GYONGYOSHALASZ, Hungary—Nearly 18 months after opening its tire plant in Gyongyoshalasz, Apollo Tyres Ltd. has inaugurated production of truck tires, bringing the plant another step closer to full capacity.
The plant, commissioned in April 2017, already produced passenger and light truck tires, and it continues to ramp up the production of those tires as it adds commercial tire production to the mix.
The Gurgaon, India-based tire maker expects car tire capacity to reach 16,000 by the end of the year.
At full capacity, the Hungarian plant will produce passenger and light truck tires at a rate of 5.5 million units per year and commercial tires at 675,000 per year. It manufactures both the Vredestein and Apollo brand of tires for the European market.
The first commercial truck tires made the Hungarian plant—Apollo Endurance RT HD in size 385/65 R22.5—have been fitted on trucks used by the Belgium-based Piessens & Zonen, a company specializing in the transportation of construction materials.
Apollo began selling tires in Belgium and throughout the larger European market last year, and it claims to have sold "a large amount" across the continent since.
"Being the first country in Europe where Apollo truck tires were first introduced last year, Belgium was the obvious choice to start the delivery from the company's Hungarian plant," Apollo said in a statement. "With over 2 percent market share already, the country has become an important market for the brand."
Apollo claims that its truck tires are affordable and are of high quality, a combination that helped to establish them in the market. Characteristics such as quiet ride, grip and fuel efficiency added to their appeal, the tire maker said.
All of Apollo's truck tires have at least a C label for fuel consumption and an A label for wet conditions. Apollo also provides a five-year warranty on any manufacturing issues and a buy back guarantee for the carcass.
The $505 million tire plant in Gyongyoshalasz is one six Apollo plants worldwide, and one of two in Europe.