CEAT launches new radial tyre range with Rs 350 million production upgrade
New passenger car & SUV tyres achieve score of 7.5 on NVH Index, matching top global brands in noise, vibration, high-speed braking and handling parameters
Leading tyre brand CEAT has unveiled a new series of radial tyres in Sri Lanka following an investment of Rs 350 million to further upgrade the quality of a product category that had already captured a dominant 33 per cent share of the market.
The improvements, achieved with the installation of new state-of-the-art machinery and the use of new compounds with advanced polymers and new tread patterns, translate to lower tyre noise and vibration and better handling with shorter braking times, the Company said.
The upgraded tyres have been independently tested and assigned an NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) Index score of 7.5, certifying they are on par with two of the world’s top radial tyre brands that are household names, leading tyre dealers were told at a launch event in Colombo.
“This investment in product improvement is a demonstration of our commitment to our brand slogan – Never Stop Moving – and to the passenger car and SUV category where comfort and safety are key parameters,” CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Mr Ravi Dadlani said. “Our radial tyres are already the highest-selling brand on the market, but we are not content to rest on our laurels. At CEAT, product improvement is an on-going process and never stops.”
CEAT Kelani has initially launched 11 popular sizes of passenger car radials tyres in the NVH improved series, and plans to extend the process to many more sizes in the future, Mr Dadlani said. The sizes in which the new tyres are currently available are 145/80 R12, 155/65 R13, 155/80 R12, 165/80 R13, 185/65 R14, 205/55 R16, 205/60 R16, 185/70 R14, 195/65 R15, 175/65 R15 and 185/60 R15.
The key performance parameters that were identified for improvement when setting out on this project were reduction of tyre noise when driving, reduction of vibration emanating from the tyre resulting in an even more comfortable driving experience, and the improvement of steering response of vehicles through tyre flexibility, contributing towards shorter braking distance, tyre stability on sudden braking, and improved grip on roads.
Technically advanced polymer with improved green filler (high silica-silane) compound was used in the manufacturing of the new tyre treads. The benefits delivered by this advanced compound are augmented grip and traction, low rolling resistance, better response, low noise emission and a smoother ride with no reduction in the expected mileage.
CEAT Kelani acquired a new Auto Squeeze Calendar Assembly with Programmable Logic Control (PLC) for guided control of the squeeze assembly process with an auto chaffering application from MESNAC, a global leader in rubber machinery; an Auto Ply Cutter with advanced PLC and an auto splicing mechanism from one of the best equipment manufacturers in Taiwan and a Cap Strip Application with auto belt centering devices. These technologies assure better uniformity and consistency in process and construction, contributing to a reduction in vibration and improved performance characteristics.
The new tyres are manufactured at CEAT Kelani’s radial manufacturing facility that was initially set up in 2006 to produce tyres for passenger cars, SUVs and vans. A portion of the Rs 3 billion in new investments announced by CEAT Kelani Holdings last year was earmarked to increase passenger car radials, van and SUV radial tyre production from a current 500,000 tyres a year to 850,000 a year.
CEAT Kelani’s manufacturing operations in Sri Lanka encompass the radial, commercial, motorcycle, three-wheeler and agricultural vehicle segments. The brand accounts for market shares of 33 per cent in the radial segment, 52 per cent in the Truck/Light Truck tyre category, 50 per cent in the Three-Wheeler tyre segment, 30 per cent in the motorcycle tyre segment and 72 per cent in the agricultural vehicle tyre category. The company exports about a third of its production to 16 countries in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East.