A tyre is considered original equipment in automobiles of all kinds. Therefore, it is only natural that the fortunes of the tyre manufacturers in India are linked to the automobile industry.
Several financial studies have indicated a sharp revival of consumer demand for tyres from 2022 onwards. The tyre manufacturers in India have been waiting eagerly to overcome the adverse effects of the Covid pandemic since March 2020. Rising income levels in urban areas, healthy rural cash flows due to normal monsoons and a preference for personal vehicles will drive double-digit growth in the tyre sector in the next few years.
But, before we look at the leading tyre manufacturers in India, here’s a quick industry snapshot.
Indian Tyre Industry: A Snapshot
Production of Tyres In India: All Categories (in Numbers)
( **Source ATMA)
We also look at the segment-wise output of the tyre manufacturers in India:
Segment-wise Tyre Production (in Numbers) 2019-20
1. MRF Limited
A makeshift toy balloon factory in 1946 in Chennai (Madras then) is the origin of today’s behemoth, MRF tyres. Changing track to manufacture tread rubber in 1952 marked the first foray of the company into rubber and subsequently, tyre business.
Today, MRF has a network of over 5000 channel partners. MRF has ten manufacturing plants and a significant export presence, with its products sold in over 60 countries globally. The product range covers all segments, from passenger car tyres, trucks and buses to two-wheelers. MRF is also the primary supplier of tyres to tractors/farm machinery and OTR vehicles.
Apart from tyres, the company also has a foothold in toys (Funskool), paints and special coats, retreads and sports goods businesses. The company is passionate about sports, and the involvement with motorsports is evident in racing, rallying and other events. In addition, the MRF Pace Foundation is a leading cricket academy for young fast bowlers. Therefore, it is not just business alone that has made MRF the top tyre brand in India!
2. Apollo Tyres Ltd
The Gurgaon-headquartered company was founded in 1972. Apollo quickly made a mark in the country's tyre market through its focus on quality.
A front-level tyre company, Apollo has a significant presence internationally and has manufacturing facilities in Hungary and The Netherlands. In addition, the company's overseas offices are located in several European and Asian countries.
Apollo is among the preferred OE brands for many global auto manufacturers. Apollo operates five full-scale, integrated tyre manufacturing plants in India, equipped with the latest technology.
The distribution network includes over 6000 channel partners. Apollo tyres did a business of over Rs.16000 Crores in FY 19.
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3. JK Tyres & Industries Ltd
JK Tyres, the flagship company of the JK Organisation, has over four decades of experience in the tyre business. Among the pioneers of radial technology (in tyres), the company produced its first commercial radial tyre in 1977 for the truck/bus segment.
The company is credited with launching India's first-ever smart tyre technology, TPMS. Sensors placed inside the tyre monitor tyre health through temperature and pressure.
The company’s marketing reaches consumers via a network of over 4000 dealers and 500 exclusive brand shops called Steel Wheels and Express Wheels.
JK Tyres has 12 manufacturing facilities, of which nine are in India. In addition, the company, like many other leading tyre manufacturers in India, has a significant global presence (operates in over 60 countries). The company’s revenue in FY 19 was around Rs. 7700 crores.
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4. CEAT Limited
Founded in Italy in 1924 as an electrical cable company, CEAT has been in India (Mumbai) since 1958. The RPG Group took over in 1982.
CEAT, like other top tyre manufacturers in India, produces a whole range of products catering to the passenger car, heavy commercial vehicles, LCVs, two-wheelers, tractors, bicycles and OTR segments. CEAT products are available in over 75 countries globally, and the company partners with about 40 OEMs.
The distribution network has over 5000 channel partners and 300+ exclusive CEAT shops. CEAT has six manufacturing plants. The company did a business of over Rs.7000 Crores in FY 19.
5. Goodyear India Limited
The original US company has been in India for over 90 years. With two plants at Ballabhgarh (Haryana) and Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Goodyear caters mainly to the passenger car and the tractor segment. With a turnover of over Rs. 2000 Crores in FY 20, Goodyear is among the leading tyre manufacturers in India.
6. Balkrishna Industries
The company was founded in the '50s and, in 1987, ventured into the tyre business with OTR tyres. Today, BKT tyres cater to the agricultural, construction, port and mining, earthmoving, and ATR segments, providing tyres for specialised vehicles and equipment.
7. TVS-Srichakra Ltd
TVS Srichakra is one of the largest two-wheeler tyre manufacturers in India. The company is a member of the TVS Group, the largest auto ancillary group in India. Over 25 lakh pieces of tyre and tubes are produced every month.
Srichakra is India’s top motorcycle tyre maker. The company also caters to the tractors, agricultural implements, constructions and OTR segments.
Most two- and three-wheeler companies in India prefer the brand as their first choice. The company has sizable exports to Europe, America and the Middle East.
The information above gives you an overview of the tyre manufacturers in India. Further, several other leading companies in the tyre business include Birla Tyres, Falcon, Ralco (from Ralson, the bicycle tyre makers) and major international brands like Bridgestone, Michelin, and Pirelli.
All the tyres made by various tyre manufacturers in India are certified under specific quality norms for a performance guarantee. So, what are the functions and properties of a tyre?
Functions of avTyre
- To support the load (of the vehicle)
- Absorb shock during motion
- To facilitate smoother navigation
- To facilitate acceleration and braking
Properties of Tyre
- Non-skidding –providing a good grip
- Optimum load-carrying capacity
- Minimum power absorption – ensuring that applied engine power is transmitted to the road.
- Uniform wear
- Good cushioning
The pandemic has affected the tyre business critically. Battling with prolonged closure and suppressed demand in the past two years, all tyre manufacturers in India have suffered hugely. Economic studies, however, predict a bright light at the end of the tunnel and the tyre industry is expected to hit double-digit growth continuously in the next few years.
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Q. Why are Radial tyres considered superior?
Ans. Radials have tyre cords extending from bead to bead at a perpendicular or an angle of ninety degrees to the centreline of a tyre. Further on top of the radial pile, a belt of several layers of cord and steel runs throughout the tyre's circumference. The closely held layers offer better stability and puncture resistance and prevent soil penetration.
Q. What is a performance tyre? Are there other varieties also?
Ans. Performance tyres are the ones typically used in sports and racing cars. These (performance) tyres facilitate high to very high-speed traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
In India, tyre manufacturers also produce special varieties, including all-terrain tyres and performance tyres.
All-terrain tyres are generally for four-wheel-drive vehicles for off-road and on-road applications. Driving under extreme conditions like snow or mud is possible with all-terrain tyres. Tractors, too, use all-terrain tyres.
Q. How do the tyres produced in India compare with international products?
Ans. The liberalisation of the Indian economy has facilitated access to global technology. Indian tyres are technically advanced. The fact that tyre manufacturers in India export over 330 lakh units of tyres are clear proof of the quality of the tyres.
Q. How can you choose the best car tyre?
Ans. The quality of tyres produced by the top tyre manufacturers in India is top class. All the tyres are made with the latest technology and are subject to stringent quality checks. Like any consumer durable, one decides on perception (of the brand), service, etc.
Q. How is the quality of raw materials for tyre manufacture in India?
Ans. India produces high-quality rubber. But more importantly, all the major tyre manufacturers in India use high-technology manufacturing to create the best products.
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