Miche­lin opens new line; to dou­ble ca­pac­ity next year

Story by: Bhar­gav TS

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - ACI

Miche­lin, the French au­to­mo­tive tyre ma­jor, will dou­ble pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity at its In­dian fa­cil­ity by 2018. The tyre maker has in­au­gu­rated a new pro­duc­tion line at the Chen­nai plant re­cently to man­u­fac­ture its new truck and bus ra­dial (TBR) tyre range ‘X Guard’, which has been ex­clu­sively de­signed, en­gi­neered and made for In­dia. The X Guard promises 10% more fuel ef­fi­ciency than the tyres in that cat­e­gory. Miche­lin has signed up with Ashok Ley­land for the sup­ply of its new X Guard range for its Cap­tain range of trucks and other medium com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

“Cur­rently we are run­ning at full ca­pac­ity and to meet the grow­ing de­mand we need ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity. There­fore, we will be dou­bling our ca­pac­ity from the cur­rent 15,000 tonne a year. The ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion will be com­pleted by the end of 2018 and it will gen­er­ate 150 new di­rect jobs,” Jean-Do­minique Se­nard, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Miche­lin Group, said. “In­dia is a pri­or­ity mar­ket for us and ris­ing de­mand for our prod­ucts in the coun­try reaf­firms our com­mit­ment to keep in­no­vat­ing for our cus­tomers. In a very short time, our Chen­nai plant has evolved to be­come one of our most ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties glob­ally,” he said.

For Miche­lin, Ashok Ley­land is the sec­ond OEM tie-up in the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle seg­ment af­ter Volvo. Miche­lin sells most of its TBRs in the re­place­ment mar­ket. The in­dus­try defin­ing

per­for­mance of this tyre range is ex­pected to en­able Ashok Ley­land to pass ben­e­fits of fuel ef­fi­ciency and op­ti­mised pay­load to its cus­tomers. Ashok Ley­land is us­ing Miche­lin ra­dial tyres for the lat­est range of 37T truck as they pro­vide tremen­dous fuel ef­fi­ciency and help Ashok Ley­land to dif­fer­en­ti­ate its prod­ucts in the In­dus­try. In the bus seg­ment Miche­lin has a strong OEM pres­ence. It is the 100% sup­plier in the in­ter-city coach seg­ment and sup­plies its tyres to buses like Volvo, Sca­nia and MAN.

Serge La­fon, Ex­ec­u­tive Vi­cePres­i­dent, Truck Prod­uct Line, Miche­lin Group, said, “X Guard is meant for cus­tomers who look for af­ford­able, long-last­ing and more fuel-ef­fi­cient truck tyres. For slightly pre­mium cat­e­gories, Miche­lin of­fers X Multi, the tube­less truck ra­dial range.”

The Miche­lin X Guard was con­ceived to ad­dress the In­dian mar­ket need for a tyre that is fuel ef­fi­cient, safe and long-last­ing. The com­pany has adopted the best of Miche­lin tech­nolo­gies to pro­duce a pre­mium tyre at an af­ford­able price. The X Guard range takes ad­van­tage of the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in 3D print­ing, which is used to pro­duce the tyre moulds.

As a re­sult, Re­ge­nion tech­nol­ogy is in­te­grated, which re­gen­er­ates new grooves as the tyre wears, en­sur­ing it re­tains ex­cel­lent grip. The per­for­mance of this tyre also ben­e­fits from an­other tech­nol­o­gyIn­finiCoil, a sev­eral hun­dred­me­ter-long thin wire wrapped round the tyre struc­ture giv­ing it added ro­bust­ness with­out ex­tra weight, while de­liv­er­ing up to 10% fuel sav­ings which is ex­clu­sively de­signed, en­gi­neered and made for In­dia. It is avail­able at low cost for the con­sumers.

Se­nard said, “We be­lieve that mo­bil­ity is es­sen­tial for hu­man de­vel­op­ment. The need for sus­tain­able mo­bil­ity should grow in In­dia. I be­lieve there is a tremen­dous po­ten­tial for mo­bil­ity here in In­dia and that is the rea­son we are here. Till date we have in­vested Rs3,500 crore in build­ing the fac­tory and in an R&D cen­tre to serve In­dian and global re­quire­ments. The key cri­te­rion of the com­pany is to pro­mote long last­ing tyres which dif­fer­en­ti­ate us from other com­pa­nies. We put the cus­tomer at the cen­tre of our work which helps us to grow tremen­dously.”

Miche­lin In­dia R&D cen­tre fo­cuses on TBR de­vel­op­ment and pro­vides tech­ni­cal sup­port to the com­pany’s man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Chen­nai, China and Thai­land. The 3800-squareme­ter ma­te­ri­als test lab­o­ra­tory at Mane­sar is an es­sen­tial re­source, pro­vid­ing sup­port to the com­pany Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre in Gur­gaon.

Mo­han Ku­mar, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Miche­lin In­dia, said, “Cur­rently, only 70% of the prod­ucts sold in In­dia are pro­duced from our Chen­nai fac­tory. In 2 years, we plan to pro­duce 100% of our do­mes­tic mar­ket re­quire­ments. To in­crease the brand pres­ence, we are now fo­cus­ing on dig­i­tal space as well. At present we have around 5,000 out­lets and the ex­pen­di­ture on build­ing the brand eq­uity has in­creased.

Miche­lin also sells two-wheeler tyres in In­dia, which are man­u­fac­tured by TVS Srichakra. To tap the grow­ing de­mand of the two-wheeler mar­ket in In­dia, Miche­lin has joined hands with TVS Srichakara. The tyres are pro­duced by TVS Srichakra, but the de­sign and the ma­te­ri­als are pro­vided by Miche­lin and sold un­der its brand. Miche­lin’s twowheeler tyre ranges for scoot­ers and mo­tor­cy­cles of up to 150cc.

About the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles Se­nard said, “EVs should be val­ued and en­cour­aged in In­dia as it con­trib­utes in a ma­jor level to the coun­try’s eco­nomic growth. Tech­nol­ogy in In­dia should be val­ued. The de­vel­op­ment in tech­nol­ogy will cre­ate tech­no­log­i­cal fu­ture for Miche­lin.”

Alexan­dre Ziegler, Amabas­sador of France to In­dia and JeanDo­minique Se­nard, CEO, Miche­lin Group in­au­gu­rated the Miche­lin X Guard line at thier Chen­nai plant

Mo­han Ku­mar, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Miche­lin In­dia, Jean-Do­minique Se­nard, CEO, Miche­lin Group and Serge La­fon, Ex­ec­u­tive Vi­cePres­i­dent, Truck Prod­uct Line, Miche­lin Group.

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