CEAT to invest Rs 20 cr for expanding sales, services outlets in Tier-II, III cities

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Mumbai, Mar 16 (PTI) CEAT will invest Rs 20 crore for expanding its exclusive sales and services outlet -- Shoppe -- in Tier-II, III cities as the tyre maker sees 'very good' demand from the cities having a population of three lakh and below, according to a senior company executive.

The company had set up Shoppe as a one-stop facility for all tyre-related requirements to service customers in cities having more than a 5 lakh population. Last month, the company announced that over 200 outlets will now act as a full-fledged customer service centre.

Currently, the tyre maker has around 325 sales and service facilities pan-India, including Shoppe.

'The demand for passenger cars and two-wheeler tyres is very good in smaller towns also. So, we wanted to innovate on retailing design, which is compact, modern and industrial. The outlets in tier-2 and tier-3 cities will be much more compact with different designs while the bigger cities will continue with the existing shoppe format,' Arnab Banerjee, Chief Operating Officer of CEAT, told PTI.

'We want to double the total outlets from 325 at present to around 600 in the next two years,' he added.

According to him, the standalone investment from CEAT in the project would be to the tune of Rs 20 crore while these outlets in the smaller cities will be both company-owned as well franchise-operated.

Banerjee said the demand for both two-wheeler and four-wheeler has either reached the pre-COVID level or even equal to or higher than the pre-COVID level.

In the passenger segment, there are import restrictions from the government under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative, which has made a higher pie available to the domestic manufacturers and CEAT is one of them.

On the supply side also, the company has been investing in huge capacity, which fortunately got timed to the right opportunity. It is investing in car bus radial, passenger four-wheeler and two-wheeler, all of them, he said.

'So, we are in a position to tap this demand and in a higher demand scenario, we are looking at gaining share in the passenger segment as well,' Banerjee said.

He said some space has been created for the domestic manufacturers in the truck tyre segment also due to the import restrictions.

'It was the last segment to pick up, growth-wise, and now, it is gradually showing growth. We are entering the summer season, which is the peak season for consumption, so we are looking forward to good numbers in truck tyres also,' Banerjee said. PTI IAS SHW SHW