CEAT Kelani Holdings has announced a production increase of 84,000 radial tyresper year for passenger cars and vans, in its second expansion in this segment within the past four months.
The expansion will see Sri Lanka’s top tyre brand take annual radial tyre production to 600,000 – an increase of 16 per cent over current production of 516,000 radials, and further ease pressure on supply attributed to government-imposed restrictions on the import of certain sizes to conserve foreign exchange.
The production increase comes with the addition of two more tyre presses and a tyre building machine at the CEAT Kelani manufacturing complex in Kelaniya, supplementing the two new tyre presses commissioned in March this year under Phase 1 of the expansion plan.
With monthly radial tyre production ramping up to 50,000 units in the most in-demand sizes, availability is expected to improve for tyres that fit many makes of cars and vans including Suzuki Alto, Maruti Suzuki Alto, Maruti Suzuki Omni, Tata Ace Ex2, Hyundai- Eon, Mitsubishi Minicab, Toyota HiAce, Nissan Vanette, Lanka Ashok Leyland Dost, Tata Winger, Nissan Urvan, Kia K2500, Suzuki- Super Carry, Maruti Suzuki, Super Carry, Piaggio Porter, Toyota Town Ace, Toyota Lite Ace, SuzukiWagon R, DaihatsuMira ES, Nissan Dayz, Nissan Note, Honda Freed and Toyota Avanza.
Besides the volume increases they provide, the new presses installed under the expansion project are hydraulic, significantly improving the uniformity, ride and handling parameters and the overall aesthetics of the radial tyresthey produce.
Commenting on this latest expansion, CEAT Kelani Managing Director Mr Ravi Dadlani said: “The CEAT brand supplied nearly half of Sri Lanka’s pneumatic tyre requirements for several years before the pandemic. The disruption of transport logistics worldwide due to the pandemic combined with the temporary import restrictions on certain categories and sizes of tyres, required us to accelerate production to help meet the domestic shortfall. As a result, we have increased radial tyre production by as much as 32 per cent since March this year, which could be considered an admirable response to the situation.”
CEAT Kelani Holdings increased capacity utilisation across all its manufacturing plants last year, to supply the additional domestic requirements of truck, bus, three-wheeler, car, and van tyres in the absence of imports. In August last year, the Company increased production to supply 100 per cent of the passenger bus and goods transport sectors’ tyre needs through domestic production, potentially saving Sri Lanka Rs 11 billion a year in foreign exchange.
CEAT Kelani also achieved an 85 per cent increase in the production of tyres for the ‘two-wheeler’ segment over just three months between June and September 2020 and pushed production of tyres for motorcycles and scooters from 27,000 units a month in June 2020 to 41,000 per month in July and August and 50,000 per month from September 2020 onwards. This was expected to result in a further saving of Rs 350 million a year for the country.
The CEAT brand has been ranked the most valuable consumer brand in the country’s ‘Motor’ segment in the 2021 Brand Finance rankings and asone of the top five brands in Sri Lanka overall in terms of brand strength score. 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.