With the 51:49 joint venture Michelin Apollo Tyres failing to take off, the France-based Michelin, the world's second largest tyremaker, is planning to set up its own truck and bus radial manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, Pune.
The plant will come up adjacent to Apollo's existing facility in Ranjangaon. In 2004, Apollo and Michelin had announced a tie-up for setting up a production unit in the same region to produce truck and bus radials, primarily to cater to the domestic market.
According to the JV, the plant would have had an annual capacity of 300,000-350,000 units with an investment of $75 million.
Later in 2005, Apollo Tyres and the Michelin group had agreed to "realign their business plans" and had announced Apollo's exit from MATL.
"The group (Michelin) has already secured the land in the region for setting up the radial facility there. We will perhaps hear a formal announcement from them this year," said a top industry official who did not wish to be named.
The group has roped in Germany's luxury carmaker BMW for supply of passenger car tyres, which would be churned out from the latter's assembly unit in Chennai.
The decision to end the joint venture was taken based on the prevailing market conditions then and the pace of radialisation in truck and bus tyre segments. The partners had decided to refocus their respective resources towards more immediate projects.Michelin's global competitor Bridgestone, which already has a passenger vehicle plant in the country, is said to be considering the possibility of setting up a truck and bus radial manufacturing facility, as its existing facility would not be able to produce such tyres.