The report on the South African Tyre Industry focuses on current conditions and factors influencing the success of the sector. The role of manufacturers, importers, retailers, retreaders, fitment centre operators and recyclers in the local market is highlighted and eighteen companies are profiled. These range from Leader Rubber Company SA (Pty) Ltd, which manufactures precured tread for the retreading industry, to Trentyre (Pty) Ltd, which manufactures Goodyear tyres and employs 1,500 people in its 80 branches and 14 retread factories.
The South African Tyre sector
This report focuses on the South African tyre industry, which is estimated to be worth approximately R30bn annually. The tyre manufacturing sector employs an estimated 7,000 people directly, often in areas of higher-than-average unemployment. Although the combined annual capacity of the four major tyre manufacturers is 18 million tyres as a result of substantial investments in facilities and processes in recent years, local production for the local and export market reached only 8.6 million tyres in 2014.
The four main tyre manufacturers, Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Sumitomo compete against an estimated 200 importers of tyres of various brands and of the approximately 11 million tyres sold locally each year, about 5 million are imported. The key issues of difficult macro-economic conditions, declining labour productivity and rising electricity costs have been compounded by ever-increasing imports and the dumping of low-cost subsidised tyres, mainly from the Far East. In response, the South African Tyre Manufacturers’ Conference (SATMC) is planning to lodge a complaint with the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC). Another area of concern in the market is the import of between 1 million and 1.5 million second-hand tyres, with research indicating that 53% of second-hand tyres on the market are not suitable for South African road conditions.