Goodyear South Africa to invest 44 million euros in Uitenhage, South Africa plant
Goodyear South Africa has announced plans to invest 670 million South African rand (£32.216 million; 43.847 million euros; US$49.557 million) in increasing production of so-called high-value-added (HVA) consumer tyres at its Uitenhage manufacturing plant. Meanwhile, medium radial production currently at the location is to be relocated across the EMEA region.
The investment plan sees the firm bring the latest manufacturing technology in order to “meet the strong and growing market demand for HVA consumer tyres in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa”. The tyre market in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa is expected to experience double-digit growth through 2020 led by the consumer segment.
“This is an important investment by Goodyear and is consistent with our strategy to serve the needs of our customers and the company’s focus to invest in high return projects that drive profitable growth,” said Jean-Jacques Wiroth, managing director of Goodyear South Africa.
The new technology and accompanying comprehensive employee training will further improve the plant’s capability and capacity to produce Low Rolling Resistance tyres that promote fuel economy in vehicles to meet the growing demand from vehicle manufacturers and the replacement market, as well as meet the increase in market requirements for HVA 4X4 SUV tyres.
Medium radial production being relocated
At the same time, Goodyear South Africa also proposes to relocate the plant’s production of Medium Radial Truck tyres (MRT) to other plants across the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Under the proposals, Goodyear has affirmed its intention to consult with the union representatives and employees who are currently working in the MRT area to minimise the impact through offering a variety of alternatives.
Subject to consultation, the company expects to be substantially complete with the investment plans by the end of 2016 or early 2017.