09/06/2010

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THAILAND: Light trucks, buses steering towards radial tyres

Overall sales of radial tyres for light trucks and buses should grow by 10 per cent this year, Jaipetch Chevaphatrakul, commercial director for truck and bus tyres at Michelin Siam, said."More people are shifting to radial tyres over the years as they realise their benefits. Radial tyres provide better grip on the road and can be retreaded up to two times if the shell of the tyre is taken care of properly," he said.Radial tyres now account for about half of the market, with bias tyres taking the other half.Michelin on 2 Sept. launched the Agilis LT radial tyre in three sizes priced from Bt5,500-Bt7,000.The new model costs about 5 per cent more than the XZA and XZA1 that it replaces. It will be available through 44 Michelin Truck Service Centres nationwide.Michelin claims to be the market leader in radial tyres for light trucks and buses, with 12 per cent of the market last year.Radial tyres had a share of about 25 per cent in the light bus and truck market in 2009.Michelin claims that the Agilis LT will provide 7.5 percent cost savings over bias tyres.The company targets the Agilis LT for the replacement market, although it is already providing it as an original equipment product to truck manufacturers.The total bus and truck tyre market for this year is estimated to be 2 million treads.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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