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Old 17th November 2009, 11:36   #1
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Default Michelin setting up a factory in Tamil Nadu

Michelin is setting up a full-scale tyre factory in TN. At the moment, they do have an Indian presence, but its merely based on importing tyres from other global production sites.

This is fantastic news! Bridgestone has done well for itself, especially in the OEM sector, yet their tyres don't pack appeal to us enthusiasts. Question is : Will Michelin maintain the same quality as its foreign counterparts? They better!

We can expect better pricing, more new cars sold with Michelin as OEM and fresher stock. @ Michelin : Be sure to include atleast 2 performance tyres & 1 offroad in your line up.

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y said it will invest 40 billion rupees ($868 million) to set up a new factory in India's southern Chennai city.

The company expects the factory, which will make radial tires for trucks and buses in India and employ 1,500 people, to start production in 2012.

Monday, Michelin signed a pact with the state government of Tamil Nadu to set up the 290-acre plant 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Chennai, the capital of the province.

"We believe that India holds tremendous potential for the Michelin group in terms of establishing a world class manufacturing facility," said Prashant Prabhu, president, Michelin Africa-India-Middle East.

The rise in demand for automobiles has prompted several Indian and foreign tire makers to invest in the country. These companies are betting not only on the increasing demand in the local market but also want to use the low-cost manufacturing base in India for exporting tires.
Source : Wall Street Journal
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Old 17th November 2009, 11:42   #2
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They might have signed the MoU yesterday, but this was fixed almost 1 year back. However, it will take a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time before Michelin car tyres are made in India. This is mainly for truck and bus radials. That segment is expanding rapidly and Bridgestone are also setting up a factory soon. I cannot reveal where though, but they have major plans.

As of now, the price difference in the car tyre market isnt that much for Michelin to prioritise PCR(Passenger car radials).

It will mean nothing to people like us. It will mean a lot to fleet owners, transporters and government transport agencies who use Volvo buses and the new generation of Tata, Hino and Ashok Leyland buses and trucks. These are the vehicles which run on radial tyres. Most of the older buses and trucks still run on crossply tyres and when they are worn out, retreaded tyres.
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Old 17th November 2009, 11:42   #3
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Great news; hope the quality and prices are in the right direction.

But, seems like they have no plans for passenger vehicle segment initially.
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Old 17th November 2009, 11:43   #4
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I just read it in the newspaper. This is definitely good news esp to us all Michelin fans.

However, from the news report I am not sure if this plant would make car tyres (at least to begin with) as the focus seems to be towards tyres for trucks and buses. And with production set to start in 2012, can we expect car tyres to roll out by around 2015 or so?
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Old 17th November 2009, 12:12   #5
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Hopefully this will bring down the prices. They better do.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:05   #6
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A positive side-effect of international tyre brands setting up shop here is that, the quality of local brands shoots up. I had never imagined I'd read positive reviews of an Apollo tyre from enthusiasts. But many BHPians have posted just that!!
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:27   #7
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Definitely a wonderful move by Michelin. So the concerned authorities must be still importing tires for the B7R's, all the B7R's are running on Michelins. Benefit to car enthusiasts and the common man is zilch.Unless they focus on the car/SUV/MUV segments there is not much room for expansion.

Come to think of it, the local truck/bus drivers wouldn't pay a premium and pick up Michelin tires when desi brands such as JK's/MRF/Vikrant are available at cheaper prices.
Apparently I have even seen trucks running on retreaded Michelins which came as surprise to me.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I had never imagined I'd read positive reviews of an Apollo tyre from enthusiasts. But many BHPians have posted just that!!
I though they were locally manufactured and they have a good customer base out here in the bus/truck/mini truck segments.
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Old 17th November 2009, 13:52   #8
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This is good move, BUT important point I would continue to buy only Michelins If they continue to give same or better quality even if tyre is made in India. I noticed in many brands when it is made in India quality sucks big time. Hope Michelin set the benchmark by violating this trick and continue to produce good quality tyres.

Cost wise I found Michelin is cheaper for comfort and peace of mind it gives. I would be happy If they continue to sell imported tyre rather than manufacturing tyres in India.

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 17th November 2009, 15:15   #9
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Just truck/bus tyres ?!! What does it take for them to see the Indian car tyre potential ???
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Old 17th November 2009, 16:10   #10
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The only weakness of Michelin was pricing if they can sort this out by locally manufacturing tire here they might be much more successful commercially. And its a good news for us enthusiasts.
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Old 17th November 2009, 16:17   #11
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This is good news and hope that they do maintain their quality, which is what makes them so likable and would not get into a price game with existing players and cut corners to garner market share. At the end of the day, one needs to understand that we need to pay for a quality product. There isn't any other way around it.
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Old 17th November 2009, 16:21   #12
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I will be waiting to see whether they stiffen the sidewalls for India.
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Old 17th November 2009, 16:55   #13
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To be honest, I dont see a reduction in prices with Michelin even if they manufacture car tyres in India. Michelin has a premium pricing all over the world and it's the same here.

By Michelin standards, their pricing is competitive in India. See Yokohama. They are also importing tyres, but they have priced their tyres extremely well and are able to take on Bridgestone, Apollo, etc....

Michelin's pricing is expensive, but it NOT due to the importing of tyres. It is due to the brand name of MICHELIN.

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I will be waiting to see whether they stiffen the sidewalls for India.
Why should they? They will not. The XM1+ has hard enough sidewalls already.

The Primacy LC is doing well enough. Not too many complaints. Why should they stiffen the sidewalls and ruin the ride comfort which is their biggest plus point?

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 17th November 2009 at 16:56.
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Old 17th November 2009, 17:50   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
See Yokohama. They are also importing tyres, but they have priced their tyres extremely well and are able to take on Bridgestone, Apollo, etc....
Agreed thats the reason a new entrant in the market and still they able to sell very good numbers. Yoko tires can be easily spotted on lots of cars everywhere now.
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Old 18th November 2009, 13:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Benefit to car enthusiasts and the common man is zilch.Unless they focus on the car/SUV/MUV segments there is not much room for expansion.
Well, only a matter of time before they start manufacturing passenger car tyres. This is a step in the right direction.

Quote:
I though they were locally manufactured
Of course they are! That's why my comment that Indian tyre manufacturers have to raise the bar with the recent foreign competition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravibhat View Post
This is good move, BUT important point I would continue to buy only Michelins If they continue to give same or better quality even if tyre is made in India. I noticed in many brands when it is made in India quality sucks big time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I will be waiting to see whether they stiffen the sidewalls for India.
Good points. I wouldn't say that the quality as such suffers, but what happens is localisation of design. The Indian car buyer wants maximum tyre life, that can make or break your reputation on the street. Thus, you have Bridgestone who came out with ultra hard wearing tyres (compromise of grip) like the S322 to keep their Indian customer happy.

Michelin will, without a doubt, localise their tyres too. I just hope they keep 2 - 3 tyres within their range for us enthusiasts who value grip over outright tyre life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Michelin has a premium pricing all over the world and it's the same here.
True. I remember picking up Bridgestones for like $70 in the States while the Michelin range started at $110 up.
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