Make in India initiative under threat: – Satish Sharma, Apollo Tyres.
Alarmed by the rate at which Chinese tyre imports have been growing in India, Satish Sharma, President (Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa), Apollo tyres said in a event that the current situation is a big threat to the central government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Sharma added, “Chinese products had earlier a marginal impact on truck-bus radials. But, last year, Chinese imports grew by 70% and so far, it has grown 40% this year”. Quoting some statistics Sharma said, “The truck-bus radial tyre industry is around four lakh tyres a month. Apollo Tyres, sell about one lakh tyres a month whereas, it is 1.50 lakh units a month in case of Chinese tyres”.
Satish Sharma, who is also the Vice Chairman, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), representing the tyre industry, said a representation had been made to the government in this regard. “After two years of following it up with the government, they have accepted the plea for Anti-Dumping Duty in May 2016. They have started the process”. Sharma added, “Why we should open the market that is predatory to domestic players. Prime Minister’s vision is Make in India. But, I see that vision getting jeopardised. I am ready to compete with local manufacturers (not with Chinese imports)”.
While responding to a query, Sharma also replied that, the biggest dilemma facing the industry is Chinese imports and there is nothing that any manufacturer can do about it. He also said that over the past two years, the Indian tyre prices have come down anywhere between 10 and 15% and is still climbing down. On the other hand, Chinese tyres are still around 30 percent cheaper. He said that in the past, competition was limited between three and four tyre manufacturing companies. However, the scene has changed entirely now with the entry of several foreign players like Michelin, Yokohama & Continental Tyres.