CEAT To Open New Rs 600 Million Radial Plant In Sri Lanka

CEAT Kelani Holdings, the company that manufactures half of Sri Lanka’s tyre requirements, has announced a further commitment to the country in the form of an investment of Rs 600 million on a new tyre plant to produce high-end radial tyres.

The new plant is integrated with the sprawling CEAT Kelani manufacturing complex at Kelaniya, enabling it to seamlessly augment production of CEAT branded tyres for the domestic and export markets, the company said.

When the new tyre building machines and presses start production in April 2014, CEAT Kelani will increase its radial tyre building and curing capacity by 70 per cent, from 23,000 tyres per month to 39,000.

“This new investment represents a landmark in the growth and evolution of CEAT as Sri Lanka’s top tyre brand, not only in volume terms, but in terms of product range and quality as well,” CEAT Kelani Managing Director/CEO Raman Rajagopalan said. “The addition of manufacturing capacity is accompanied by investments in new machinery and equipment that can deliver a quantum leap in quality improvements and products for new tyre categories that will move the brand up the value chain.”

New technology acquisitions for the new plant include the latest Bead Apexing Machine, Cap Ply and Cap Strip Machine and improved tyre building machines and curing presses that will enable the company to produce a new grade of high performance radials in larger sizes for high end cars, Mr Rajagopalan added.

Additionally, the use of segmented moulds instead of two-piece moulds would give the new radial plant the capability to manufacture high quality block-pattern radial tyres for high end Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and off-road vehicles,CEAT Kelani Vice President – Sales & Marketing Ravi Dadlani said, disclosing that the new plant will also produce key high end sizes such as the 235/70 R 16, the 195/65 R 15 and the 185/65 R 15.

“All products that come out of the new radial plant will be engineered to provide all round performance and meet the expectations of the discerning segment of radial tyre users who drive expensive Japanese and European vehicles,” Mr. Dadlani added.

The market leader in Sri Lanka in both the radial and commercial tyre segments, CEAT has accounted for nearly 50 per cent of the country’s tyre requirements since the second quarter of 2013-14, contributing to a massive saving of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka through import substitution. The brand currently has market shares of 57 per centfor tyres in the Truck/Light Truck category, 32 per cent in radials, 46 per cent in 3-Wheeler, 19 per cent in motorcycle and 73 per cent in the agricultural segments.

Of CEAT’s total monthly production of 1450 tons, about 500 tons or a third is exported to markets in South Asia, the Middle East, the African continent and many other countries.

A global tyre brand present in 110 countries and now headquartered in India, CEAT is an acronym that stands for Cavi Electrici Affini Torino, or Electrical Cables & Allied Products of Turin, with origins that date back to 1924 in Italy. A National Business Excellence Award winner in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and a National Quality Award winner in the ‘Manufacturing – Large’ category in 2013, CEAT - Kelani Holdings is a successful Indo-Sri Lanka joint venture between the RPG Group of India and Kelani Tyre – Sri Lanka. The company operates three manufacturing units in Sri Lanka and employs a workforce of 1,000 people.

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