RPG Group-controlled tyre maker Ceat will diversify its product portfolio by offering technologies for connected vehicles and electric vehicles. According to the Mumbai-based company, the move will be a major diversification initiative in its 64-year-old history.
In fact, the Anant Goenka-led Ceat was one among 75 companies to have been selected to seek benefits under the Centre’s production linked incentive (PLI) scheme. The scheme has a budgetary outlay of nearly ₹26,000 crore.
“We have relationships with auto majors and can bring a value proposition to them. But we don’t want to do what 20 other companies are doing today. We are interested in the future trends like connected technologies and electric vehicles,” Arnab Banerjee, chief operating officer and whole-time director, Ceat, told BusinessLine .
Like smartphones, electric vehicles are increasingly becoming smarter especially with the use of internet. Ride data, vehicle diagnostics, battery behaviour and several other vital details of the vehicle can be tracked with the help of a smartphone.
Archaic analogue meters are making way to smart and digital displays which provide a variety of information including turn-by-turn navigation, drive range, Bluetooth connectivity, etc.
Other companies like Minda Industries and Pricol have already entered this space and providing solutions to vehicle makers. Both these companies, who have also been selected under the PLI scheme, set up new verticals catering to the requirements of electric vehicles. Ceat is yet to start its operations in this segment.
“We have shortlisted the segments (that interest us) but are yet to take the final call. The intention of participating in the PLI is to go after the non-tyre, tech-based business,” Banerjee added.
Last month, Ceat incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary Ceat Auto Components with an authorised capital of one crore rupees. The subsidiary will carry out the business of manufacturing, selling, marketing, exporting, importing of auto components for all categories of vehicles and any mode of transportation.
The demand for electric vehicles across categories — two-wheelers, three-wheelers, cars and mini trucks — have seen a robust growth in the past one year on the back of new launches. Vehicle makers are struggling to meet demand resulting in waiting periods as high as six months. An estimated 30 percent of passenger four-wheelers and 40 percent of two and three-wheelers will be electric by 2030, as per estimates of the government.
Recently, Ceat has unveiled its plan to launch branded tyres in the US, Canada, Australia and South America. In Europe, where the company has been present for several years, it will launch new tyres.