tyre manufacturer and exporter BKT has already started production from its fourth manufacturing facility in Bhuj, Gujarat. The company will start production in its full capacity by end of 2013. The company is expecting a demand growth next year as major infrastructure projects which were held up due to various hurdles are now seem to take off. The mining sector also looks for a revival. All these lead to a further demand for equipment which is a positive sign for tyre industry to look forward for growth in the coming years. A stable price trend of natural rubber strengthens the growth outlook.
Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers' Association (ATMA), said in an interview with EQUIPMENT INDIA a couple of months back, ôIn its own way, the Indian tyre industry is on a growth path. Ever since liberalisation, the Indian tyre industry has shown its mettle and has progressed rather rapidly against all odds. Notwithstanding the current slowdown in the economy and the automobile sector which has impacted the growth trend in automotive tyre industry, the long-term growth potential of Indian tyre industry remains intact."According to him, the industry has put in place an unprecedented investment of Rs 20,000 crore in expansion and technology upgradation over the next few years. Indian tyre industry is amongst the few sectors of industry which are self-sufficient and have been ahead of the demand curve.
According to ATMA, the industry is capable of taking all the challenges in its stride. However, the industry is asking for a level playing field with its counterparts in China and other countries. Chinese tyre companies are able to source raw material at a much lower cost. Export incentives provided by Chinese government is an advantage that Chinese manufacturers have been enjoying. Also there has been large-scale dumping of cheap tyres in India through unfair means. If all these issues are sorted out, India's prowess in tyre manufacturing will be on stronger display.