Apollo Tyres has opened a new state-of-the-art Component Preparation Unit at its Ladysmith tire manufacturing facility in South Africa.

The 6,500 square meter unit has the potential for further expansion to facilitate future growth. The $35 million investment includes a new calendering machine and triplex extrusion line.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Onkar Kanwar, Chairman, Apollo Tyres Ltd., outlined the challenges facing South African tire manufacturers of high manufacturing and wage costs and the threat of cheaper imports.

“Despite 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 realize,” said Kanwar.

Apollo says 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 tire capacity of Durban by 20%, and the Ladysmith passenger vehicle and light truck tire capacity by 30%.

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