Bridgestone Southern Africa (BSAF) has announced that it will close its bias tyre manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth, a decision affecting 252 employees. The move is in line with the company’s plans to focus on premium profitable growth segments. The Port Elizabeth plant is geared towards the production of older bias tyres, which are globally in decline and being phased out in South Africa, due to their unprofitability. BSAF is also feeling the effects of a shrinking economy and an influx of cheap imports, leading to its operational restructuring plan. It added that the conversion of the plant to produce radial tyres would require a multi-billion-rand investment, which it deemed unfeasible in the current economy.
Pyramids Tires, a new tyre manufacturer based in Port Said, northeast Egypt, saw its first tyres roll off the production line on 9 May 2020. The factory currently manufactures motorcycle, forklift and agricultural tyres as part of the first phase of the plant’s development. The second phase, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, will see the company add passenger car, truck and OTR tyres to its portfolio.
Tyre distributor Sameer Africa resolved to close down on 20 April 2020. 73 employees will be made redundant by the end of May as a result. Local news reports quote acting managing director Peter Gitonga as saying that several different efforts to keep the company afloat had failed.
Davanti Tyres has appointed Najib Chakhtoura sales director for the Middle East and Africa, in order to establish a “permanent presence” in the region. Chakhtoura is tasked with developing relationships with new and existing distributors to increase the brand’s global reach and sales volume. He previously held senior roles developing premium brands across the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and North and East Africa. Chakhtoura will establish a new regional office for Davanti to introduce the brand into new territories across North, East and West Africa, the Gulf States and the wider Middle East.
Various road and climatic conditions are encountered within the Continental Tire division’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, and for this reason, it is introducing commercial trailer tyres that reflect regional requirements. The first of these is the Conti Hybrid HT3 WR.
From 1 January 2020, Bridgestone’s India business will fall into the EMEA Strategic Business Unit (SBU), transferring from the China, Asia-Pacific SBU. As a result, Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa (BSEMEA) will become Bridgestone Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa (BSEMIA), one of four SBUs globally, alongside Bridgestone China, Asia-Pacific, Bridgestone Americas, and Bridgestone Japan. According to the company, the integration of Bridgestone India into EMEA comes as a result of Bridgestone EMEA’s “ongoing transformation capitalising on the opportunities digitalisation offers to pioneer mobility solutions that meet the needs of customers for convenience, efficiency and sustainability”.
Goodyear’s Wrangler DuraTrac tyre has been chosen for fitment by the 16 Land Rover Discoverys driving across the Kavango-Zambezi (Kaza) National Park, the world’s second-largest nature reserve. The tyre was developed to cope with the toughest terrains, such as those that will be encountered on the 2,000km journey on rugged African roads.
As of 1 October, Mete Ekin is vice president of Bridgestone Emerging Markets. In this role he oversees Bridgestone EMEA’s businesses in Africa, the Middle East and Russia. The former regional managing director Middle East and Africa reports to Paolo Ferrari, chief executive officer of Bridgestone EMEA.
Michelin intends to acquire all shares in Société Internationale de Plantations d’Hévéas (SIPH) not already owned by itself or Ivory Coast-based company SIFCA. It is launching a public buyout offer on 7 November, offering 85 euros per share. This buyout offer is being made exclusively in France and will be followed by a squeeze out.
Lassa Tyres has reported that the brand has grown international exports by 60 per cent during the last five years. Top countries, where Lassa Tyres were sold during 2018 include Egypt, Italy, Germany, Austria, Ukraine and Morocco.
BestDrive, the franchise tyre retail fitment division of Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA), is one of the fastest-growing networks in Southern Africa. The tyre retailer currently has 149 BestDrive dealers across Southern Africa, located in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is expanding its vehicle export operations by adopting a multi-port strategy with the first shipment of 1000 locally assembled Ford Rangers from Port Elizabeth to markets in Europe.
The Marangoni Group has acquired a majority shareholding, 51 per cent, in the South African tread maker Leader Rubber Company SA (Pty) Ltd. The move is the latest development in the decade-long partnership between Leader Rubber and Marangoni. The Italian company acquired a 25 per cent share in the company in 2015, a move it described as the “culmination of a partnership that has been ongoing for several years.”