Balkrishna Tyres, the Indian tire manufacturer which has a six per cent share of the global off highway tire market formally inaugurated its sprawling greenfield facily in Bhuj with a “Gamechanger” conference for members of the international press, dealers, suppliers and VIPs.
The company had commissioned the first phase of the Bhuj facility back in October 2014. The Bhuj plant which sprawls over 312 acres with an investment of USD 500 million forms the cornerstone of the company expansion program that will end this year. About 90 per cent of BKT’s tires are exported to other markets.
As an outcome of the expansion and the production at the new plant, the company’s annual production capacity will almost double from 1,44,000 tons to 270,000 tons. About 60 per cent of the total capacity at the Bhuj plant will be utilized for the production of radial tires which are currently becoming more popular than bias tires in this segment. The plant is currently running at 46 per cent capacity and is scheduled to reach its full capacity in 2017. The pant in Bhuj is the company’s fourth factory with the other factories which are located in Aurangabad, Chopanki and Bhiwadi already running at full capacity.
The new plant will lead to significant reduction in costs related to logistics and power and fuel as it is close to the Mindra port in Maharshtra. It also has a 20 MW captive power plant and a rubber mixing plant. The Bhuj plant also comes with its very own R&D wing and an outdoor test track for all speciality products.
Though there is significant competition from Chinese tire manufacturers and their products have lower prices, the company is not too worried about this aspect as the company’s products are renowned for their quality and are thoroughly tested before they reach the market. It is the only tire manufacturer in India that is REACH compliant for its entire range of products and each product is taken through 450 testing stages in the manufacturing process.
The company’s aim in the long term is to achieve a leadership position in the global market for off-highway tires and the plant will play a crucial role in achieving this objective as it is equipped with the most modern and state of the art equipment and machinery. BKT has also launched an aggressive marketing campaign in recent months backed by digital marketing efforts and product innovation. BKT has an inhouse unit for mold design and production at Dombivali in Maharashtra that shortens production cycle and gives BKT greater production flexibility. With BKT products available in over 130 countries across the world, the Bhuj plant is set to take BKT to greater heights.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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