JK Tyre & Industries will invest Rs 100 crore this financial year to develop new products, especially for electric vehicles (EVs). The company is working on developing products for the global EV original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) entering the country, said Sanjeev Aggarwal, chief financial officer, JK Tyre. The development of EV-oriented technology remains a “key focus” for the company at its Global Tech Centre in Mysuru (Raghupati Singhania Centre of Excellence), where it has already invested more than Rs 200 crore. The R&D facility employs 200 scientists and engineers, he added.
The company has made “significant strides” into the EV segment, with the first lot of electric buses launched in India being on JK Tyres. The company is also closely working with OEMs such as JBM, Olectra, Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and VECV on the EV front, Aggarwal said. At present, JK Tyre is supplying tyres fitted with pressure monitoring sensors to JBM’s EV buses. It is also offering tyres to various two- and three-wheeler EV manufacturers. The company has set up a technology roadmap to drive the development of technology for newer materials, tyre designs and automated processes to achieve a continuous reduction in rolling resistance of tyres, a necessity for EV tyres.
It had earlier estimated expenditure of at least 1.5% of its annual revenues in R&D activities every year. It had posted a turnover of Rs 9,145 crore, with an Ebitda of Rs 1,349 crore for FY2021. The New Delhi-headquartered firm is in the process of developing puncture guard tyres. Earlier in an analyst call, Aggarwal said that the company has lined up a capex plan of about Rs 200 crore for de-bottlenecking of its plant capacities, to be spent over the next two years. The firm would spend about Rs 100 crore as maintenance capex every year.