Goodyear South Africa today announced it will invest ZAR670 million to increase production of high-value-added (HVA) consumer tyres at its Uitenhage manufacturing plant to drive profitable growth and meet market demands.
The investment plan would see the introduction of state-of-the-art manufacturing technology for the plant and will enable Goodyear to meet the strong and growing market demand for HVA consumer tyres in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa. The tyre market in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa is expected to experience double-digit growth through 2020 led by the consumer segment.
“This is an important investment by Goodyear and is consistent with our strategy to serve the needs of our customers and the company’s focus to invest in high return projects that drive profitable growth,” said Jean-Jacques Wiroth, managing director of Goodyear South Africa.
The new technology and accompanying comprehensive employee training will further improve the plant’s capability and capacity to produce Low Rolling Resistance tyres that promote fuel economy in vehicles to meet the growing demand from vehicle manufacturers and the replacement market, as well as meet the increase in market requirements for HVA 4X4 SUV tyres.
To allow for this expansion, Goodyear South Africa also proposes to relocate the plant’s production of Medium Radial Truck tyres (MRT) to other plants across the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Under the proposals, Goodyear has affirmed its intention to consult with the union representatives and employees who are currently working in the MRT area to minimise the impact through offering a variety of alternatives.
Subject to consultation, the company expects to be substantially complete with the investment plans by the end of 2016 or early 2017. The company does not anticipate disruption to tyre services or supply during this period.
Goodyear South Africa will continue to communicate with union representatives, employees, customers, business partners and local authorities in an on-going dialogue together throughout the consultation process.