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02. September 2006

INDIA: Michelin plans to enter two-wheeler tyre market / Keen on tapping motorcycle segment

Source: Daily "The Hindu Business Line", New Delhi; 2 Sept 2006

Mumbai , Sept. 1
Michelin India Tyres Private Ltd, the 100 per cent
subsidiary of Michelin France, has plans to venture
into the two-wheeler tyre market. The tyre major is
keen on tapping the motorcycle segment that comprises
75 per cent of the two-wheeler tyres market.

According to senior officials, the company would
initially introduce its tyre range for the motorcycle
market followed by the scooter range. The spokesperson
said he would not like to comment on the future
product launches.

The tyre range will be introduced by the year-end
across all `Michelin Priority Partner' retail outlets
that had been recently launched in the country. They
will be sourced through Michelin's plant in China.

Radial tyres

In the two-wheeler market, the motorcycle segment is
the key area as it is the segment where radial tube
tyres are now available in the retail market.
According to experts, more customers are opting for
radial tyres despite their premium price because of
their advantage over bias ply tryes. Earlier the
company had shown keen interest in tapping the
original equipment players (truck and bus
manufacturers). Officials said that the company is in
talks with several players in the industry. Like the
two-wheeler segment, the truck and bus radial market
is at a nascent stage though growing at a faster pace.
For the replacement market in car tyres, the company
imports its range from its Thailand plant. It had
earlier introduced its new range of car radials
(Energy XM1). These tyres were introduced specifically
for the mid-size car segment; it is one of the fastest
growing segments in the car industry.

In order to ensure that quality controlled tyres are
being sold in the country, the Government of India is
likely to mandate a BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards)
order that makes it mandatory for tyre manufacturers
to adhere to certain standards.

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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