PANOLI, India—Mahansaria Tyres Pvt. Ltd. started commercial production at its greenfield off-highway tire plant in Panoli, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, becoming the fifth Indian company to specialize in OTR tires.
The plant, with a rated annual capacity of 40,000 metric tons of bias- and radial-ply off-highway tires, was inaugurated virtually by the firm's chairman, Ashok Mahansaria, and managing director and CEO Yogesh Mahansaria.
The plant, located on a 127-acre plot of land in the Gujarat Industrial Development Corp. business park near Panoli, Gujarat, represents an initial investment of $107 million, MTPL said. The factory site covers nearly 1.8 million square feet, according to an environmental feasibility report.
The new company will market its products under the Ascenco brand. The firm's web site lists agricultural, earthmover, forestry, industrial and materials-handling as categories it will serve.
Commenting on the start of "a new journey in the off-highway tire segment," Yogesh Mahansaria, said his goal was to build "a strong presence" in the market.
"We are extremely positive about the global market and believe that the market has significant opportunity and room for a new brand in the value segment," he added.
Employment at the factory is projected to be 2,000 at full capacity, according to the impact study.
International Finance Corp., the financial arm of the World Bank Group, provided foreign currency loans totaling $54 million for the project and owns a 10 percent stake in MTPL.
The Mahansaria family has more than 30 years of experience in the off-highway tire industry, being involved in building two other major OTR tire businesses in India—Alliance Tire Group and Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT).
Earlier this year, MTPL acquired a majority stake in the Dutch off-highway tire distributor European Agriculture Tyre Distributor, a deal the company said was a "first step" in building a distribution network in the highly competitive European market.
Yogesh Mahansaria is the former majority owner and CEO of Alliance Tire Group and prior to that an executive with BKT Tyres Ltd. He orchestrated the purchase of Israel's Alliance Tyres in 2007 and then sold majority interest of the expanded enterprises in 2013 to the global investment firm KKR & Co. L.P.
Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. acquired ATG in 2016 from KKR, the Mahansarias and other minority shareholders.