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Dealers ask Modi Rubber to settle unpaid bills

New Delhi, Sept. 18: The All India Tyre Dealers’ Association (AITDF) has called on tyre maker Modi Rubber Ltd to settle their dues before going ahead with a joint venture with Apollo Tyres.

The federation and the financial institutions have demanded a refund of more than Rs 1,500 crore, of which Rs 1,000 crore is payable to the financial institutions alone.

“The deal between Modi Rubber Ltd and Apollo Tyres Ltd is... a well-calculated move to take care of the hidden interests of the Modi Rubber family and outsmart the financial institutions, who have a 44.8 per cent stake in the company. Once this flagship company is handed away, the financial institutions will have to accept a pittance to forego their financial rights,” the tyre dealers said in a statement issued on Tuesday..

The federation has cited the “murky” track record of tyre companies as one of the reasons why they cannot accept the deal, citing several instances such as Dunlop, among others.

“We have burnt our fingers a number of times with the closure of Dunlop India, Tyre Corporation of India, Premier Tyres, Modistone and other companies. So this time, we would like our accounts to be cleared. Both Apollo Tyres and Modi Rubber must understand that they cannot take the tyre dealers for granted as silent spectators,” they said.

The number of joint ventures and the closures witnessed by the sector in the past few months has reduced the number of tyre makers from 11 to five, thus limiting the choice of the dealers.

Further, news about the one-year closure by Modi Tyres has led to a sharp rise in tyre prices in the domestic market. Prices of a pair of truck and bus tyres have shot up by Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,400.

However, no spokesperson from either Modi Rubber or Apollo Tyres was ready to speak on the charges levelled by the tyre dealers’ federation.

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