Dunlop Tires announced it is investing in a multi-million dollar project backed by its Japan-based parent company, Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI). The manufacturer said this investment will boost local tire production capacity as more Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) look to domestic tire producers to meet vehicle specifications.
The $88.7 million investment drive was announced during the 50th anniversary of Dunlop’s Ladysmith manufacturing plant in South Africa. The production facility first opened its doors in October 1973. Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), the South African operation of SRI, manufactures Dunlop tires and also distributes the Sumitomo and Falken tire brands.
Dunlop said it holds approximately 20% of the local OE market and has agreements in place with Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu, Hino, Tata, Scania and UD Trucks, effectively resulting in one-in-five vehicles on South Africa roads being factory-fitted with tires produced from the Dunlop Ladysmith plant.
The investment includes new plant equipment and machinery, such as a new mixer, new tread line, and new sidewall line, which will increase passenger car tire production capabilities, efficiencies and product offering to further support the OE market, Nokian said.