With Apollo Tyres planning a North American expansion, the company has entered the truck and bus tire segment in Canada and the USA.
Manufacturing of the latest truck-bus tires will be carried out in the company’s production facilities based in Hungary and Chennai, India, where capacity and technical expertise will aid in a steady supply of tires to the American market.
The tire range will consist of regional, super-regional, coach and urban and mixed-use applications, ranging in sizes from 17.5in to 24.5in. Apollo states that 13 SKUs are planned for 2021, with a further 23 SKUs in the second part of 2022. A total of 45 SKUs are expected to cover 90% of the market by 2024.
“Apollo may be a new name in the US and Canada, but we are not a new company. Our market entry in North America is preceded by decades of global commercial vehicle tire manufacturing and distribution expertise,” said Abhishek Bisht, assistant vice president of the Americas, Apollo Tyres. “We come to market positioned to make an immediate impact by offering a Tier 1 value proposition at a more attractive price, while setting new industry standards for service and support.”
Following five years of research and development into the sector, Apollo Tyres gathered data to deliver products fit for purpose on fleets. Part of the development program involved a test fleet with a US-waste removal and haulage company, where the Apollo tires were benchmarked against other Tier 1 supplier competition. After tests were completed, the Apollo tires showed levels of performance and consistency that met the service requirements of North American fleet owners and customers.
“Our R&D efforts made it clear that a successful North American dealer strategy had to be based on transparency,” said Bisht. “This is a thrilling moment in our company’s history that will let us showcase the breadth and depth of our capabilities in one of the largest, most diverse and most demanding commercial markets in the world. We know that we have the people, products and passion to go the distance for our dealers and their clients. Like them, we are in this for the long haul.”
Alongside the North American expansion, the company’s premium brand, Apollo Vredestein, has released updated versions of its performance summer tire range for premium SUVs, high-performance cars and sportscars.
The Ultrac Vorti+ and Ultrac Vorti R+, produced in Enschede in the Netherlands, have been optimized for use with larger rims ranging from 18in to 22in, and now feature a different construction and revised compound to deliver all-round performance and efficiency in dry and wet conditions.
Some sizes of the latest summer tire have been optimized for rear-axle use and feature a wider belt angle for better stability, alongside circumferential grooves for efficient water drainage on wet roads to avoid aquaplaning.
When compared with its previous version, the Ultrac Vorti+ now features a stiffer shoulder construction and sidewalls, and a 13% larger bead area. The tire is now also produced using high-traction tread compounds to improve grip in all weather, resulting in increased response and precision, and a 5% improvement in dry weather handling.
For the Ultrac Vorti R+, a larger apex base, a stiffer sidewall, and a stable center rib provide predictable steering precision and improved handling capability. A high traction tread compound, made from a new performance-centric polymer and resin mix, aids in grip and control during braking and rapid changes of direction.
Yves Pouliquen, European sales and marketing director at Apollo Vredestein Europe, commented, “Vredestein tires already have a long-standing reputation within the high-performance segment, and we are building upon that with the launch of the new Ultrac Vorti+ and Vorti R+.
“Offering improved standards of performance and safety, and with all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive versions, these new tires are engineered for enthusiast drivers and for the most demanding dynamic situations.”