Apollo Tyres Ltd will be investing Rs 1100 Crore this year in its 9 plants in India and abroad and was looking at Asia for expansion, a top official of the company said. “We will be looking at several countries for expansion. We are looking at Asia where we see lot of growth potential,” said Apollo Chairman, Onkar S Kanwar. Without naming the country, he said depending on raw material availability and expansion of market, a decision would be taken.
During the current fiscal the total capacity of the Indian plants will touch 1450 tonnes, while 200 tonnes each would be added to the South African and European plants. Kanwar said Rs 900 Crore would be invested in Apollo’s 5 plants in India this year.
The company would be investing Rs 300 Crore in its Green field Chennai plant this year to make it the most efficient, modern and productive tyre plant across Asia. The plant is already producing truck-bus radial and passenger car tyres and four months ago since production commenced, dispatch of consignments to OEMs also started, he said.
At the Chennai plant, where the total investment till the end of this year would be Rs 2300 Crore, only Diploma Engineers had been employed as the IT driven machinery requires technical knowhow and advanced skills. By end of 2010, the plant will produce 16,000 passenger car and 6000 truck-bus radial tyres every day, he said.
Rs 200 Crore will be invested in its Baroda plant and Rs 200 Crore in Peramabra unit in Kerala, which is under lock out since the past two months. It will be investing 30 million dollars at its South Africa plant and 6 million euros for Europe plant, he said.
Kanwar said it pains to see the unit closed due to labour problems causing a production loss of 300 tonnes of tyres a day. So far the loss to the company is around Rs 300 Crore with daily loss around Rs 5 Crore. There is heavy absenteeism and the company should be allowed to take secondary labourers, he said.