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How has Indian tyre industry evolved
There has been an unprecedented change and a structural shift in the Indian Tyre
Industry in many aspects. The last 10 years have been most crucial for the Indian Tyre
Industry. Expanding vehicle fleet, booming construction industry, need for clean and
safe mobility are the major factors which have changed the face of the Indian Tyre
Industry. It has doubled up its worth from 30,000 crores in FY 2010-11 to 59,500 crores
in FY 2017-18. The production stood at 180 million units in FY 2017-18 which is a
tremendous jump from 80 million units in FY 2007-08. Today it is one of the most
invested private industry.
INCLUSION OF MORE RADIALS
Radial tyres have flexible side walls. Owing to less weight and less rolling resistance, it
leads to reduced fuel consumption. In the Indian Tyre Industry, the conventional
cross-ply tyres have given way to radial tyres. Companies like Birla Tyres, JK Tyres &
Industry and MRF Tyres have made huge investments in radial tyre technology. This
has lead to savings in fuel costs, improvement in cut and chip resistance and better
on-road performance.
"Tyre manufacturing and tyre performance are directly linked to the emission levels. In
our tires, we promote radials which consume an average 8-10 per cent lesser fuel while
working and hence thereby lesser pollution."
Vidit Jain, Chief - Technology and R&D, Alliance Tire Group (ATG).
Radialisation has made a tremendous jump in the past decade in case of bus and truck
tyres from 6% in 2008-09 to 44% in 2017-18.
SILICA
Usage of Silica in place of carbon black is being increasingly considered by the Indian
Tyre Industry. It lowers the rolling resistance and leads to reduced fuel consumptions.
Also, the use of silica as a filler leads to a drop in the emission of pollutants.
'Over the years, in our manufacturing plants, the use of carbon black has significantly
gone down in the tyres that are made for passenger vehicles. For commercial vehicles,
we need the right amount of carbon black as those tyres need to manage the pressure
of the heavily loaded vehicles."
-Pirelli Tyres Commercial Director Akash Singh Rathore
EXPORTS
Because of improvement in quality, pricing of Indian Tyres in relation to the international
market, and customisation, reports suggest that exports from the Indian Tyre Industry
will grow by 8-10% in the coming three years. Tyres manufactured by the Indian Tyre
Industry are being exported to more than 100 countries. The largest exporter of Indian
tyres is the US. More than 15% of the revenue of the Indian Tyre Industry comes from
exports.
GREEN TYRES
The demand for green tyres is growing rapidly in the wake of the need for clean and
green transportation. Scientists have made breakthrough researches for greater
performance of the Indian Tyre Industry in the fuel economy. Green tyres reduce
environmental impact at the overall life of tyres as well as at the manufacturing level.
This improvement in quality has also led to increased costs at the manufacturing level
for the price-sensitive Indian Tyre Industry. This is a challenge faced by the industry
currently. But with companies like Bridgestone, MRF and Continental Tyres entering the
green tyre market, the Indian Tyre Industry is gearing up to face this challenge in
anticipation of the requirement of clean and efficient mobility.
A few years ago, many Indian tyre companies had collaborations with foreign markets
for sourcing technology. But today, many of the Indian tyre companies have their own
R&D centres.
'Indian tyre companies rank very high when it comes to percentage increases in R&D
spend over previous years. Currently, about 2% of the revenue is being invested in R&D
which matches fairly with the global average.'
-Global Tyre Report
SMART MANUFACTURING
"Industry 4.0 or Smart Manufacturing with its emphasis on automation, robotics and
Internet of Things (IoT) could help the tyre industry combat operational and supply chain
challenges."
-Prof. TN Kalamani
To improve production efficiency and quality of products, the Indian Tyre Industry is
seeking help from cloud computing and big data. The price of natural rubber is quite
volatile in India. Industry 4.0 is a transformation that makes it possible to meet
challenges like uncertainties in the availability and cost of raw material.
Recently, CEAT became the first tyre company outside Japan to win the coveted
Deming Prize for quality. There are various other industries such as Yokohama tyres,
Nankang tyres​, Kenda tyres, etc.
CONCLUSION
The Indian Tyre Industry is gearing up to emerge successful in the modernization
phase. Hybridisation and electrification in the Indian commercial vehicle market are
transforming the Indian Tyre Industry. The role of tyres is being increasingly recognised
for safer and efficient mobility.

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