Apollo invests in Zimbabwe plant – for Vredestein production?
Following the agreement reached between Apollo Tyres and Sumitomo Rubber Industries about the future of the Dunlop brand in Africa, Apollo Tyres South Africa (Pty) Limited has initiated an investment programme at its Dunlop Zimbabwe Limited manufacturing company. The Dunlop Zimbabwe plant in Bulawayo will no longer produce Dunlop tyres and is apparently being tooled up to manufacture the Vredestein brand. Six new presses have been purchased for the Bulawayo plant so far and a further 18 are expected.
“This new tyre range promises safety, durability, style and modernity,” shared Dunlop Zimbabwe managing director Kennedy Mandevani. “Apollo Vredestein have just bought six new presses for the production of high quality tyres with a plan to buy 18 more over the next few years to make the production volume more than 5 million tyres.” At present, capacity utilisation at the Bulawayo factory is close to 50 per cent.
In May, Sumitomo Rubber Industries took over the production and sales rights for the Dunlop brand in 32 African and Indian Ocean countries – it now holds the right to use the Dunlop brand throughout the entire African continent. Apollo has retained the Bulawayo factory and its commercial vehicle plant in Durban. At the time this deal was announced, Apollo Tyres Ltd chairman Onkar Kanwar commented “we would like to increase the presence of Apollo and Vredestein branded tyres in Africa.”