GENEVA -- India's Apollo Tyres Ltd. is reviving plans to build a greenfield tire factory in eastern Europe. Within five years, the company wants to begin manufacturing passenger-car tires in either Poland, Hungary or Slovakia with an investment of about 100 million euros.
"This will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced factories in the world," Vice Chairman Neeraj Kanwar said at a press event here on Wednesday.
Kanwar added that the decision for the 900-employee factory will be based on three main factors:
- The stability of the government, because the company wants to avoid a repeat of the political turmoil that ended its bid to open a plant in Hungary in 2008;
- The proximity to a port;
- The availability of talent, such as tire engineers and people with experience working for a tire maker.
In January 2008, Apollo announced plans to invest 200 million euros to build a passenger car radial tire plant in Hungary with an annual capacity of 7 million tires in the first phase, expected to be completed in 18 months. That plan was abandoned in August 2008, when the company began looking in Slovakia. In the end, the company added a small amount of capacity in Enschede, Netherlands, and built large, modern plants in India to serve EU demand.
Ranked 16th globally, the company aims to be one of the top 10 global tire makers within the next five years.
David Shaw contributed