Sumitomo to add TBR capacity at its South Africa Plant.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI) is planning to add capacity for radial truck and bus tyres at its plant in Ladysmith to meet rising demand for such tyres in African markets.
SRI has budgeted $55 million to cover the installation of production equipment for TBR tyres at the plant it acquired from Apollo Tyres Ltd. in 2013. SRI said it expects the new capacity to come on stream in mid-2018.
Having capacity closer to these markets will allow the tyre maker to strengthen its tyre sales business in Africa and accelerate the pace of the group’s global growth and development, SRI said. The plant operates under the auspices of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Kobe, Japan-based SRI did not disclose the scale of capacity it’s planning to install at Ladysmith nor the effect on employment. The 44-year-old factory’s daily capacity for car and light truck tyres is put at 10,000 units, with 1,121 hourly employees.