Apollo Tyres has been an unmitigated success story since it was first founded in India in the 1970s. Today, it exports to over 100 countries and markets its products under its two global brands – Apollo & Vredestein.
The latter Netherlands-based premium brand was acquired a decade ago and has helped to firm up the manufacturer’s strategy of being a premium tyre company with a ‘diversified and multinational’ presence. It has since made a series of major acquisitions including Germany’s Reifencom which was bought for €45.6 million in 2015.
At the same time, it has also invested in organic growth in international markets with its offices in Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia & South Africa. While Apollo is a leading brand in India, Vredestein is a premium brand in Europe. Its global manufacturing footprint continues to expand with the launch of its Hungarian plant which will complement its tyre factory in the Netherlands, in addition to its four plants in India.
Soon after Vredestein purchase, the company moved to bolster its regional presence and established Apollo Tyres Middle East (ATME) as a legal entity in 2011. Demonstrating Apollo Tyres’ determination to build its share in the region, ATME marked the first time it had opened a sales and marketing subsidiary outside of India. Committed to driving organic growth in export markets, the ATME team includes sales, technical, customer service, back office and testing personnel.
The company sells its full range of Truck, Light Truck, Passenger Car and Off Highway Tyres through its distribution partners in more than 30 countries within the Middle-East, North Africa, East-West Africa and Central Asia regions.
Tyre customers have access to the full range of TBR (truck and bus radial) tyres from Apollo allowing it to cater for Highway, Regional, Mixed, and Position Specific applications. It also has a full range of PCR (passenger car radial) tyres for the vast majority of the countries covered by its ATME operation; addressing all types of cars and SUVs. Its OHT (off-highway tyre) range is growing and becoming more extensive every year catering to agricultural, construction, industrial, earth mover and special (Sand) applications.
ATME has continue to rack up a series of impressive benchmark achievements in developing markets like the GCC, Iran, Turkey, Ethiopia and Kenya. This progress has been largely driven by its ability to develop an in-depth understanding of local product requirements and use it to drive new product development and the launch of winning products for the region. It has also enabled it to roll-out its hands-on product training and industry-leading after sales service. The company has also embarked on a brand-building journey in some of its key markets in the region to help drive sustainable growth and create end-user awareness, as well as demand for its products over the long-term. This approach has helped Apollo Tyres ME to drive growth in its key product categories and expand our distribution in the region.
Tyre experts at its R&D facilities in Europe and India leverage on the latest advances in tyre technology. After the development phase, every Apollo tyre undergoes stringent quality checks in test laboratories externally and internally to be able to meet the demanding GSO and SASO PCR certifications and related green label values.
“Apollo TBR tyres are distinguished by their strong casing, excellent durability, superior mileage and retreadability. Our value proposition is compelling: Tier 1 quality at Tier 2 prices. We are bringing continuous support to the fleets to help them run a successful business. We have plenty of fleet customer testimonials from across the region and many loyal customers,” says Mr Shubhro Ghosh, Group Head – AMA (ASEAN, Middle-East & Africa).
According to Ghosh, Apollo Tyres is expanding its product line-up in 2019 and is looking forward to partnering with major OEMs as it consolidates its position as a major force in all segment of tyre categories.
Like other tyre majors, Apollo has sought partners beyond the industry to build its brand awareness, and most famously is associated with Manchester United Football Club (MUFC). Apollo Tyres Ltd introduced the limited edition dual branded — Apollo and Manchester United — tyres for the Middle East and North African (MENA) market in 2015 along with other regions. Loyalty schemes built around the partnership have also helped Apollo’s expansion.
Apollo Tyres’ partnership with Manchester United is now a global agreement after being extended to more than 100 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. This connection to Manchester Utd supports the brand to establish in new markets since there are huge numbers of followers of Manchester United in the MEA region.