MRF Disputes JK Tyres Claims As Market Leader

Chennai, December 24: | Updated: Dec 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Tyre major MRF Ltd on Tuesday disputed rival JK Tyres claim that it is the market leader in the four-wheeler tyre market in the country. The Chennai-based tyre firm has also obtained a stricture against JK Tyres from the Advertisement Standard Council of India (ASCI).

Addressing a press conference here, company vice-president Philip Eapen said that MRF has contested an advertisement campaign run by JK Tyres claiming that it is the number one four-wheeler tyre manufacturer in the country. They have been running an advertisement campaign claiming that they are number one tyre manufacturers in the country for quite some time quoting data published by Automotive Tyre Manufacturing Association (ATMA). We have taken up the matter with ASCI on July 11 and the association has now given us a favourable ruling, Mr Eapen said. ASCI, in its ruling, said that: The claim, JK Tyre - The No 1 tyre manufacturer, was misleading, since the source mentioned was ATMA which in its publication cited did not have specific classification for four wheeler tyres. The claim did not appear to convey to consumers that Vikrant Tyres would be clubbed with JK Tyres. The various claims cited in the complaint were not substantiated. The advertiser during their personal visit on October 31, 2002 assured appropriate modification of the Ad. Assurance in writing is awaited from the advertiser.

Mr Eapen said since the ATMA data is being given by the respective tyre companies, it has a natural bias and therefore not reliable. A best way to capture the real picture would be to compare the turnover figures. As per turnover figures available of different companies, MRF tops the list with a total sales of Rs 2.241 crore for the year-ended September 2002, while Apollo comes second with a turnover of Rs 1,713 crore for the year ended March 2002. JK is third with an annualised turnover of Rs 1,387 crore (its total turnover for 18 months ended September 2002 is Rs 2,080 crore) and Ceat finishes fourth with a turnover of Rs 1,385 crore for the period ended March 2002, Mr Eapen said.

JK, in its advertisement has claimed that it is the number one four wheeler tyre manufacturer with a share of 25.8 per cent market share and is number one in truck and bus tyres accounting for 23 per cent market share.

It also claimed that it is also the numero uno in LCV tyres with a share of 23 per cent and number one in passenger radial replacement market with a share of 23.5 per cent.