Firestone East Africa Becomes Sameer
The company formerly know as Firestone East Africa was given a new logo and rename Sameer Africa at a ceremony in Nairobi. The new company will operate as an independent tyre maker, according to reports by Nairobi’s The Nation newspaper.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sameer Africa chairman, Naushad Merali, noted: “Our new identity as Sameer Africa Limited reflects our new status as a company and signifies our intention to supply the wider African market, starting with the Comesa region.”
The change of the company’s name followed successful re-negotiation of its management and technical agreements with Bridgestone Corporation of Japan, who remain owners the Firestone brand. Sameer Africa said the changing economic environment spurred by trade liberalisation required a “vibrant brand.”
The company’s managing director, Dr S K Chatterji, said the factory had installed a full range of tyre making machinery to meet growing market demand. “We have constantly improved the capabilities of our factory through investing in new equipment and modernising the existing ones in order to keep up with the global pace.”
Mr Merali said the company will now venture into new areas such as contract manufacturing. “We will be able to carry out contract manufacturing for other tyre bands which will enhance the utilisation of the factory’s increasing capacity,” he noted.
The company also plans to benefit from technology transfers with each new product manufactured under licence for another company, the newspaper reported.