Within 3 months of launching its commercial vehicle range in Bangladesh, Apollo Tyres conducted its first Apollo Safe Drive on over 400 passenger cars, in the capital city of Dhaka in Bangladesh. The Apollo Safe Drive initiative seeks to ensure safety of people on the road by educating drivers and vehicle owners on various aspects of tyre care and maintenance – including inflation pressure, tread-wear checks and tyre rotation.
The Safe Drive survey, which was undertaken in March 2011, was conducted by Apollo Tyres’ International Business Development team in association with Rahimafrooz Group, which is the company’s distributor for the region. During the survey, tyres of around 400 passenger cars were checked on parameters like inflation pressure, tread-wear damage, sidewall damage, misalignment and rim damage.
The data collected from this survey in Dhaka revealed that more than 60% of the vehicles had incorrect inflation pressure, 40% of the vehicles were fitted with incorrect sized tyres and around 10-12% of these vehicles needed immediate replacement of tyres.
This sounds far removed from an ideal scenario. With the passenger car population in Bangladesh growing at an average of 8% every year, the need to create awareness for both driver safety and better maintenance, has become critical. Keeping this in mind Apollo Tyres in association with its business partner, Rahimafrooz Group plans to conduct Safe Drive campaigns every two month, in different parts of Bangladesh, to encourage and ensure healthy driving habits amongst all. Apollo aims to create greater awareness among end users regarding the importance of maintaining tyre health, including correct inflation pressure, valve caps and tyre rotation.
Bangladesh seems to follow the subcontinental trend in tyre care. Last year Apollo Safe Drive Survey, on 85,000 tyres across India, threw up similar results where over 40% tyres were found to be over-inflated and over 30% under-inflated. However, fitment of incorrect tyre sizes was a rarity.
Bangladesh is an emerging export destination for Apollo Tyres. The company’s commercial vehicle cross ply tyre sale has nearly doubled since their introduction in the country. Seeing the success, Apollo plans to market it truck-bus radials, as well as passenger vehicle tyres in the near future in Bangladesh.