Established its manufacturing base in India in 2014, Maxxis Rubber India, known as Maxxis Tyres, has been on expansion spree in both OE and aftermarkets segments. With its aggressive expansion, the Taiwanese tyre maker has set an ambitious target of having up to 15 percent market share in the two-wheeler market, including OE projects.
The company began its tyre business in 1967, manufacturing bicycle tyres in Taiwan in the name of Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd and today it ranks among top ten tyre manufacturers. Serving in over 180 countries, it manufacturers tyre products for cars and light trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, trailers, karts, industrial and lawn & garden care.
In 2015, the company became the OE suppliers for to Honda Activa 3 Gand then widened its OE supplier scope to a range of Honda motorcycles and scooter.
This year, the company entered a partnership with Yamaha, under which the tyre company will be supplying tyres to BS-VI compliant scooter range of Yamaha Ray ZR, Fascino and Ray ZR Street Rally 125 FI. Both companies also collaborated for one-of-its-kind retail partnership. As per the association, co-branded Maxxis tyres will be made available for sale at Yamaha dealerships.
“Both these partnerships along with another recent partnership with Suzuki Motorcycle for Access 125 will help elevate Maxxis presence across key markets in India and scale up the growth of our replacement market portfolio,” said Bing-Lin Wu, Marketing Head, Maxxis India. In addition to this, Maxxis also supplies tyres to Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Jeep in India.
In India, disruptive technologies and trends are being adapted in the local context at a faster pace. According to Wu, over the years, developing countries have evolved in a big way, paving the way for global manufacturers to explore opportunities that exist in emerging markets today. “I think India is a glaring example of how the gap between developed and developing countries is shrinking rapidly. Today’s customers are exposed towards new technologies, latest products and features that have made them aspirational and created disruption in the market for consumer’s good,” explained Wu.
Along with setting up the local production capabilities, Maxxis has also focused on establishing its dealer network across the country. Currently, it has around 2,000 dealers onboard from all over the country. “We are exploring new tie-ups and synergies, launching new tyre models with plans of setting up new plants,” said Bing-Lin Wu. The company offers several benefits such as Shop Boy Training, Canopy Campaign, Fitters’ Meet, Branding Support, Feature for customers to locate the dealer online through its site with directions, sales& service support etc, to its dealers.
Maxxis Tyres conducts dealer meets regularly pan India to ensure seamless communication with the dealers. Last year the company opened an exclusive retail store in Goa. “This is Maxxis Tyres’ first flagship store in India and will provide the highest quality tyres with a strong customer-first approach,” he said.
The Indian 2-wheeler market has always been highly competitive and dominated by a few players and a bigger challenge for any company to establish brand images among price-sensitive customers. Maxxis Tyres represents strong ethos on which the brand stands for such as safety, reliability and complete peace of mind. In 2018, the company started a unique initiative ‘Women In Front’ that aims to empower and encourage Indian women to experience the freedom of riding and challenge gender stereotypes. “As a company with a strong biking DNA, we believe that superior performance and safety go hand-in-hand. Through this initiative, we want to equip the women with relevant training and safety practices that will help them take the front seat and pave their own journey without any fear or hesitation,” he said.
Additionally, Maxxis also leverages dealer meet platforms and industry events to enhance visibility for the brand. For instance, last year the company participated in Gujarat Mechanic Auto Expo and Surat International Auto Expo in which we received over 2,500 and 1,500 enquiries, respectively.
The company also launched social media campaigns that used humour through a crisp story to establish the brand property connect with the election theme at the forefront and Maxxis 5-year No Questions Asked Replacement Warranty.
The company had poured in around USD 400 million to build the state-of-art manufacturing plant in Sanand, Gujarat to produce two-wheeler tyres. As per the company, the production capacity of the plant is around 20,000 tyres and 40,000 tubes per day.
The company had said that apart from catering to the domestic tyre market, it is currently exporting tyres to Nepal, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Maxxis also mentioned that it aims to come out with its entire range in the near future.
“Our long-term plan for operations includes setting up of five manufacturing plants in different parts of the country to be able to cater to all requirements in the region,” Wu said.
The Sanand plant is the latest tyre manufacturing plant in the entire global Cheng Shin group. All the processes like rubber mixing, semi-products manufacturing, tyre building and curing, material handling, inspection and testing are being done by automatic or semi-automatic machines. These machines are equipped with devices like actuators, sensors, PLCs and HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems to reduce the human intervention and automate the process. Quality parameters like the circumference of bead wire, green tyre weight, dynamic balancing of the tyre and also many other parameters, which are very crucial in tyre making are controlled and monitored by automated sensors. “This automated sensor system is not just monitoring the parameters, but they also stop the defective product from going into the next process. As the quality control parameters are controlled at each step of manufacturing process, it minimises the defect rates in final product,” he said.
The world is facing the most unprecedented crisis with COVID-19. The pandemic has created a challenging situation for the OEM’s and the ancillary industries. “However, we are hopeful that as the situation gets better, things will move at a steady pace and will open new avenues for the industry. Once the situation gets better, our key focus will be to re-energise production and marketing department,” he said.
Post lockdown, the company’s plant resumed operations in a graded manner following all government protocols of social distancing, limited workforce and other safety measures for the employees. The development came after a recent announcement from the state government, which has permitted companies to resume manufacturing operations.
“During this time of COVID-19, all our marketing activities have been shifted towards internal/stakeholder communication to apprise them effectively about respecting the lockdown,” Wu added. MT
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