Michelin to roll out delayed Chennai tyre plant this year

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 25, 2013 Published on March 25, 2013

All set: Prashant Prabhu, President, Michelin Group — Africa, India & West Asia, at the launch of Tamil Nadu and Chennai travel guide, in Chennai on Monday. — Bijoy Ghosh

Michelin expects its upcoming manufacturing plant in Chennai to commence production this year.

The French tyre maker had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tamil Nadu Government in 2009 to set up its first plant in the country at Thervoy Kandigai, in Thiruvallur district, 50 km north of Chennai.

The company had last announced that the plant would start operations in November last year. Earlier, the plant had witnessed issues of land acquisition and protests from nearby villages.

Questioned on the delay in getting the Rs 4,000-crore facility started, Prashant Prabhu, President, Michelin Group — Africa, India and West Asia, said to get a greenfield project started in a new market requires doing everything from scratch.

Tyre manufacturers such as Apollo Tyres, which kick-started a plant in Oragadam, Chennai, in quick time, have had a longer presence and history of manufacturing in India, he said.

Michelin has started installing equipment at the plant. It hopes to start running the equipment soon. “By mid-year, we expect to start production,” said Prabhu.

The company has hired over 600 engineers who were sent to Michelin manufacturing facilities worldwide to get trained.

The sluggish commercial vehicle market does not worry Michelin. “Markets go through economic changes but the need for radial tyres in India is large,” said Prabhu, on the sidelines of an event to launch the Michelin Green Guide on Chennai and Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu travel guide (priced Rs 1,100) is the first in the India series. It contains information on places of interest, restaurants, hotels, shopping, history, art and architecture. Michelin has produced over 114 titles in ten languages. They are sold in 100 countries across the world.

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Published on March 25, 2013
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