The Indian tyre industry is adopting new trends in its manufacturing process to evolve and keep up with the changing market dynamics. There arises a need to decrease the emission levels and increase the fuel efficiency in vehicles, throwing up quite a few challenges for the tyre industry.
As per the annual report of FY16, the tyre industry contributes nearly 3 per cent to the manufacturing GDP, while the entire automotive sector accounts for about 7 per cent and nearly 50 per cent to the nation’s manufacturing GDP. Tyre makers in India are diversifying their role in a phase, which is largely driven by demand and supply conditions, says Pawan Kumar Ruia, Chairman of Ruia Group.
The companies are under pressure to build products with minimal friction and offer higher fuel efficiency with an increasing focus on corporate average fuel efficiency norms to curb the alarming levels of pollution.
At this juncture, the tyre manufacturers are altering manufacturing mechanisms to meet the changing demands. Finer tolerances in the manufacturing process and inclusion of more radials are some of the latest trends taken up by the manufacturers. Apart from this, the other major trends also include low rolling resistance and focus on better traction and on-road performance, which automatically increases the fuel efficiency.
New tyres are offering greater mileage and improved performance in extreme weather conditions with constant improvements in rubber chemistry and tyre designs. Estimated to last up to 80,000 miles, these newly manufactured tyres are designed and tested by computer, featuring asymmetrical bands for improved safety on wet roads.
The companies are also advancing the manufacturing facilities with technologies that improve heat development in tyres, said Pawan Kumar Ruia, the Chairman of Ruia Group. To help in the manufacturing process and increasing tyre performance by lowering the rolling resistance, the usage of higher component of silicais also preferred by the tyre makers.
Increased usage of less harmful raw materials helps in lowering pollution levels, as these segments form a majority of the automobile sales. As compared to the last decade, there is a huge difference in the design and weight of the tyres made by the manufacturers today.
However, there is not much difference in the commercial vehicle space, particularly in the Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicle (M&HCV) segment. Major transformationsare unlikely to happen in terms of light weighting, as the tyres need to be heavy to sustain on the Indian roads.