“The Long-term Outlook Is Definitely Positive” – Arnab Banerjee, COO, CEAT
MOTORINDIA|October 2019
In an exclusive interview with Rajesh Rajgor, Chief Operating Officer Arnab Banerjee, CEAT Ltd., exudes optimism and foresight towards his company’s near future. With investments in research and development and ramp-up in capacities to bring the right product mix, CEAT is rising up to the challenge
Rajesh Rajgor

Established in 1958, CEAT, the flagship company of RPG Enterprises, today produces over 15 million tyres a year and offers the widest range of tyres to all segments. The company 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. Excerpts from the interview:

How has business been for CEAT this financial year? Given the challenging market conditions at present, how are you coping with the muted OEM demand? And are sales in the aftermarket sector coming as a good respite for tyre makers like your company?

OE volume drops have been as per their production cuts. As we were present in OE new launches, our volumes were somewhat cushioned as new launches have done better even in the present muted business environment. We have grown or held market share in replacement and the market itself has been growing in low single digits.

How are your five operational Indian facilities functioning? How much of their total capacity are they running at? What is the status of your Chennai plant?

Our Chennai facility will start ramping very soon. Halol and Nagpur have very good capacity utilisation and we are adding capacity at both places. Bhandup and Nashik put together are running below full capacity because of lower demand in bias categories.

Could you please elaborate on the total production capacity? What is your capacity for truck and bus bias and radial tyres?

Our TBR capacity is ramping up to approximately 120,000 tyres per month. Our overall capacity is just over 1,000 TPD, including outsourced goods. Our PC and UV capacity is 5 lakh tyres per month, which will ramp up to 13 lakh tyres with the Chennai plant.

With growing competition from home-grown and multinational tyre brands on one side and aggressive approach from low-cost Chinese brands on the other, what is CEAT’s strategy to tackle such competition? Can you pick out three main areas or aspects which differentiate your brand from the rest in the market?

Our brand is gaining on salience as well as on relevance in the right target group. In terms of perception, we score very high on safety as well as life of the tyre. These are highly relevant brand attributes amongst our target group of customers. We are steadily improving our service aspects which are very relevant in the commercial vehicle category.

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