India’s automotive industry needs a series of boosters including an early announcement of the vehicle scrappage policy to come out of the slowdown, which was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, JK Tyre & Industries chairman Raghupati Singhania said.
Anant Goenka, managing director of the RPG Group company, said demand in the segment got back to pre-Covid levels in June and the growth in the coming quarters could even possibly compensate for the lost sales during the June quarter on account of Covid-induced lockdowns.
Apollo Tyres Chairman and Managing Director Onkar S Kanwar, however, said the company is still bullish about the economy bouncing back and "did see signs of a recovery in the third quarter, but the fourth quarter witnessed headwinds in the form of the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent nation-wide lockdown".
"We are aiming for a strong foothold in the high-value, highly profitable premium motorcycle tyre market, which caters to the top 20 per cent of motorcycle market in India, and the entire Europe and Americas market," Apollo Tyres Vice Chairman and MD Neeraj Kanwar said.
Under the agreement, AVBV will retain 737 job positions against the initial 1,265 and continue to focus on high value segment passenger car tyres and its earlier capacity for agricultural and Spacemaster tyres. In March, the company had said it will cut 750 jobs at the plant over a period of two years in order to have a 'sustainable business' and focus on producing only high-value tyres.
The company had earlier earmarked a capex of around Rs 1,400-1,500 crore for the domestic operations for the current financial year. Now due to the uncertain scenario due to rising COVID-19 cases, the company has taken various steps to control cost as much as possible.
The replacement tyres in all the sectors did well as production cuts by vehicle manufacturers and falling income from job losses and salary cuts hit OE purchases. ``It is the pent-up demand from April and May. We expect robust demand in the current month too,’’ said Rajiv Budhraja, director general of Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association.
Stating that "indiscriminate import of tyres has been the bane of the tyre industry in India", ATMA said most of the imports are from China which accounts for over 40 per cent of Truck and Bus Radial (TBR) tyres and passenger car radial (PCR) tyres shipments to India from overseas.
"Import policy of new pneumatic tyres...is amended from free to restricted," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. Putting the goods under restricted category means an importer would now require a licence or permission from the DGFT for imports.
Commenting on the feat, JK Tyre Chairman and Managing Director Raghupati Singhania said, "As a pioneer and market leader, we remain committed to driving innovation and bringing products for our fleet customers that are high on efficiency, safety and cost effectiveness".
The decision to extend warranty on tyres has been taken to express solidarity with customers amidst the continued lockdown, Ceat Tyres said in a statement. The extention is valid on tyres whose warranty is due to expire between March 1 and May 31, it added.
The tyre maker has commenced production in a graded manner at its manufacturing facilities in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Kankroli (Rajasthan) and Laksar (through Cavendish industries Ltd - subsidiary company, in Uttarakhand). The company has also resumed operations at its global research and development hub located in Mysore, Karnataka, JK Tyre said.
"We would like to state that based on various relaxations and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and by the respective state governments and permissions from local authorities, the company has partially resumed its operations in most of its plants with restricted manpower," MRF said in a filing.