Ladysmith, South Africa—Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.'s South African subsidiary has inaugurated production of radial truck and bus tires at an expanded Ladysmith factory.
Up to now, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd. had to rely on imports to supply African markets with Dunlop- and Sumitomo-brand truck and bus tires, SRI said. The start of local production ensures a stable supply for the company's markets throughout Africa.
SRI committed $62 million in April 2016 to add capacity for radial truck and bus tires at the plant it acquired in late 2013 from India's Apollo Tyres Ltd.
The new capacity is rated at 750 tires a day by 2020.
The truck/bus tire project was on top of $100 million SRI had committed for the plant through 2017 to upgrade capacity for high-performance tires and expand overall capacity at plant, originally built by Dunlop Holdings in 1973.
That project was designed to boost capacity to 14,500 car and light truck tires daily.
The TBR expansion created 193 jobs, raising employment at the plant to 1,060.