TVS Srichakra to expand R&D centre in Italy


Chennai, Aug 20 (IANS): Expanding its research and development (R&D) centre in Italy, refurbishing the tyre test track in Madurai, launching a new brand and targeting exports are some of the plans that TVS Srichakra Ltd is implementing to get a stronger grip in the market, senior company officials said on Tuesday.

Part of the $8.5 billion TVS group, the company on Tuesday launched 19 new products under the new brand TVS Eurogrip and officials said over a period time it will be the sole brand for the company with the existing brand TVS Tyres getting phased out.

"We set up the R&D centre in (Italy's) Milan early this year. The centre has six senior officials. The head count there will be increased," Chief Technology Officer V. Sivaramakrishnan told reporters here.

He said the R&D centre will enable the company to know the international trend in tyre technologies.

Sivaramakrishnan also said the company will be refurbishing its tyre test track in Madurai so that the turnaround time for the test results is reduced and further course of action could be taken fast.

The company is in the process of filing patents for technologies developed by it, he added.

On the tyres for electric vehicles, he said those tyres will have to be energy efficient as there will be a lot of torque on the wheels.

About the launch of a new tyre brand, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, P. Madhavan, said the brand name TVS Eurogrip was decided so as to give an international flavour and it was the preferred choice of the people surveyed.

According to him, one of the unique feature of the TVS Eurogrip tyres is the air seal technology which enables longer retention of air and enabling fuel efficiency and rider comfort.

He also said for some time the company will have two brands - TVS Tyres and TVS Eurogrip - and over a period of time the former will be taken out as the new product under the new brand will replace the older ones.

The new tyres provide good stability at high speeds and are rated to run at speeds up to 270 kmph.

Madhavan said the new tyres will be rolled out of the company's two plants and will target segments ranging from mopeds to 500 cc bikes.

He did not see the need for two brands from the company to play in the market.

Officials said the company plans to increase its exports by entering into newer markets.

According to company President P. Srinivasavaradhan, the company will be targeting the vehicle makers as well as the replacement market for the new brand.

He said the new-age rider is looking for design, superior quality and better performance.

TVS Srichakra rolls out about 2.8 million tyres per month and the two-wheeler market is expected to log growth as the youth population is huge in the country, Director P. Vijayaraghavan said.

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