Whether it’s for journey planning or for looking at own houses online, we’ve all used Google Street View. Now, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa is helping fill the gaps in Street View’s maps and having and off-road adventure at the same time.
Produced at its Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa truck and bus radial tyre manufacturing plant, Sumitomo Dunlop has launched a new drive-axle truck tyre. Locally researched, produced and tested, the SP835A is described as a “game changer”.
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.
Australian tyre recycler Green Distillation Technologies, which recycles tyres according to a kind of pyrolysis process, is considering expanding into the UK and other international markets.
Expansion began with an agreement with a tyre collection business who are so confident in the Australian technology that they have increased their commitment to GDT from 10 tyre recycling facilities across the US to 15 with the construction of three key plants to commence as soon as the regulatory agreements and government approvals are obtained.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the manufacturer of the global Falken tyre brand has temporarily shut down its factory in South Africa on government orders. All of its other tyre manufacturing facilities are currently operational, though staff at the Falken Tyre Europe headquarters in Germany are working remotely where possible, or following social distancing guidelines.
Vipal Rubber has marked its 15-year partnership with exclusive South African distributor of repair products, Tyre & Retread Supplies (TRS), with a commemorative plaque. Dijan Rigo, commercial coordinator of Vipal Overseas delivered the plaque to Morne Goosen, TRS management at the distributer’s headquarters in Johannesburg.
Bridgestone is considering increasing production capacity at its tyre factories in South Africa in order to gain market share in the country’s minibus taxi segment. It appears to be looking at investing around ZAR 300 million (£16.1 million) in its plants, a capex additional to the ZAR 400 million investment it is currently completing at the company’s main production site in Brits.
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.
We were told that 29 March was the Brexit deadline. As we go to press in the week after that deadline passed, it is clear that we don’t know either when or how we are going to Brexit. As we discussed last month, the consensus amongst analysts and the automotive industry is that there will be a massive negative impact on vehicle manufacturing (and therefore automotive suppliers) in the UK. But what else do we have to look forward to?
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.”
Magna Tyres Group has opened a new regional office in South Africa. In recent years, Magna Tyres has been extremely successful in South Africa and the neighbouring countries. According to the company, the objective is to increase market share, focus on improving customer relationships and satisfaction in this high potential region.
While Goodyear celebrates ‘120 Years of Innovation’ in 2018, in South Africa the company is also celebrating moving to a new headquarters at the Hertford Office Park in Midrand. Goodyear South Africa has consolidated its Johannesburg-based offices to support the dompany’s business strategy of business simplification, increased efficiencies and enabling effective employee engagement.
Production of truck and bus tyres began at the Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. factory in Ladysmith, South Africa on 19 July. The tyre maker invested 970 million rand (£55.8 million) to add commercial tyre capacity to the plant, thereby ending Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s reliance upon imports to satisfy demand for its truck and bus tyres in Africa.