Apollo Tyres, which holds a quarter of India’s passenger-car radial segment in the aftermarket, aims to extend its presence in rural India. The company, headquartered in Gurugram, observes a surge in demand from India’s rural areas and is therefore enhancing its footprint in regions such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
Currently, Apollo Tyres boasts a robust nationwide reach with over 20,000 touchpoints, established through strong relationships with branded and multi-brand outlets, as well as distributors. This extensive network facilitates accessibility to its wide range of two-wheeler, passenger car radial (PCR), and truck-and-bus radial (TBR) tires for a large segment of India’s population.
Vikram Garga, Group Head of Marketing at Apollo Tyres, highlighted the significance of penetrating rural markets. He emphasized the company’s strategy to reach villages with populations of 50,000 and below, aiming for proximity to consumers and easy access to Apollo Tyres products. However, Garga mentioned the possibility of expanding coverage to villages with populations as low as 20,000 or even 5,000 in the future.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Apollo Tyres pavilion at the Bharat Mobility Show 2024 held in New Delhi in the second week of February.
Explaining the rationale behind the growing demand for radials in rural India, Garga cited increased disposable incomes and evolving consumer aspirations. Rural customers, he noted, are becoming more tech-savvy and aspiring to own larger cars, as well as the latest gadgets and appliances, akin to urban households.
The surge in demand for the 15-inch-and-above PCR category, driven by the premiumisation of India’s passenger vehicle market, is evident not only in major cities but also in smaller towns. With SUVs accounting for half of the car sales, especially in the entry-level and compact segments, Apollo Tyres is experiencing significant growth in this category.
The company’s strategy includes expanding its brand’s presence across the country, with a focus on rural markets in South India and regions in states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
In October 2023, Apollo Tyres inaugurated a Vredestein store in Bhopal, aiming to have fifty dedicated Vredestein outlets by March 2026. Apollo Tyres, with an almost equal distribution of business between OEM and aftermarket supplies, is witnessing triple-digit growth with the Vredestein brand. The company plans to maintain momentum and build the Vredestein brand in India, capitalising on its locally manufactured tyres and expanding its exclusive Vredestein outlets to offer high-end premium customers a distinctive experience.