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LANXESS enabling sustainable growth in India’s automotive and tyre industries

  • LANXESS Rubber Day India takes place on January 21 in Mumbai
  • Prominent experts speak on the future of mobility, green technologies and road safety
  • Latest high-performance tyres expected to contribute significantly to safety and fuel efficiency on India’s highways
  • LANXESS main sponsor at India Rubber Expo, starting on January 22

Mumbai, January 21, 2013: A selection of India’s foremost experts in the field of rubber production are gathering today to discuss the state of India’s growing rubber industry and its contribution to the nation’s burgeoning transportation sector. The high-level symposium, organised around the theme of ‘High-tech Mobility and Emerging Trends’, was arranged by Germany’s LANXESS, the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic rubber, which has production facilities for rubber chemicals and specialized rubber chemicals from its subsidiary, Rhein Chemie in Jhagadia, Gujarat.

The event is the second such ‘Rubber Day’ to be hosted by LANXESS in India and is distinguished by the involvement of speakers, panelists and around 300 attendees from the rubber and automotive industries, as well as from academia and government. Among the prominent speakers on the day’s programme are Mr. M. F. Farooqui, Secretary – Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India, Dr. Rainier van Roessel, Member of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG and Mr. Sudhir Rao, Managing Director, Skoda Auto India.

The event takes place at a time when India’s tire and automotive sectors are likely to experience strong growth again in the near future. Government officials recently confirmed that India remains on track to meet the targets stated in the nation’s Automotive Mission Plan, which projects that by 2016, the automotive sector will account for more than 10 per cent of India’s GDP and employ 25 million more people than it did in 2006.

Introducing the programme for the day, Dr. Joerg Strassburger, Managing Director and Country Representative of LANXESS India remarked, “India is clearly emerging as a global automotive hub. All international car manufacturers have a market in India. This growth will usher in new needs, new opportunities, and new challenges. We will need to develop technology-driven solutions for a more sustainable future”.

Topics for today’s panel discussions include ‘The Future of Mobility in India’, ‘Innovation in Rubber for a Greener Tomorrow’, ‘Technological Trends in Automotive Rubber Components’, and ‘Driving Growth and Delivering Safety’. With the rapid growth of traffic on India’s roadways and the regulatory framework becoming stricter, pressure has increased to improve the environmental and safety performance of the vehicles that Indians drive.

Before the conference, Dr. van Roessel noted that fewer than 1 per cent of Indians own a car today, compared with 16 per cent regionally, “As India catches up in car ownership, much more has to be done in our sector to drive down the accident rate on this country’s highways and to make vehicles cleaner and more efficient. New developments in rubber technology have a great deal to contribute to these improvements.”

India Rubber Expo and Tyre Show

LANXESS is also serving as the lead partner for the 7th India Rubber Expo and Tyre Show, which begins on January 22nd at the Bombay Exhibition Centre. Dr. Axel C. Heitmann, Chairman of the Board of Management, LANXESS AG will deliver the keynote address tonight at the inauguration programme for the India Rubber Expo 2013. The discussion that begun with the LANXESS Rubber Day event will continue during the three-day Rubber Expo, as business leaders from the rubber sector assess recent developments in their industry and consider new drivers contributing to the remarkable growth of the sector.

Dr. Heitmann, noting that India is the fourth-largest consumer of rubber in the world, said in his keynote speech: “We strongly believe that there is a bright future ahead for the Indian rubber industry. The need for safer, more fuel-efficient transportation will lead to increased demand for high-performance synthetic rubber that makes possible modern radial tyres that grip the road better and save on fuel.”

The process of ‘radialisation’, as it is described in industry circles, is a matter of keen interest for the attendees at LANXESS Rubber Day India. India currently uses a high proportion of bias ply tyres with old-fashioned inner tubes. More modern tyres employ a radial design, which does not require a separate tube. Radial tyres deliver greater longevity, better fuel economy and substantially improved safety performance. The best new tyres available on the market today are often designated as ‘Green Tyres’, due to their exceptional environmental performance and significant contributions to fuel efficiency.

Only about 15 per cent of large commercial vehicles in India presently run on radial tyres. Huge benefits in safety and efficiency can be realised by changing that picture and shifting drivers here toward the new “Green Tyres”.

LANXESS is one of the few companies in the world that is able to produce halobutyl rubber, which is the key enabler of radial tires. The company will be starting up its new world-scale plant for butyl rubber in Singapore in the first quarter of 2013, as planned, to serve Indian and customers throughout Asia with the highest quality of halobutyl rubber.

Dr. Heitmann concluded that both Rubber Day India and the India Rubber Expo and Tyre Show represent important opportunities for experts in the field to share information and measure the success of the rubber sector in contributing to India’s economic growth. He said, “ LANXESS, as the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubber, is naturally proud to present LANXESS Rubber Day India, honoured to be a lead sponsor of India Rubber Expo, and fortunate to be playing an active and increasingly important role in the rubber industry of India.”

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.8 billion in 2011 and currently around 17,100 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 48 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainable indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good as well as the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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