CHENNAI, India—Apollo Tyres Ltd. has inaugurated a Global Research & Development Center located near its Chennai tire factory in that city's Oragadam Industrial Corridor.
The center, Apollo's second global R&D facility, will service the product development needs for the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions, Apollo said, with a staff of roughly 140.
“Apollo Tyres has been at the forefront of launching breakthrough products over the past four decades suiting the Indian context,” Apollo Tyres Chairman Onkar Kanwar said at the facility's christening. The new center “will break new frontiers and accelerate our R&D vision for India and the region.”
Kanwar also said this step aligns with the vision of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for “Brand India”—with technology being one of the core sectors for India's becoming a global power.
Apollo invested $13.5 million to build the center, which complements the tire maker's first global R&D facility, which opened in 2013 in Enschede, Netherlands. That facility focuses on developing products for the European theater, with 150 employees.
Besides the two global R&D centers, Apollo Tyres has set up satellite R&D centers in Bengaluru, India, and Raunheim, Germany, focusing on integrating electronics into tire technology and working towards establishing ties with leading German OE customers, respectively.
The Oragadam Industrial Corridor is home to a number of vehicle makers and suppliers, including Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Renault-Nissan and Tenneco Automotive India.
It's also close to the Global Automotive Research Center, a unit of India's National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project that offers comprehensive testing services on a 300-plus acre facility.