Kobe Steel Enters Joint Venture to Produce Tire-Making Machinery

Partners with India's Larsen & Toubro to grow sales network in emerging markets.

Japan's Kobe Steel Ltd. has formed a joint venture with Indian engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd. to produce and sell rubber processing machinery in India, Kobe Steel said Jan. 25.

Kobe Steel plans to leverage the partnership to grow its sales network in India, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe.

The new company will be called L&T Kobelco Machinery Private Ltd. The joint venture will make rubber mixers and twin screw rollerhead extruders used in tire manufacturing.

Plant construction is slated to begin in February. The plant is scheduled to begin production in October. The companies plan to invest approximately 500 million rupees, or about $11 million.
Kobe Steel owns a 49% stake in the newly formed company, with L&T Kobelco owning the remaining 51%.

The companies formed the joint venture in response to growing tire demand in emerging markets.
Kobe Steel currently manufactures tire and rubber machinery in Japan, the United States and China.

Larsen & Toubro is India's top manufacturer of tire curing presses and has a strong sales network in India, Europe and the Middle East, according to Kobe Steel.

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