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MRF targets ‘Perfinza’ at luxury cars

MRF Ltd. on Tuesday rolled out a high speed rated, premium range of tyres to step up its presence in the small but growing luxury car space.

The unveiling of the Perfinza range of premium tyres is a reflection of the company’s constant endeavour to ‘push the envelope’ in the evolving environment where vehicle makers jostle to turn out better-performing vehicles, said Koshy K. Varghese, executive vice-president (Marketing).

MRF has roped in South African cricketer A.B. De Villiers as brand ambassador for the Perfinza range.

‘Tested in Europe’

These tyres have been developed by MRF’s in-house R&D team, and tested extensively in India, Germany and Spain in assorted conditions, according to a company statement. Perfinza tyres will cater to the 15- to 18-inch segment.

According to Vijay Arora, senior general manager, these tyres will be available for 60 car models in India including the hatchback Baleno from the Maruti stable and the high-end Mercedes Benz. Perfinza is the first tyre made by an Indian company that has received technical approval by a German car-maker.

“These tyres feature an asymmetric tread pattern with a silica based ‘green tyre technology’ compound and offer customers a well-balanced package of ride, handling, traction and control in all weather conditions,” MRF said in the statement.

Though the luxury segment comprised only a tiny portion (about 1% to 1.5%) of the whole car market in India, the customers in that category were discerning and “we are duty bound to offer them a better experience,” said Mr. Varghese, addressing a media conference here. Almost 75% of MRF’s revenue comes from the replacement market. The rest comes from supplies to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Asked if MRF would like to improve the OEM share in the revenue mix, he said “we are not uncomfortable with the current mix.”

The entire top brass of MRF, led by K.M. Mammen, chairman and managing director, Arun Mammen, vice-chairman, and Rahul Mammen Mappillai, managing director, were present at the unveiling. They also jointly addressed the press conference. To a specific question on dumping from China, K.M. Mammen said “we should not be scared of anybody.” After all, he said, the domestic industry was already taking on global competition. Stating that “we are having exciting times in India,” he asserted that the economy was doing well, Good and Services Taxes-related initial hiccups notwithstanding.

Mr. Arun Mammen indicated that the Perfinza tyres would be sold in the domestic market. Mr. Rahul Mammen Mappilai said the new range would be manufactured across MRF’s multiple locations. “We are constantly upgrading our capacities,” he added.

Article Reference: - The Hindu