CEAT Kelani Holdings has announced another significant increase in production that will more than double the number of Truck Bus Radial (TBR) tyres reaching the domestic market by June this year, further supporting the national effort to reduce dependence on imports and conserve foreign exchange.
The Company said production of the CEAT Winmile AW in the 10.00 R 20 size widely used on trucks,prime movers, and buseswill, in two phases of expansion, increase from 18,000 tyres a year to 40,200 a year.This gives CEAT the ability to supply 42 per cent of the local requirement for these tyres.
Incidentally, the CEAT Winmile AW tyre is the only Truck Bus Radial tyre produced in Sri Lanka, and is the result of a phased execution of a Rs 3 billion investment begun by the Company three years ago to expand product range, capacity and quality across multiple tyre categories. CEAT’s ground-breaking TBR production facility commenced production in April 2019 and the current expansion entailed the commissioning three more tyre presses, the Company said.
“Our original investments in expansion preceded the imposition by the government of a temporary restriction on certain imports, but we have continued to invest in capacity expansion in the tyre segments targeted by the restrictions, to meet market demand,” CEAT Kelani Managing Director Mr Ravi Dadlani said. “There is no restriction on the import of truck and bus tyres, but by August last year we had ensured that CEAT can supply 100 per cent of the requirement in this category through a combination of bias-ply and TBR tyres, generating an annual saving of Rs 11 billion in foreign exchange. This latest increase in production of TBR tyres will result in a further saving.”
Designed for carrying heavy loads and higher mileage, delivering better cost per kilometre over competitor brands, the CEAT Winmile AW has a Load and Speed Index (a numerical code associated with the maximum load a tyre can carry at the speed indicated by its Speed Symbol) of 146/143K. Consisting of a natural equilibrium carcass design with high casing durability and retreadability, the tyre offers excellent Belt and Bead durability due to a high bonding belt compound and bead consolidated with high strength rubber and steel. A strong Krebs design provides sidewall protection, while the tyre’s balanced combination of ribs generates outstanding traction. The robust tread design with wider footprint coupled with a cooler tread compound assures higher mileage and uniform tread wear.
The increase in TBR production at the CEAT Kelani manufacturing complex in Kelaniya comes hot on the heels of an increase in production of passenger car radial (PCR) tyres for rim sizes ranging from 12 to 14. Phase 1 of this increase has added 72,000 tyres a year to the Company’s radial tyre inventory, while Phase 2, expected to come on stream in May 2021, will add another 100,000 radial tyres per annum. Sri Lanka’s largest pneumatic tyre manufacturer, CEAT Kelani Holdings is considered one of the most successful India – Sri Lanka joint ventures in the manufacturing sector. The joint venture’s cumulative investment in Sri Lanka to date totals Rs 8 billion and its manufacturing operations encompass tyres in the radial (passenger cars, vans and SUVs), commercial (Bias-ply and radial), motorcycle, three-wheeler and agricultural vehicle segments.