The Tyre Industry in South Africa
Sales of locally-manufactured tyres plunged by more than 20% in 2020. While local production declined during the pandemic, it has fallen year on year since 2015, despite significant investment by local manufacturers. The sector faces a number of challenges, from growing imports and illegal import practices such as under-invoicing, a carbon tax which came into effect in 2019 and recent raw materials increases which have added to costs. Another key challenge is the improper processing of waste tyres, which has led to millions of unsafe second-hand tyres being sold locally.
The government’s waste tyre recycling programme is being handled by the Waste Tyre Bureau until the new industry waste tyre management plan is approved, after the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) was placed in provisional liquidation in 2017. Under the current plan, a levy on each newly purchased tyre funds recycling, but tyre manufacturers say the system has broken down and led to tyres being stockpiled.
Research and Development
Current research priorities include meeting fuel-efficiency goals particularly for electric vehicles. New technologies are reducing tyre weight and saving fuel, as well as smart tyres with embedded sensors. Tyre wear prediction technology will allow for early damage detection. Nitrogen-filled tyres are being considered for mining and commercial vehicles that operate in extreme temperatures.
This report focuses on the tyre industry in South Africa including the manufacture and retail of tyres. It includes comprehensive information on the size and state of the industry, trade and investment, and influencing factors. There are profiles of 17 companies including the major manufacturers Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Sumitomo, tyre retailers such as Hi-Q and TrenTyre and other companies such as Bandag, which makes rubber retread products.