Apollo Targets Iranian Tire Market

Apollo Targets  Iranian Tire MarketApollo Targets  Iranian Tire Market

Moves to lift trading sanctions against Iran have prompted India's Apollo Tires to expand its supply of truck-bus radials in the country.

According to the tire-maker, new variants of its Endurace range of TBR tires were introduced to the 75+ Business Partners in Iran—in association with Apollo distributor Alton Rah Tohid Jonob Khozestan Coop Co.

“With high expectations of lifting of the economic sanctions on Iran by countries across the globe, the Iranian economy is expected to grow rapidly,” Apollo said in a June 11 release.

The waiver of sanctions could “also result in increased freight movement across the country, which is what Apollo expects to further leverage upon,” the company added.

Apollo has already been selling its truck-bus radials in the Middle Eastern country for the past two to three years.

“With the introduction of new variants of Apollo Endurace—MA737, HA, HD and RD—the company is now targeting a significant increase in its sales of truck-bus radials in the country by the end of the current fiscal [March 19, 2016],” the firm said in a statement.

Apollo said that its range of truck-bus and passenger vehicle tires has also been received positively in Iran. The company said it has dominated the truck-bus bias category for the last few years in the country.

The firm said it would also introduce its off-highway tires into the Iranian market going forward.

Apollo estimates the size of commercial vehicle tire market in Iran at around 300,000 tires per month, of which 60 percent are radials.

  Local Situation

In addition to the Apollo announcement, more than 150,000 tons of tires have been imported during the last Iranian year (ended March 20), most of which were imported from China, spokesperson of Iran's Tire Association, Mostafa Tanha, said.

Automakers have imported tires from China despite the fact that they have not been paying their debts to local tire manufacturers. Consequently, local production has reduced and the industry is declining, IRNA quoted him as saying on Wednesday.

According to the official, local carmakers are in debt to tire manufacturers by over 2.5 trillion rials ($75 million at market exchange rate).   

The official explained that over 350,000 tons of tires are used annually in Iran. Local tire manufacturers produce 400,000 tons of tires each year. However, due to the amount of import, local goods are kept in factory depots without being offered on the market.

"Locally manufactured tires are in line with national and international standards and can compete with foreign products. The amount of tires produced locally can also cover local demand," Tanha noted.

He added that local tire factories are equipped with the latest technologies, thus with effective planning, not only can local demand be met, manufacturers can also take on exports.