CEAT Kelani Holdings has moved into the new year with the added impetus of its appointment as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for a range of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light commercial vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC (LAL), a joint venture company of Ashok Leyland India.
Under this OEM agreement, CEAT tyres in nine sizes are to be fitted on about 1,800 Ashok Leyland vehicles rolling off the LAL assembly line at the state-of-the-art plant in Panagoda, Homagama annually. Of these, 1,000 will be heavy-duty trucks which are positioned as the first choice and the driving force in the Sri Lankan economy.
CEAT has undertaken to equip LAL’s ECOMET 1212 mini trucks, TAURUS 2518 10-wheeler trucks, TAURUS 1618 six-wheeler trucks, all types of flat-beds and container bodies, ECOMET 1012 tippers, and DOST light commercial vehicle range with CEAT tyres such as the 8.25-20 XL Super,8.25-20 HCL Super, Winmile AW 10.00 R20, 10.00-20 XL Super, 10.00-20 Brawo Orion, 8.25-16 FM, 8.25-16 Stamina, 185 R14 Rhino Plus, and 195 R15 Rhino Plus.
Commenting on this latest OEM agreement, CEAT Kelani Managing Director Ravi Dadlani said: “CEAT’s appointment as an OEM for Lanka Ashok Leyland is extremely timely, especially in the context of the national effort to conserve foreign currency. CEAT is delighted to support LAL’s local assembly operations as it represents an extension of the role the brand plays in meeting Sri Lanka’s tyre requirements. Our appointment as an OEM demonstrates the trust LAL has placed on CEAT, and is a testament to the robustness, reliability and value proposition of our tyres, which are engineered for local conditions.”
Defining features of the nine types of tyres to be supplied by CEAT as original equipment to LAL include high-mileage tread compound, high Denier fabric construction, energy-saving and dual-layer tread compound with heat-dissipating lug geometry, robust tread designs with wider footprint and block strong kerbs design, natural equilibrium carcass designs, cooler tread compounds, balanced combination of rib, high bonding belt compound and bead consolidated with rubber and steel, zig-zag circumferential grooves, and ribs with lateral notches.
These tyres are designed and built to offer durability, high threshold of loadability, remarkable fuel efficiency, uniform tread wear, excellent traction, steering stability, enhanced crown durability and increased mileage with cut and chip resistance, among others, the company said.
Notably, in November 2021, CEAT was also appointed as an OEM for Bolero City Pik-up vehicles assembled in Sri Lanka by Mahindra & Mahindra India in collaboration with Ideal Motors. CEAT has committed to supply up to 720 tyres per month from January 2022 onwards for a targeted maximum of 144 vehicles to be produced monthly by the Mahindra Ideal Lanka joint venture.
CEAT Kelani Holdings has also been the exclusive original equipment tyre supplier for Mahindra KUV100 compact SUVs assembled in Sri Lanka since 2019. All locally-assembled Mahindra KUV100 vehicles are fitted with CEAT FUELSMARRT 185/60 R 15 tyres.
CEAT Kelani Holdings increased capacity utilisation across all its manufacturing plants last year, to supply the additional domestic requirements of truck, bus, three-wheeler, car and van tyres. In August last year, the Company increased production to supply 100 per cent of the passenger bus and goods transport sectors’ tyre needs through domestic production, potentially saving Sri Lanka Rs 11 billion a year in foreign exchange.
CEAT Kelani Holdings is considered one of the most successful India – Sri Lanka joint ventures. The joint venture’s cumulative investment in Sri Lanka to date totals Rs 8 billion, inclusive of Rs 3 billion invested since January 2018 for expansion of volumes, technology upgrades and new product development. The company’s manufacturing operations in Sri Lanka encompass pneumatic tyres in the radial (passenger cars, vans and SUVs), commercial (nylon and radial), motorcycle, three-wheeler and agricultural vehicle segments.
The CEAT brand accounts for market shares in Sri Lanka of 48 per cent in the Radial segment, 80 per cent in the Truck category, 84 per cent Light Truck tyre category, 51 per cent in the Three-Wheeler tyre segment, 36 per cent in the Motorcycle tyre segment and 72 per cent in the Agricultural vehicle tyre category. CEAT Kelani exports about 20 per cent of its production to 16 countries in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East.