ESSEN, Germany (June 1, 2010)—Following the acquisition of Dutch tire maker Vredestein Banden in May 2009, India's Apollo tires is launching its brand into the European car tire business June 1.
Initially the company's efforts will be focused on replacement sales in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and United Kingdom.
Then from 2011, sales will go European-wide. The company said Europe offers the highest margins of any market in the world. The next step, it said, will be further expansions in Asia, notably in Eastern Asia, though the company is still working on how to address the China market with its different brands.
However, in parallel with the replacement sales, the company said it aims to develop Apollo as a global original equipment brand. The firm's Vredestein brand will remain a premium product aimed at specialist replacement markets, such as tuners and winter tires in Europe, India and elsewhere.
In the OE segment, Neeraj Kanwar, managing director, said that the company is currently supplying BMW with Apollo-brand tires in India and is in talks to supply the company with Apollo-branded tires in Europe. The company is also recognized as a global brand by Volkswagen and is likely to win a European VW fitment in the near future, said Chief Financial Officer Sunam Sarkar.
Apollo reported sales of $1.7 billion in the 12 months to March 2010, up by 63 percent from a year ago. The company said it aims to reach sales of $2 billion by March of 2011 and to be in the top 10 global tire makers, with sales of about $5 billion by 2015.