GENEVA, Switzerland (March 3, 2010)—India's Apollo Tyres Ltd. is scrapping plans for its own tire plant in Europe and instead will double capacity at the Vredestein Banden factory in Enschede, Netherlands, it acquired last year.
Apollo is planning to boost the Dutch plant's passenger tire output to 10 million units in a series of steps, according to Chairman and Managing Director Onkar Kanwar, Apollo chairman and managing director, who discussed the decision while attending an auto show in Geneva. He didn't disclose the cost or timetable of the project.
Before buying Vredestein Banden, Apollo had been scouting Europe for an appropriate site for a radial passenger tire plant, and planned to spend $300 million for the project, which in early 2008 seemed destined for Hungary. The facility was to have annual capacity of up to 7 million units and employment of up to 1,000. However, local politics ended the deal.
Kanwar didn't rule out completely the idea of a greenfield plant in Europe at a later time. For now, though, Apollo will concentrate on the Vredestein Banden expansion and upgrading the Durban and Ladysmith, South Africa, factories of its Apollo Tyres South Africa subsidiary there.