French tyre manufacturer Michelin has dropped suggestive hints about their intention to enter the off-road motorcycle tyres segment in the country. Michelin India has hinted that they would launch their off-road motorcycle tyres range next year in India. Michelin are also the official control tyre suppliers for MotoGP and have many years of experience in both car and motorcycle tire manufacturing at the highest levels.
Michelin India has witnessed a tremendous growth in its sales and market share in the last few years in the country. Moreover, the expanding motorcycle market in all segments has created a need for street, performance and off-road tyres in India. Based on their internal analysis, Michelin India is looking at introducing a range of on and off-road dual purpose tyres for bikes which would cater to customers of such dual purpose motorcycles which are seeing increasing sales in the country.
India is only now seeing a trickle of off-road motorcycles coming into the market who are capitalising on the global trend. The recently launched Royal Enfield Himalayan for instance has been a surprising new direction for Royal Enfield given their predominantly cruiser oriented line-up. Those who want to fit dual purpose tyres for their bikes also struggle due to the dearth of options.
Michelin India would most likely launch its Anakee Wild tyre in India. This is a dual purpose, on-road and off-road tyre. The tyre could be available in sizes ranging from 17 inches to 19 inches which are the popular rim sizes of dual-purpose bikes. The Anakee Wild is the first ever radial off-road tyre made by the Michelin and promises to offer stability, comfort and a long tyre life. It comes in two 19 inch sizes for the front and two 17 inch sizes for the rear.
Michelin India currently has a portfolio of seven tyres that are being offered for domestic consumption. These include imported radial tyres as well as two locally made tyres. Both of these are manufactured locally by TVS for Michelin India. The Sirac Street and the City Pro tyres are made by TVS for Michelin India. Michelin India also has a vast dealer network in the country, with about 3,000 retail outlets to showcase and sell across its products across the country. Michelin had recently launched its first ever TV commercial for India, aiming to break into the market dominated by MRF and other home-grown manufacturers.