Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.
Apollo Bus and Coach Tyre Talk
The latest entry in our bus and coach tyre features a discussion with John Nikhil Joy - Cluster Director Europe - Truck & Bus Tyres for Apollo Tyres.
John Nikhil Joy from Apollo Tyres Gives the Lowdown on their Bus and Coach Tyre Offer
Apollo Tyres is an Indian tyre manufacturer with a presence in Europe through ownership of Vredestein and a new tyre manufacturing plant in Hungary. As we have touched upon earlier, Commercial Tyre Business spoke with John Nikhil Joy - Cluster Director Europe - Truck & Bus Tyres to get an update on the bus and coach market.
In terms of bus and coach tyres, Apollo has a small but growing share of the market, which it puts at 2 per cent. Bus and coach tyres may look like truck tyres, but they have different demands and requirements and so we started by asking Apollo what the focus was in designing coach and bus tyres?
"When designing, developing and manufacturing our coach tyres," said Joy, "we focus on comfort and mileage performance. When it comes to our bus tyres, we prioritise durability, to withstand high torque and frequent stop-and-start movements. This is the result of listening to our European customers, ensuring that we develop products to suit their needs best.
"Across Europe, we find that our customers prioritise a comfortable ride, even wear and improved mileage."
As the market changes with the increasing number of electric buses and coaches on the road, Joy spoke about if Apollo is seeing changes in the key criteria that EV operators are asking for?
"The rise of electrification is impacting the bus segment, as tyres used on electric vehicles will need to deal with a higher load index and increased torque," explained Joy. "Apollo will continue to support the diversification of the Apollo Tyres TBR product range and explore new ways to manage such things as increased load capacity, while maintaining competitiveness for weight, grip, traction, noise and rolling resistance.”
The discussion then turned to where Apollo’s bus and coach offer placed the company in European market standings at this point in time and if there were plans to increase its there a plan to increase overall market share. Joy discussed this and also gave some thoughts on how they would achieve that.
"Our coach and bus business is part of Apollo Tyres’ overall plan to increase market share in Europe. Last year, we announced a strategic five-year plan to build our market share in the European truck and bus tyre market, which will see us double our European manufacturing output. As part of the plan, we also aim to expand our product range to cover up to 90% of the segment’s total size and specification requirements by 2025," added Joy.
Finally, Joy detailed Apollo's strategy on retreading within the bus and coach segment.
“Retreading within the bus and coach segment is growing in popularity, but it is still way below what the industry expected due to the rise of cheap import tyres. This could remain the case, especially due to the high demand for comfort and reliable tyres,” surmised Joy.