CEAT Kelani Holdings entered the new year with the added impetus of being named 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 of Ashok Leyland India.
Under this OEM agreement, CEAT tires in nine sizes are to be fitted each year to approximately 1,800 Ashok Leyland vehicles rolling off the LAL assembly line at Panagoda’s state-of-the-art Homagama plant. Of these, 1,000 will be heavyweights who will position themselves as the first choice and the driving force of the Sri Lankan economy.
CEAT has undertaken to equip LAL’s ECOMET 1212 mini-trucks, TAURUS 2518 10-wheel trucks, TAURUS 1618 6-wheel trucks, all types of flatbeds and tippers, ECOMET 1012 tippers and the range of DOST light commercial vehicles with CEAT tires such as 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 deal, CEAT Kelani Managing Director Ravi Dadlani said: “CEAT’s appointment as OEM for Lanka Ashok Leyland is extremely timely, particularly in the context of the national effort to retain foreign currency. CEAT is delighted to support LAL’s local assembly operations, as this represents an extension of the brand’s role in meeting Sri Lanka’s tire requirements. Our appointment as an OEM demonstrates the confidence that LAL places in CEAT and speaks to the robustness, reliability and value proposition of our tires, which are designed for local conditions.
The defining features of the nine types of tires that will be supplied by CEAT as original equipment to LAL include high mileage tread compound, high denier fabric construction, economy tread compound energy-efficient and dual-layered with heat-dissipating lug geometry, rugged tread designs with wider footprint and solid edge design, naturally balanced carcass designs, cooler tread compounds, balanced combination of ribs, composed of high grip belt and heel consolidated with rubber and steel, circumferential zig-zag grooves and ribs with side notches.
These tires are designed and built to provide durability, high load threshold, outstanding fuel efficiency, even tread wear, excellent traction, steering stability, improved crown durability and mileage. increased with resistance to cuts and splinters, among other things, the company said.
Notably, in November 2021, CEAT was also appointed 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 tires per month from January 2022 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 tire 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 utilization at all of its manufacturing plants last year to meet additional nationwide tire needs for trucks, buses, three-wheelers, cars and light trucks. In August last year, the company increased its production to meet 100% of the tire needs of the bus and freight transport sectors from domestic production, which could save Sri Lanka 11 billion rupees per year in foreign currency.
CEAT Kelani Holdings is considered one of the most successful Indian-Sri Lankan joint ventures. The joint venture’s cumulative investment in Sri Lanka to date stands at Rs 8 billion, including Rs 3 billion invested since January 2018 for volume expansion, technology upgrades and new product development. The company’s manufacturing operations in Sri Lanka encompass tires in the radial (passenger car, van and SUV), commercial (nylon and radial), motorcycle, three-wheeler and agricultural vehicle segments.
The CEAT brand holds market shares in Sri Lanka of 48% in the Radial segment, 80% in the Truck category, 84% in the Light Truck tire category, 51% in the Three-Wheel tire segment, 36% in in the motorcycle tire segment and 72% in the agricultural vehicle tire category. CEAT Kelani exports approximately 20% of its production to 16 countries in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East.