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Goodyear is expanding consumer tire production in...

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is making another investment to expand production of high-value-added (HVA) consumer tires.

Goodyear South Africa will invest 670 million South African Rand, the equivilant of $49.7 million, to increase production of HVA consumer tires at its Uitenhage manufacturing plant.

The investment will bring state-of-the-art manufacturing technology to the plant and will enable Goodyear to meet what it calls "the strong and growing market demand for HVA consumer tires in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa."

The tire market in South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa is expected to experience double-digit growth through 2020 led by the consumer segment.

“This is an important investment by Goodyear and is consistent with our strategy to serve the needs of our customers and the company’s focus to invest in high return projects that drive profitable growth,” says Jean-Jacques Wiroth, managing director of Goodyear South Africa.

The expansion in South Africa comes less than five months after Goodyear said it would meet its growing needs for HVA tires in North America by building a new plant in Mexico.

The new technology and accompanying comprehensive employee training will further improve the plant’s capability and capacity to produce low rolling resistance tires that promote fuel economy in vehicles to meet the growing demand from vehicle manufacturers and the replacement market, as well as meet the increase in market requirements for HVA 4X4 SUV tyres.

To allow for this expansion, Goodyear South Africa also proposes to relocate the plant’s production of medium radial truck tires (MRT) to other plants across the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Under the proposals, Goodyear has affirmed its intention to consult with the union representatives and employees who are currently working in the MRT area to minimize the impact through offering a variety of alternatives.

Subject to consultation, the company expects to be substantially complete with the investment plans by the end of 2016 or early 2017. The company does not anticipate disruption to tire services or supply during this period.

Goodyear South Africa says it will continue to communicate with union representatives, employees, customers, business partners and local authorities in an on-going dialogue together throughout the consultation process.

For more information on Goodyear and its products in South Africa, visit www.goodyear.co.za.

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