India has over 220 million registered vehicles, according to figures published by the government’s statistics portal.
India also ranks as the world’s fourth-largest market for passenger and commercial vehicles, research by various agencies indicate.
Consequently, the country is home to some 39 tyre manufacturers who operate about 60 plants, most of them based in northern India.
Like anywhere in the world, India has an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) market for tyres as well as replacements.
Types of Tyre Markets in India
Vehicles in India are classified into various categories. These include taxable and non-taxable vehicles.
Those exempt from taxes generally include vehicles used for agricultural purposes and certain types of passenger transport such as bicycles, buses of state-run schools.
However, every vehicle requires tyres. Hence, in India there exist three tyre markets.
1. OEM & Replacement: Consists of manufacture and sale of new tyres for assembly-line fitting on vehicles or replacing those worn out.
2. Unregulated: The unregulated tyre market of India is distinctly constituted of individuals and small companies that import new tyres, generally from cheaper markets including China and countries of Far East Asia for sale within the limited geographic area.
3. Used Tyres: Unfortunately, this is a thriving business in India. Individuals and junk dealers buy used tyres from various sources.
They include used tyres traded-in for a discount while buying new ones, those taken off vehicles destroyed in accidents or sold as scrap as well as tyres from abandoned automobiles.
Despite these vagaries, India has a very sophisticated tyre manufacturing companies. Here we look at leading tyre companies or manufacturers in India.
Top 15 Tyre Companies in India in 2018
In India, there are two types of tyre Manufactures: Indigenous of wholly Indian-owned ventures as well as tyre companies operating under Joint Venture and subsidiaries of major foreign manufacturers.
1. MRF Tyre Company
Now a reputed tyre company in India and abroad, MRF Tyres opened in 1946 as a nondescript rubber balloon manufacturing unit from a small shack near Chennai, owned by KM Mammen Mappillai.
In 1950s, the company began producing rubber and was named Madras Rubber Factory (MRF).
Shortly later, in the 1960s the company ventured into manufacturing tyres, in collaboration with an American firm, Ohio-based Mansfield Tire & Rubber Co.
Over the years, MRF Tyres have become a global tyre brand. MRF sponsors cricket, soccer and other sports events in various ways.
Several top Indian cricket players can be seen using an MRF-branded bat while soccer players abroad wear the company logo on their T-Shirt sleeves.
2. Continental Tyre Company
Continental-Caoutchouc- und Gutta-Percha Companies was founded in Hanover, Germany on October 8, 1871 as a joint stock company.
The company made soft rubber products, rubberized fabric and solid rubber tyres for bicycles and horse-driven carriages.
In 1960s, Continental partnered with Modi Rubber Ltd, to launch Modi-Continental tyres for cars and commercial vehicles.
With the Indian government opening ownership of automobile and ancillaries manufacture to foreign companies, Continental Corporation bought over shares held by Modi Rubber.
The company now makes Continental tyres in India for cars, buses, trucks and various other applications.
3. JK Tyre Company
JK Tyre rightly calls itself as the pioneer of radial technology in India. JK Tyre, the first company to launch radials for passenger cars in 1977.
“With a vast experience and understanding of operating conditions in India, JK Tyre brings you the best technology for your cars and Sports Utility Vehicles.
JK Tyre’s wide range of tyres covers the entire spectrum of cars and SUVs available in the Indian market – from BMW, Mercedes and Audi to (Tata) Nano,” says the company website.
JK Tyres is also one of the oldest and most reputed tyre manufacturers of India. In addition to the local OEM and replacement markets, JK Tyre also exports its products.
4. Metro Tyres
Steadily moving on the road of progress since its inception in 1968, Metro Tyres, the flagship company of the Metro Group, is the most reliable name in its niche segment of bicycle, two wheeler and three wheeler tyres & tubes in India.
With a manufacturing capacity close to 30 million tyres and 30 million tubes annually, Metro Tyres commands 60% share of the cycle rickshaw tyres and tubes market, and 24% share of the bicycle tyres and tubes market in India.
Today, Metro Tyres is a USD 140 million conglomerate with 7 state-of-the-art manufacturing units, 10,000+ dealerships across the country, and presence in 53+ countries worldwide.
In consonance with its astounding track record, Metro Tyres is considered to be a key player in both domestic and overseas markets and has been hailed as “India’s Most Promising Brand for 2014-15.
Metro’s technical collaboration with Germany’s Continental AG, has greatly enhanced its position as a leader in the Indian tyre industry.
The company proudly conforms to TS-16949:2009 standards in all its units and meets the Indian and international standards for its various products, viz., ISI, ASTM, T&RA, JATMA and ETRTO. All its 7 manufacturing plants are ISO 14001:2004 certified.
5. Apollo Tyre Company
Ranked as the world’s 17th largest tyre manufacturer, Apollo Tyres Ltd has several accolades to its credit.
“Great Place to Work Institute identified Apollo Tyres as one of India’s Best Workplaces in Manufacturing – 2018. The company is ranked among the top 10 workplaces in the manufacturing segment in India.
Apollo Tyres has been rated highly for its transparency in performance management process, especially the variable pay, and the employee development programs,” says a news release issued by the company.
With headquarters in Gurgaon, Haryana, Apollo Tyres also has the distinction of being among the pioneers of India’s tyre manufacturing industry.
6. Asian Tire Factory Ltd
Not many may know of Asian Tire Factory Ltd also called ATF. However, it is a leader in India for the manufacture of off-road tyres- meaning those used for tractors, farm and construction equipment, among others.
ATF’s manufacturing unit is located in Jalandhar in India’s northern state, Punjab. Established in 1993, ATF is a world famous company.
“The company is accredited with ISO 9001:2008 quality system. ATF has its own research and development centre where continuous efforts are undertaken to improve products quality and manufacturing system.
Rigorous business standards adopted by the management, right from raw material stage till the final inspection,” says the company’s website.
ATF markets its off-road tyres in 74 countries worldwide.
7. Birla Tyres Company
Birla Tyres was first established in 1991. It was a part of Kesoram Industries Limited. Birla Tyres began manufacturing tyres in India in collaboration with Italy’s globally acclaimed brand, Pirelli.
Birla is now recognized as one of the best tyre manufacturers in India. Birla Tyres is reputed for dozens of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives it has taken across India.
These include providing clean drinking water to villages, environment protection and healthcare for residents of rural India. Birla Tyres product range covers passenger and commercial vehicles of all makes.
8. Balkrishna Tyres (BKT)
Mumbai-based Balkrishna Tyres (BKT) is a leader in off-the-road (OTR), agricultural and industrial tyres.
The rapid industrialization of India, as well as growth in agriculture sector, has caused a tremendous demand for superior quality tyres made by BKT.
“The company is the official and exclusive tire manufacturer of Monster Jam and its fleet of monster trucks.
Monster Jam is a top sporting event in America with monster truck racing and freestyle competitions. The thrilling motoring shows are broadcast on TV,” says it’s corporate website.
9. TVS SrichakraTyres
TVS Srichakra Ltd is another leading tyre manufacturer of India. The company is well reputed for its two-wheeler and three-wheeler tyres.
TVS Srichakra Tyres is part of TVS Auto Ancillary Group that has a turnover of US$ 6 billion. The company has two state-of-the-art manufacturing units at Madurai, Tamil Nadu and Rudrapur, Uttrakhand,.
TVS Srichakra manufactures two and three-wheeler tyres, industrial pneumatic tyres, farm and implement tyres, skid steer tyres, multipurpose tyres and floatation tyres.
It supplies to all major automobile manufactures in India and has significant exports too.
10. MRL Tyres Ltd
MRL Tyres (formerly known as Malhotra Rubbers Ltd.) is a company from the Malhotra Group of Industries. MRL Tyres was established in 1984.
The company manufactures industrial, OTR, commercial and specialized tyres for a variety of applications.
Its products are sold in over 85 countries. “MRL Tyres Ltd. is known for being one of the most dependable and experienced companies in the tyre industry.
Headquartered in New Delhi, India, we have 1700 Stock Keeping Units in 85 countries around the world,” says the company website.
11. CEAT Tyre Company
Mumbai-based CEAT Tyres are the flagship company of the Rs 220 billion e RPG Enterprises.
It was established in 1958. “Today, CEAT is one of India’s leading tyre manufacturers and has a strong presence in global markets.
CEAT produces over 15 million tyres a year and offers the widest range of tyres to all segments and manufactures world-class radials for heavy-duty trucks and buses, light commercial vehicles, earthmovers, forklifts, tractors, trailers, cars, motorcycles and scooters as well as auto-rickshaws,’ says the company
12. Tychee Juno Tyres Company
Tychee Juno Tyres (TJ Tyres) is a fairly new entrant and a startup in India.
The company, formed by a team of engineers from Odisha, won awards from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of US for creating what was billed as the world’s first puncture resistant tyres.
Encouraged by this and other accolades, the team launched Tychee Juno Tyres. Currently TJ Tyres manufactures tyres for passenger and commercial vehicles at manufacturing units based in Tirupati, the renowned temple city in India’s southern state, Andhra Pradesh.
13. Tirupati Tyres Ltd
Tirupati Tyres Ltd is engaged in buying, selling, dealing in wholesale and in retail importing and accounting of all kinds of tyres and tubes for cycles, bicycles, tricycles, moped, scooters, motorcycles, auto rickshaws, tractors, trucks, buses, car and other self-moving vehicles.
The Mumbai-based company launched as a private firm in 1988.
However, it went public in January 1995 and its stocks are listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The company offers a wide range of tyres to suit every need.
14. Falcon Tyres Ltd
Falcon Tyres Ltd is a major player in the Indian market. The company was formed in 1973 and sold tyres under the Dunlop brand.
However, it was bought over by the Ruia Group in December 2005. Falcon Tyres Ltd has manufacturing units at Mysore, Karnataka.
“Falcon entered into a Technical Aid Agreement with Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd of Japan which provided the company access to the latest International technology, new product range, upgraded product quality and the best processes.
Ensuring established global standards in quality, the production capacity of the Mysore plant was gradually augmented from 350,000 tyres a month to more than 1,000,000 tyres a month and is being further enhanced.
A 6MW co-generation power plant has also been commissioned,” says the company website.
15. GRL Tyre Company
GRL Tires is the brand leader for bicycle, two-wheeler and three-wheeler tyres. The company was formed in 1964.
Since it has been producing superior quality bicycle and auto-rickshaw tires that are suited for all terrains.
Its bicycle tyres are specially made keeping rough roads and mountain tracks of India in mind.
The three-wheeler tyres sold in India are also adapted to suit Indian roads.
Additionally, the company has tyres for sports and other users that are exported to countries around the world.
GRL’s bicycle tyres are preferred for adventures biking and mountain biking in several foreign countries.
Indian Tyre Companies
According to various sources, the tyre volume demand in India is expected to grow by seven to eight percent during the fiscal year 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
According to ICRA, this growth will be fueled by higher OEM and stable replacement demand for tyres. Replacement demand for the truck and buses (T&B) is likely to pick up to five percent in the fiscal year 2018, the ICRA report states.
Future of Indian Tyres Company
According to the TechSci Research report, “India Tire Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2021’’, the country’s tire market is forecast to witness a Compound Annual Growth Rate of over nine percent during 2016-2021.
Though the replacement tire demand had a majority share in 2015, the OEM tire demand is expected to outpace replacement tire demand during 2016-2021.
In 2015, the Northern region accounted for the largest share in India’s tire market, followed by Southern, Eastern and Western regions of the country.
Over the next five years as well, Northern and Southern regions are forecast to continue their market dominance and grab a cumulative market share of nearly 59 percent in 2021.
Two-wheeler tire segment, which accounted for a volume share of over 50 percent in the country’s tire market in 2015, is also expected to maintain its position as the largest tire segment over the next five years.
“India Tire Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2021” report elaborates following aspects of tire market in India:
As India emerges as one of the biggest markets for passenger and commercial vehicles as well as off-the-road (OTR) automobiles, the demand for the tyre is all set to increase.
Already, several major Indian companies are gearing their production facilities to cater to the anticipated demand.
This scenario will also lead to a spurt in the number of tyres imported from the Far East into India by small traders and enterprises.
Hence, the Indian tyre company- organized and unorganized, are set to witness a boom.