The Tire Maharajahs: Competing with Chinese Exporters and Tire Multinationals for Industry Leadership in India
(8 pages of text)
Over a 10-year period, from 2008 to 2018, Indian tire production increased from 80 to 180 million units. Indian tire companies were thriving and investing heavily abroad. Four Indian tire companies were among the top 30 tire makers in the world. Although India was expected to experience high or hyper-growth in tire manufacturing, growth at such a fast pace brought uncertainties and risks. In addition to competition from low-cost tires imported to India, the industry was challenged by volatile pricing for the raw materials used in tire production, government initiatives that were having unintended consequences on tire sales, environmental considerations, and protectionism in India’s largest export markets. What strategies did the industry need to reach profitability despite the ups and downs of the supply market, its dependence on large customers, changes in government policies, and environmental protection initiatives?
This case is intended for a strategy or international business lecture at the undergraduate or graduate level, or in executive-level classes dealing with the tire industry or Indian business. More specifically, the case can be used in a strategy lecture on industry analysis, strategy–performance relationship, value proposition, or strategic groups and scenarios, or in an international business lecture on internationalization and entry mode of companies in emerging economies, emerging multinationals’ behaviour and performance, or internationalization–performance relationship. Instructors can use the case to address and illustrate concepts that are central in any strategy or international business course: industry structure and attractiveness, value proposition, strategy–performance relationship, internationalization–performance relationship, strategic maps and groups. The case introd,uces students to strategic thinking, analysis, and management. After completion of this case, students will be able to
- assess the structure and attractiveness of the Indian tire industry;
- understand the value proposition of this industry;
- analyze and contextualize the strategy–performance relationship;
- analyze the internationalization–performance relationship in the context of firms in emerging economies; and
- design strategic maps or groups and build competitive scenarios.
India, Large, 2018
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