Apollo needs no introduction as a tyre manufacturer in India. While you would all be familiar with the brand name, we’re sure most of you wouldn’t know what heights this tyre maker from India has scaled as a full spectrum tyre maker with great technological competence. Headquartered in Gurgaon, Apollo is India’s leading tyre maker exporting its products to more than 100 countries. The company also acquired South Africa based Dunlop Tires and Netherlands based Vredestein Banden in the year 2006 and 2009 respectively.
With an extensive R&D center in Europe, Apollo has the capability of producing even W and Y rated tyres which can support speeds in excess of 300 km/h and provide traction to some of the most exotic car models. From bicycles to commercial vehicles to agricultural equipment, Apollo produces tyres for almost every requirement, and for some of the most competitive markets in the world.
It’s also a matter of great pride that the Indian tyre maker has an association with Manchester United Football Club for the United Kingdom and India, as the club’s official Tyre Partner.
Having heard so many good things about the brand, we wanted to test first hand, as to how good or bad the tyres from the company were. Especially the tyre models meant for the mainstream segment, wrapping the wheels of the cars enduring the awful Indian road conditions on a day-to-day basis.
We were not very sure whether the tyre maker would agree to the idea, as the product under test can be subject to some harsh criticism upon non-performance. Also, a car in Motoroids fleet gets subjected much more adversity than what an average Joe’s ride has to endure. Apollo, however, didn’t whimper before providing us a set of four of their Amazer 3G XL tyres for the Chevrolet Beat 1.2 LT (O) petrol model. The 165 / 65 R 14 asymmetric pattern tyres were a size up (155 / 65 R 14) for the 14 inch wheels for better grip.
The car under test had clocked 45,000 km and had JK Tyre Vectra wrapping the wheels earlier. Those tyres, though durable and reliable, didn’t quite provide optimal grip, especially in damp and wet conditions. Also, they were a tad too noisy for our liking.
Here’s our brief induction report of the new set of tyres. We will update you about the tyres’ performance every 5,000 km
The Tyres were replaced at one of Apollo Experience Zones in Mumbai, namely Satyam Tyres. Apollo Zone is a special dealership where the entire Apollo range of tyres is available. More than just a tyre shop, the Zone is designed to offer the customer a holistic experience of the brand. Painted in Apollo’s purple shade, an experience zone must have a minimum of 800 square feet floor area with a clearly demarcated display space for passenger and SUV tyres. The zone also requires to have a customer lounge equipped with wi-fi, a media centre, refreshments and a see-through panel to let customers see their tyres getting changed right in front of their eyes.
In our case, Mr Jeet Pal Singh Bisht, Marketing Head, West, for passenger vehicles, and Mr Sandeep Dhawan, owner M/S Satyam Tyres, overlooked the entire tyre replacement process.
Mr Jeet Pal Bisht and Mr Sandeep Dhawan
The workshop at the experience Zone was well equipped with all the facilities including a mechanized tyre changer, wheel balancing, wheel alignment and a tubeless puncture repair point for all tyre brands. In addition, the centre also offers nitrogen air filling service for a nominal price.
The tyres were duly replaced in a matter of 15 minutes after the process initiated. The process was swift, comfortable and hassle free for us as a customer.
Our first impressions post replacement are listed below
- Marked reduction in tyre noise.
- Substantially better grip thanks to the wider tread and softer compound
- Slightly better steering feel and feedback
- Perceptibly better handling with lesser roll, thanks to the stiffer tyre walls
Since this is just an induction report, we have not been able to run any exhaustive tests. Nor have we been able to notice the pressure retention pattern or susceptibility to punctures.
We will keep evaluating the set new set of tyres every five thousand kilometres and fill you in with how they are performing. In the meantime, you can let us know about your experience with various tyre brands, Apollo in particular to help us evaluate the advantages or flaws associated with the brand.