Business

CEAT Kelani’s truck bus radials enter the market

Heavy-duty, high-performance radial tyres, custom-engineered for trucks, buses, and prime movers ideal for Sri Lanka’s roads and domestic conditions, have been commercially launched by CEAT Kelani Holdings, which produces nearly half of the country’s tyre requirements.

Part of a phased execution of a Rs. 3 billion investment announced in January 2018, the first locally-produced truck bus radial (TBR) tyres have undergone extensive road tests in Sri Lanka and India for several months after the initial batches rolled out custom-designed Italian machinery at the state-of-the-art production facility set up at the CEAT Kelani manufacturing complex in Kelaniya, prior to their release to the market.

Finished on advanced machines imported from Europe, these tyres will cater to the rapid “radicalisation” of the commercial tyre segment in Sri Lanka, with truck and bus fleets seeking the running cost and performance benefits of radial tyres over bias ply tyres. The CEAT brand already enjoys a dominant 65% share of the domestic truck and bus tyre market, of which about 55% still uses bias ply tyres.

Speaking at the ceremonial launch of the TBR, CEAT Kelani Holdings Chairman Chanaka De Silva said: “CEAT Kelani Holdings is a shining example of a very successful joint venture, with productivity improvements across our plants in Kelaniya post the JV. We have moved from the old conventional nylon tyres to the tyres you see here today. With the introduction of TBR tyres, which require the apex of tyre technology, and with our new generation car tyres, CEAT Kelani factories now produce tyres equivalent to any major international tyre producer.”

“Our investment in a TBR plant in Sri Lanka is a huge milestone not just for the company, but also for the market as well, because we will offer commercial radial tyres on par with the highest-quality equivalents made in India, enabling significant import substitution on TBRs coming in from India as well as China,” CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Ravi Dadlani said. “These tyres have the important advantage of being designed and built to perform under local conditions up to local expectations, while matching international quality and safety standards.”

The first locally-produced truck bus radial launched by CEAT Kelani in the Sri Lankan market is the CEAT Winmile AW in the 10.00 R 20 size which is widely used on trucks, prime movers, and buses. The tyre is designed to carry heavy loads and higher mileage, delivering better cost per kilometre over competitor brands, the company said.