Dunlop Zimbabwe Celebrates Half a Century in the Business
The solitary remaining tyre manufacturer in Zimbabwe marked its 50th Anniversary on November 18, and company management have taken the opportunity to express their optimism for the future. At an event held by Dunlop Zimbabwe and attended by numerous dignitaries, company chairman Dr Luis Cenevis stated that the tyre maker had managed to survive the previous years’ trials and was looking forward to production levels returning to full capacity.
“Faced with all these challenges, the company did not look back and even now we are optimistic about the future,” said Cenevis, adding that major obstacles in the way of full recovery were rising oil prices and smuggled tyres. “As you know that when we make tyres we use oil and hence the rising price of oil has negatively affected our operations as we are forced to continuously re-adjust our prices in line with the increment of oil.”
Dunlop Zimbabwe managing director Kennedy Mandevani acknowledged the help local government has played in creating an environment favourable to the company’s business. “We pay tribute to the Bulawayo City Council for creating an enabling environment through the constant supply of water and some of its services,” he said.
Mandevani also noted that raw material imports have grown from one truckload a week to an average of three truckloads. “Prior to February, we were producing three days a week on a three-shift basis, but now we are back to five-days-five shifts and at times we do weekend overtime especially when demand is such that we have to work and produce stocks for exports,” he explained. “In terms of production, we used to hover around five tonnes a day but now we are between 10 and 15 tonnes a day and in addition to that, we cannot cope with the demand for bigger sizes for trucks and buses. We have customers who are prepared to pay cash and we supply the tyres after a week.”