TRELLEBORG, Sweden—Trelleborg Wheel Systems is looking to expand its business in two-wheeler tires by setting up a venture in India to make the company's Mitas-brand motorcycle and scooter tires.
To that end, the Trelleborg A.B. business unit has agreed to work with Yogesh Agencies & Investments Pvt. Ltd.—owned by the Mahansaria family—to form a joint venture and build a factory that will produce tires for motorized two-wheel vehicles.
Trelleborg will own 24 percent of the proposed venture, which will set up a plant in western India with production projected to start by year-end 2020. Financial details were not disclosed.
Paolo Pompei, president of Trelleborg Wheel Systems, said the investment enables Trelleborg to "take our motorcycle tire operations to a new level," strengthening the product offering and extending the brand globally.
Trelleborg said the Mitas brand holds a "strong position" in this niche segment but did not disclose sales information related to the business.
Trelleborg will continue to be responsible for the development and sales of Mitas tires as well as retaining ownership of the Mitas brand, which it has owned since buying Mitas parent CGS Holding A.S. in 2016.
Motorcycle tires represented about $25 million in sales in 2015, the last year that CGS reported full-year financial results.
The Mahansaria family business will be responsible for the sales of Mitas two-wheeler tires in India and other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries, except Sri Lanka.
Trelleborg noted the Mahansaria family are "highly reputed" entrepreneurs and business leaders in the tire industry. Yogesh Mahansaria, for instance, is a one-time CEO of Balkrishna Industries who was a principal in the acquisition of Israeli tire maker Alliance Tire Co. Ltd. in 2007 by private equity company Warburg Pincus L.L.C.
Mahansaria led the reformed Alliance Tire Group until 2016, when it was sold to Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. During this period, he oversaw the construction of two Alliance plants in India for off-highway tires.
Trelleborg produces Mitas-brand two-wheeler tires at a plants in Zlin, Czech Republic. The products range includes tires for motorcycles, both on- and off-road, as well as scooters and mopeds as well as for go-karts.
The planned investment, the company said, will enable Trelleborg to continue to grow in Europe as well as in regions such as North America and selected parts of Asia.