ERJ staff report (LMH)
Apollo Tyres has inaugurated a new state-of-the-art Component Preparation Unit at the Ladysmith tyre manufacturing facility in South Africa. The 6500 sq.m unit, with a potential for further expansion to facilitate future growth, has been installed with an investment of R300 million (Euro 4.2 million), and has a new calendering machine and triplex extrusion line.
Speaking at the inaugural function, Onkar S Kanwar, Chairman, Apollo Tyres Ltd outlined the challenges facing South African tyre manufacturers of high manufacturing and wage costs and the threat of cheaper imports.
â€œDespite 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,â€ he said.
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 percent, and the Ladysmith passenger vehicle and light truck tyre capacity by 30 percent.
Since the acquisition of the former Dunlop Tyre facilities in South Africa, Apollo has invested around R700 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.
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Press release from Apollo Tyres