JK Tyre Industries is looking to expand its retail network across the country by up to 20 per cent over the next 12-18 months, a top company official said on Monday.
"We currently have around 650 brand shops across the country. Over the next 12-18 months we expect a 15-20 per cent addition in these outlets as we look to go nearer to the customer," JK Tyre and Industries President (India) Anuj Kathuria told PTI here in an interaction. The company on Monday launched six new brand shops spread across Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan as part of its plans to improve presence especially in smaller towns and rural areas. JK Tyre now has 221 brand outlets in the northern part of the country. "Customer needs are now not limited to the big centres. With growing car parc, customers in smaller cities and towns also seek services locally. So we will keep coming up with sales outlets to cater to this demand," Kathuria said. The company expanded its Ranger Series of aftermarket tyres with HPe and X-AT brands, catering to electric vehicles and SUV models respectively.
Kathuria said the company currently sells around 50 types of tyres (SKUs) in the aftermarket when it comes to SUVs. JK Tyre also partners with various OEMs for tyres for various models. He noted that the company would keep rolling out new products in line with the growth of the segment. "On an annual basis, we invest around Rs 100 crore in R&D with focus on emerging segments and technologies," Kathuria said. He noted that the company continues to work with many OEMs in the EV space. On a query regarding the capex for the next fiscal, Kathuria said the company had earmarked Rs 1,100 crore couple of years back for the same.
The company has already finished with the debottlenecking of the manufacturing facilities and is now working on a Rs 560 crore project in the passenger radial tyre segment, he noted. JK Tyre is also working on a Rs 230 crore truck radial project "which is on track,", he added. The company has nine manufacturing facilities in the country with an installed production capacity of 32 million tyres annually. With the end of the capex plan, the capacity would go up by an additional 2 million units per annum, Kathuria said. JK Tyre also has three manufacturing plants in Mexico and currently exports to around 105 countries.