In­dia to play big role in plac­ing Maxxis Tyres among top 5 tyre man­u­fac­tur­ers by 2026

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Gurugram-based Maxxis Tyres in­au­gu­rated its 22nd plant in the in­dus­trial town of Sanand in Gu­jarat re­cently. Spread over 106 acres, the plant has an ini­tial ca­pac­ity to roll out 20,000 tyres and 40,000 tubes daily. Of the planned in­vest­ment of Rs 2640 crore in phases over the next 3 years, nearly Rs 1800 crore has been spent. Tar­get­ing15% mar­ket share in In­dia in five years, the com­pany is go­ing full steam ahead based on the learn­ings gath­ered in the past 5 years. In an interview with Bhar­gav TS, Jia-Ciao Liou (Gary), Com­mer­cial Head, Maxxis Rub­ber In­dia Pvt Ltd said, “We have a vi­sion to be among the top 5 tyre man­u­fac­tur­ers by 2026, and the In­dian mar­ket will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in achiev­ing our cor­po­rate goal.” The ex­cerpts:

Q: How sig­nif­i­cant is the new plant for Maxxis Tyres glob­ally?

Gary: This is our 22th plant in the world and In­dia is a very ex­cit­ing mar­ket as it is the fastest grow­ing two-wheeler mar­ket in the world. To be a part of this great jour­ney is of prime im­por­tance for us. We have a vi­sion of get­ting into top 5 tyre man­u­fac­tur­ers by 2026 and the In­dian mar­ket will play

Q: In what terms you wish to be num­ber 5?

Gary: It has to be in terms of rev­enue. Tyre in­dus­try re­leases rank­ing ev­ery year ac­cord­ing to which now we are at num­ber 9.

Q: What is the con­tri­bu­tion you ex­pect from In­dia?

Gary: We hope a lot and this is very hard to say. Glob­ally also we are grow­ing across many mar­kets. We are also ex­pand­ing our prod­uct-line as well. But we have iden­ti­fied In­dia as a key growth en­gine for our com­pany as In­dia is im­por­tant for growth in the world mar­ket. So be­ing a part of this is the most im­por­tant mile­stone for our com­pany.

Q: You said that the ini­tial ca­pac­ity will be 20,000 tyres, how will it be dis­trib­uted among the OEMs and af­ter­mar­ket?

Gary: Rather than equally dis­trib­uted, it should be more in the af­ter­mar­ket. But we are work­ing with var­i­ous com­pa­nies to ex­pand our pres­ence in the OE busi­ness as well.

Q: What about the af­ter­mar­ket dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nel you are look­ing at in In­dia?

Gary: As of now we do not have a set num­ber that how many dis­trib­u­tors we want in In­dia. But we want to find a part­ner in each mar­ket. Depend­ing upon the scenario, some­times we have to see a State as sev­eral mar­kets, and some­times we com­bine a cou­ple of States into one mar­ket. We have to find a part­ner who is will­ing to grow with the brand, share our com­pany val­ues and ac­cept new chal­lenges of bring­ing in a new brand into the mar­ket and ex­pand­ing that.

Q: In terms of tech­nol­ogy, how unique are tyres from Maxxis? You shared about the rolling re­sis­tance. But with­out proper roads, re­duced rolling re­sis­tance will not be of much help? How do you view this?

Gary: Fuel ef­fi­ciency is a con­cept not only for the ve­hi­cle but for the tyres as well for sav­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. There are many chal­lenges to reach that goal, but we can’t stop there. We have to make our­selves ready and when the en­vi­ron­ment is ready, our prod­uct is also ready to cater to the en­vi­ron­ment and bring some change into the mar­ket and even im­prove it. We have to be ready our­selves at the fore­front of all the tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments.

Q: The In­dian tyre man­u­fac­tur­ers are fac­ing many chal­lenges in terms of tem­per­a­ture, cut re­sis­tance, and adding to the steer­abil­ity with each con­tra­dict­ing the other. So how do you see this, and are you work­ing on it?

Gary: There is no per­fect tyre for all the sce­nar­ios, but we can make the best tyre for ev­ery scenario. It is ac­cord­ing to the prob­lem you want to tar­get, and you want to elim­i­nate, and then Maxxis can of­fer dif­fer­ent prod­ucts for dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios, that will suit your needs the best and bring more value to your pur­chase.

Q: You started with Honda Mo­tor­cyles and Scooter In­dia (HMSI), what would be your game plan

mov­ing for­ward? Will it be the global OE route or tar­get­ing In­dian OEMs di­rectly?

Gary: Def­i­nitely we will be tar­get­ing all the OEMs in In­dia, and we want to work with all the part­ners to de­velop our new prod­ucts for them. This is one of our key strate­gies for Maxxis to gain more and more pres­ence. In the African mar­ket as well, Maxxis took time to build up and it did not build up overnight as it is not an easy thing. But step by step we have to fol­low our road map for the tar­get mar­ket. Both OEMs and af­ter­mar­ket will play very key roles for the growth of Maxxis.

Q: Do you have any order on hand in In­dia?

Gary: We have a very prom­i­nent cus­tomer, HMSI, and Maxxis has been se­lected as the orig­i­nal equip­ment tyre sup­plier to In­dia’s num­ber one sell­ing model, Honda Ac­tiva, since 2015. We cur­rently serve as an OEM tyre sup­plier to HMSI, Maruti Suzuki, Mahin­dra, Tata Mo­tors and Jeep in In­dia. We are in talks with 3-4 OEMs and work­ing on var­i­ous projects.

Q: Com­pared to the ma­ture mar­kets, where does In­dia stand in terms of safety? Hardly any­body looks at tyres as a safety com­po­nent, though it is.

Gary: Safety is the bot­tom line, and tyre is the only thing that keeps you away from ground. It takes all the hits from the rough sur­faces. safety has to be ed­u­cated, start­ing with very sim­ple as­pects like check­ing your tyre pres­sure pe­ri­od­i­cally, check­ing your tread depth reg­u­larly, all these are aware­ness of safety that will save lives.

Q: One key as­pect to be looked at is the road tyre noise. What are the com­po­nents that at­tribute to that and are you work­ing at any new con­cept to re­duce the noise from tyre?

Gary: Noise is a key fac­tor with re­spect to com­fort, so we have a dif­fer­ent prod­uct line also that is spe­cially de­signed for that. But in two-wheel­ers it is not of prime con­cern, and more so in the four­wheeler seg­ment.

Q: Can you take us through your R&D fa­cil­ity? You have been here for the last 5 years. What kind of learn­ing did you have and what have you re­ferred to the R&D team?

Gary: The first step we have to es­tab­lish is the con­di­tion here, whether the tyre will be used in the sub-zero de­gree or more than 50 De­gree C. The ter­rain in In­dia is very diver­si­fied, so to de­sign a tyre to meet all those chal­lenges is the most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion for any tyre man­u­fac­turer. Dur­ing the past 5 years, we have stud­ied the mar­ket thor­oughly along with the ve­hi­cle avail­abil­ity in In­dia, as the tyre can per­form at the best if they are match­ing with each other. Af­ter these 5 years, all I have to say is that we are ready to roll out our prod­ucts for In­dia which are ‘Made in In­dia’.

Q: You have de­vel­oped prod­ucts for the In­dian mar­ket, where price and qual­ity are very im­por­tant. Ev­ery­one

wants ev­ery­thing but at less price. How do you man­age?

Gary: I won’t say this scenario is only ex­ist­ing in In­dia. It is all around the world. Ev­ery­one wants to have the best value for the price they pay. I will say it is pure hu­man na­ture. We have been sell­ing our tyres in nearly 180 coun­tries, so have an ex­pe­ri­ence of our tyres rolling on in all those dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions and cli­mate. This has made us stronger to cop up with the di­ver­sity that ex­ists in In­dia, like the de­mand for higher value for the prod­ucts the cus­tomer has paid for. So we are very con­fi­dent in bring­ing our prod­uct to face these chal­lenges. Our USP at Maxxis Tyres is that we give the best war­ranty pol­icy of 5 plus 1 year in the in­dus­try, this means 5 years of un­con­di­tional war­ranty from the man­u­fac­tur­ing team, and 1 year of free tyre re­place­ment. Within one year af­ter the pur­chase date, if you face any prob­lem, are not satisfied, or the tyre be­comes un­us­able, we will change it with a new tyre. We are giv­ing such high war­ranty be­cause we are very con­fi­dent of our prod­uct qual­ity and we know we can bring the best value to the cus­tomer.

Q: What kind of man­u­fac­tur­ing chal­lenges you fore­see in In­dia and how are you plan­ning to over­come them?

Gary: In In­dia, dif­fer­ent States have dif­fer­ent set of chal­lenges. Some States have huge union prob­lem, even up to 3 unions in 1 com­pany. One of the best things in Gu­jarat is that such prob­lems are not vis­i­ble. Peo­ple here work very hard and we can come to an agree­ment with our em­ploy­ees on how to make bet­ter prod­ucts.

Q: It is a green­field fa­cil­ity that you have set up here in Gu­jarat. So what kind of learn­ing have you col­lated from your 21 fac­to­ries across the world and brought in for this 22nd project?

Gary: Ev­ery new fac­tory gets im­prove­ments and this fac­tory has all the lessons and im­prove­ments from the pre­vi­ous fac­to­ries in Thai­land, China, In­done­sia, and Tai­wan. We have brought in the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, and the best man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment to In­dia. Here we have been spar­ing no cost on R&D and in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments.

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