Continental Tires India will commercially roll out its Intelligent tyres (I-tyres) for the commercial vehicle segment in the first quarter of 2023.

Additionally, this year the company will focus on introducing upgrades to its existing offerings in the Indian market, Samir Gupta, Managing Director, Continental Tires India, and Head of Central Region, BA Tires APAC, told businessline.

New tech to the fore

“I-tyres is a technology, not a separate tyre design, meant only for tubeless tyres. These sensors, developed by our automotive arm, are fitted into tubeless tyres.”

The idea is to bring more safety aspects to the commercial vehicle segment on Indian roads. “We believe consumers in the passenger car segment are much more aware of the safety aspects than those in the commercial vehicle segment.”

Moreover, Gupta claims that the fact that tubeless tyres are used by a much smaller market— only 5–6 per cent of the market uses tubeless tyres in the commercial segment — shows the growth potential the segment has in India.

In addition to the I-tyres, other things that are in the pipeline for this year include the CrossContact HT line — essentially a line to increase highway safety. “Another product is the successor line for the ContiSportsContact line, which is PC6.”

Focus on growth

Currently, Continental offers products in two segments— commercial and passenger vehicles. Within the commercial segment, there are bias tyres and radial tyres; In passenger car tyres, tyres ranging from 13-inch to 20-inch are being produced in India.

For the next one or two years, we intend to grow at 15 to 20 per cent and will keep improving our production capacities as far as SUV tyres are concerned. The commercial vehicle segment will focus on digitalisation, safety, and Tyres and bringing these technologies to the market.

Similarly, he said, “We see a lot of opportunities in terms of premiumisation that is happening in the country. That is obviously a growth market for us, and that will remain a focus.”

Capex plans

“In the last 10 years, we have invested more than ₹1,000 crore as capital expenses in the Modipuram plant,” the MD said on the company’s capex plans.

Currently, Continental Tires employs around 1,400 across its operations, and operates one manufacturing plant in Modipuram, where it produces tyres for both domestic and export consumption.

“We are only exporting commercial vehicles to some of the Asian countries. Our plant in Modipuram is primarily meant for India. So, even in the commercial vehicle segment, more than 90 per cent of total production would be for the domestic market, with only about 10 per cent exported.”