Japanese rubber machinery maker Kobe Steel has taken full control ofits Indian tyre/rubber machinery joint venture, L&T Kobelco Machinery (LTKM). LTKM began as a joint venture in 2010 with 51% held by Indian firm Larsen & Toubro and the remaining 49% by Kobe Steel. LTKM manufactures, designs and sells rubber machinery used in making tyres for cars and construction equipment. LKTM’s products consist of rubber mixers and twin screw roller head extruders.
LKTM was previously managed with Larsen & Toubro as a strategic partner to develop sales channels, promote product and improve brand penetration.
Now Kobe Steel and its Singaporean subsidiary, Kobelco Machinery Asia, together own the entirety of LTKM – the company will undergo a name change in May to Kobelco Industrial Machinery India (KIMI). With LKTM, Kobe Steel plans to capture further demand in India and expand sales in Southeast Asia and Europe.
The rising production of cars has increased demand for tyre and rubber machinery, hence the two parent companies agreed to turn LTKM into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kobe Steel to enable more flexible management, increase marketing capabilities, and strengthen cost competitiveness from a production perspective – emerging Indian markets have been growing by 5% or more annually.
Kobe Steel is one of the top manufacturers of rubber machinery with an estimated 40% world market share for rubber mixers. Their manufacturing and sales locations include Japan, US, China, Germany and India.