OE agreements show local tyres are up to global standards

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) has OE agreements with many leading vehicle brands including Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu, Ford, TATA, UD Trucks, Scania, MAN, Iveco and VWSA. This means that tyres produced by SRSA are fitted to new vehicles on the assembly lines of these international brands.

Vehicle manufacturers are gaining trust in the quality, safety, performance and durability of locally manufactured tyres. The company says it is good for the local tyre market and the South African consumer, as it compels local tyre manufacturers to think ahead about what the future global requirements are in terms of factors such as environmental impact and rolling resistance. For local consumers, this means better tyre quality and safety. 

“Being able to win a bid to produce tyres for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) shows that a tyre company can develop tyres that meet global standards. SRSA’s investment into this area has meant we’ve been able to grow our OE footprint steadily over the years – a fact we are proud of and grateful for,” the company says.

“Maintaining credibility in this market requires extensive research and development and ongoing investment in production, as well as a commitment to ensuring on time delivery to our customers. Our OE footprint remains strong across the car and SUV market, with growing demand for SUV 17-inch and 18-inch tyres. Recent OEM wins for us include the locally produced Dunlop Grandtrek AT25 which has been selected as OE standard for South Africa’s newest bakkie entrant, the Isuzu D-Max, as well as the Nissan Navara, Toyota Fortuner and Hilux models.”

“But our big gain can be seen in the Truck and Bus Radial Tyre (TBR) market. This market is in recovery and more OEMs are favouring local content, which our local TBR factory in Ladysmith provides.“

Meeting global standards
“Being intentional about gaining market share in the OE sector has been good for our business. It has pushed us to keep thinking ahead to ensure we have the necessary know-how and technology. OEMs generally choose a tyre supplier based on the company’s technical capability to fulfil the design and performance requirements, cost and risk to the project timing. They will be guided in their decision making on how you performed on previous projects. For this reason, we put a lot of effort into protecting the relationships we have built with OEMs, which means ensuring 100% quality and on time, in full deliveries to our OE customers.”

“Vehicle manufacturers have varying specifications and targets to reach depending on the vehicle they are producing. Tyre design and construction play an important role in ensuring a vehicle meets global requirements such as emission standards, especially where a vehicle is planned for export. SRSA is continuously enhancing its factory capability, which we consider key to meeting future OE tyre requirements.”

“The goal is to be able to industrialise the latest designs received from Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ headquarters in Kobe, Japan, where our designers are constantly tracking OEM trends and requirements and benchmarking competitor tyres to ensure our latest designs measure up. This is not just good for our business, but for the local tyre market and local consumers as well,” SRSA concludes.