May 22, 2012

Apollo Tyres continues to invest in South Africa

Apollo Tyres' Chairman, Onkar S. Kanwar, recently inaugurated a new state-of-the-art Component Preparation Unit at the Ladysmith tyre manufacturing facility in South Africa. This 6,500 sq m unit, with a potential for further expansion to facilitate future growth,
has been installed with an investment of R300-million (US$ 35-million), and has a new calendering machine and triplex extrusion line. Dudu Mazibuko, District Mayor and M. Madlala, the Mayor of Ladysmith were also present on the occassion.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Onkar S. Kanwar outlined the challenges facing South African tyre manufacturers of high manufacturing and wage costs and the threat of cheaper imports. He said, “Despite the challenges of the overall economy, at Apollo we will continue to invest in our people, plants and processes to strengthen Apollo Tyres South Africa for expansion into the African continent. South Africa has enormous potential and all of us need to work together to realise it.”

The new unit will remove capacity bottlenecks and further improve quality and productivity, while enabling capacity expansion. This component unit will feed both the Durban and Ladysmith manufacturing units of Apollo Tyres South Africa, thereby increasing the commercial vehicle tyre capacity of Durban by 20 per cent, and the Ladysmith passenger vehicle and light truck tyre capacity by 30 per cent.

Since the acquisition of the former Dunlop Tyre facilities in South Africa, Apollo has invested around R700-million (US$ 85-million) towards upgrading machinery and increasing manufacturing efficiencies in both plants. Substantial investments have also been made in people development and skill building in local communities.

“This is a continuation of our efforts to modernise and upgrade our plants to enable us to capitalise on upcoming growth across the African continent. In a similar manner given the acute shortage of skilled artisans, we have a programme in place to train young talent with mechanical aptitude. This has already brought into the fold young talent from the community,” said Dr. Luis Ceneviz, Chief Executive Officer, Apollo Tyres South Africa (Pty) Ltd.


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