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Dunlop is one of the most iconic and recognisable tyre brands in the world, with an unbroken history going back over 120 years.


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DUNLOP GRANDTREK – GOING PLACES GOOGLE STREET VIEW HASN’T BEEN

06/10/2020

The Dunlop Grandtrek Uncharted journey took the brand to all 9 provinces in South Africa, seeking out roads far from the beaten track that could be added using a special 360-degree camera. The tyres selected for the journey included the Dunlop AT3G, AT25, and the recently launched AT5. This allowed for a mix of roads from tar and gravel, to the seriously rough stuff only the most adventurous would even consider tackling.

This confidence to go anywhere is exactly what inspired Dunlop to embark on Grandtrek Uncharted. “The journey should be just as exciting as the destination. In the old days, adventurers would map out new places they discovered. We wanted to capture some of this spirit and show customers that our Grandtrek range allows them to go places that even Google hasn’t yet been. We’re very excited as this is unique and something no other tyre manufacturer has ever done. With Dunlop Grandtrek, you can take the road…even when there isn’t one,“ said Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa.

The Grandtrek Uncharted 360-degree footage has been uploaded to the Google Street View platform. Consumers who want to view some of the footage, as well as the destinations visited, can log onto www.grandtrek.co.za and view the dedicated experience videos. These have also been uploaded to the Dunlop SA social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as the YouTube channel.

2019 Read More...

HEIGHTENED PRICE SENSITIVY PREDICTED AS SA ECONOMY RESUMES

06/10/2020

We are concerned that the increased economic pressure consumers and businesses are under, as a result of COVID-19, may result in the delay of the purchase of replacement tyres and may lead to road users considering purchasing 2nd hand tyres, believing that these are a more cost-effective alternative to buying new."

The lack of regulation enforcement in the 2nd hand tyre industry is of great concern and could lead to far greater cost, exposing consumers and road users to potential hazards.

A tyre is considered waste and must be mutilated and disposed of by the Waste Agency if it does not conform to the Road Traffic Act which states that a 2nd hand waste tyre is a tyre that is not safe-for-use (or resale) and should be mutilated by the tyre reseller, as described by Section 6 (2) of the Waste Tyre Regulations of 2017. A 2nd hand tyre is not safe to use when the tread depth across any part of the tyre is below the level of the tread wear indicators (set at 1.6mm), has no tread wear indicator as this may be due to carving the rubber on tyres to create more tread depth (regrooving, has damaged rubber that exposes fabric or cord, or cuts, lumps or bulges in the sidewall of the tyre. This is the law.

Tyre dealers are also required by law to mutilate waste tyres. This is to protect consumers to ensure that tyres cannot be re-used. Resale or use of a tyre that is considered a waste tyre is illegal. As part of Sumitomo Dunlop’s commitment to safer roads, Dunlop dealers are equipped and trained to identify a safe part-worn tyre and one that should be scrapped as waste. As such it is important that consumers be made aware of what constitutes a waste tyre vs a safe to reuse tyre.

In terms of Regulation 1 of the Waste Tyre Regulation, a “part worn tyre” means a used tyre, which can be safely returned to its original intended use. This is a tyre that has the right tread depth and no damages, cuts, bumps or no regrooving. This is a safe to re-use tyre.

We estimate that second-hand tyres account for between 1.5 million to 2 million passenger tyres in the market. Of these, according to our surveys, annually more than 1 million tyres are sold that are illegal (61% of all 2nd hand tyres for sales currently) and should not be on the roads. As an industry we have a responsibility in ensuring that the practice of selling unsafe, ill-suited, and illicit second-hand tyres to unsuspecting and uninformed customers, ends.

The basics are that dealers have a duty to scrap tyres that are considered not safe for use on the road, by mutilating them and preventing them ending up back on the road, consumers should not buy 2nd hand tyres from the side of the road and should buy from reputable tyre retail outlets that can advise appropriately. We also urge the Dept of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries to enforce the regulations vigorously for the protection of consumers.

Read the full article on SA Treads here.

2019 Read More...

Locally produced tyre a game changer for trucking industry

07/09/2020

“The SP835A is a big deal for both the company and the trucking industry,” said Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, manufacturer of Dunlop tyres. “The launch of the SP835A sees the beginning of a new era where we are now able to supply a full set of locally produced tyres for the entire truck, for all positions – from Steer, to Drive and Trailer.”

A premium Drive tyre, the SP835A was developed for improved Cost per Kilometre (CPK), high mileage in long-haul highway applications. Exhibiting even tread wear and low rolling resistance due to DECTES* technology (reducing fuel consumption), the tyre has been manufactured using a cut resistant compound and has a Heel and Toe resistant pattern. Better heat dissipation is achieved using base tread material in the tread construction which enhances re-treadability.

Key features include:

  • Reinforced bead: Bead with nylon reinforcement for even wear performance
  • Optimised Breakers Angle: Better distribution of ground contact pressure results in uniform tread wear improvement.
  • Pattern highlights:
    • Lug groove with different angle aimed at minimizing retention of stones and keeping block stiffness.
    • Less partial abrasion during block movement for even wear and higher mileage.
    • Tie-bars on the shoulder blocks reduces Heel & Toe wear, increasing driver comfort.
    • Performance improvement between wear, cut/chipping and stone trapping.
  • Available sizes: 315/80R22.5 and 295/80R22.5.

In house field application tests on 315/80R22.5 showed best performance in the Drive application for the SP835A versus 31 competitors and 19 Dunlop tyres in three different fleets, showing an up to 18% improvement on mileage.

2019 Read More...

Female mechanical engineer breaks through gender defined barriers

07/09/2020

Mojela joined tyre manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, the manufacturer of the Dunlop tyre brand in Ladysmith in 2017. As part of the Truck Bus Radial Development Department, she works as a Process Engineer designing new tyres sizes and patterns. The team ensures that tyres meet market demand, provide cost savings to fleets, and complement the existing tyre range produced and sold by the company. “I enjoy the company of my colleagues - it helps to handle the pressure of working in the factory and to deadlines.”

With a BTech in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Johannesburg and a National diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Durban University of Technology, Mojela in no stranger to going after what she wants. “I grew up in Limpopo where I went to a technical high school, then moved around the country to pursue my studies before settling in Ladysmith.”

Ever practical, her advice to women wanting to achieve in a male dominated field is to never feel sorry for yourself or feel that you are an underachiever just because you are not able to do certain things. “For example, I cannot underrate my value just because I cannot lift a 70kg tyre the way some of my male counterparts can, but I can excel in other areas. It is not all about the physical, but about how you apply your mind in the workplace, a willingness to learn and being dedicated to your job.” she says.

Mojela says working under different managers has helped her grow her goals and push herself harder. “I am a work in progress, learning different things every day, acknowledging that there is always room for improvement in every role you play. Not just about my work scope but also about how to work professionally and with people from different cultures.”

A typical day starts on site at 7:30 am and moving between the factory floor supervising tyre builds and the office planning and working through designs. As mom to a toddler boy, Mojela faces a busy, high pressure time at home too but finds the time to spend time with her family and the energy to enjoy her passion for cooking, “The kitchen is my place of joy, no matter how tired I am.”

What would she say to her 18-year-old self? “Don’t be shy to go for what you want. Never be scared to take challenges, we learn through new experiences. Let other people in your field inspire you to achieve more and keep studying!”

2019 Read More...

Lower human activity limiting tyre sales

Tracy Hancock, Engineering News 24/08/2020

Tyre sales depend on human activity driving to work or for leisure as this equates to the consumption of tyres. Reduced human activity will be the reality for the foreseeable future and sustainability necessitates change within Sumitomo Dunlop, which manufactures the Sumitomo tyres, as well as Falken and Dunlop tyre brands, says Haffejee.

However, he states that demand for the company's tyres is increasing since the restrictions of lockdown have eased. If local tourism opens further and travel between provinces is permitted for leisure, demand should improve, with the year ending on a better note.

In terms of exports, other African countries are not as active as they previously were, although demand for Sumitomo Dunlop's products from South African Development Community countries has improved. Exports outside Africa will be more difficult, as the recovery rate of economies affected by Covid-19 in Europe and parts of Asia is uncertain, says Haffejee.

In terms of original equipment supplied to car manufacturers in South Africa, demand is expected to decrease by between 25% and 40%, depending on the manufacturer. "While the pandemic may not present an existential crisis that warrants the rethinking of the company's business model, aspects within this model definitely need to change. The extent of these changes will materialise in the next few months," says Haffejee.

Meanwhile, for automotive component companies with excess money, the next six to 12 months will be an opportune time to acquire other companies in the sector, "but whether anyone has the money to do so now, is the question", says Haffejee. He says it is uncertain how long it will take for the automotive economy to recover. "It may take anywhere between six months and five years, but our forecast is that things will only be close to normal by the second half of next year."

While he predicts a "rough ride" for the rest of this year, Haffejee expects the first half of next year to be equally difficult. "For now, we are focused on stabilising our supply chain, looking after our customers and ensuring that we are taking care of our work force. Our financial modelling indicates that we will be in a good place when the market does pick up."

Meanwhile, the small, owner managed businesses that mostly comprise the company's tyre fitment and service centre franchise Dunlop Zone, were placed in a precarious position owing to the pandemic's impact on economic activity. "However, I have more confidence in many of the dealers than I did a month ago."

Manufacturing

Haffejee describes the pandemic's impact on Sumitomo Dunlop's manufacturing process as a complex topic. "It is not just about what happens inside the factory, it is about what happens when workers enter and leave the factory, and when workers or their family members test positive for Covid 19. We have had to contemplate challenges we have never had to address before."

The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers Naacam has helped the company considerably in doing so, as has the Durban Automotive Cluster DAC, in KwaZulu Natal. "Between Naacam handling the larger industry issues and the DAC providing us with best practice in the industry and manufacturing, we have been able to formulate our own standard operating procedures, workplace plan and risk assessments," says Haffejee.

Safety first

Sumitomo Dunlop has reduced to a 22/7 shift operation to allow two hours for preparation and cleaning to ensure safety amid the Covid-19 outbreak. This has resulted in additional time being allocated to cleaning and shift change operations, as well as the identification of how best to handle absenteeism, owing to quarantining when workers test positive.

Haffejee states that the biggest difference in Sumitomo Dunlop's manufacturing process is the time lost because of cleaning and preparation. "Pre Covid 19 we ran a 24/7 shift operation, which has been reduced to a 22/7 shift operation to allow two hours for preparation and cleaning to ensure safety."

Consequently, Sumitomo Dunlop is running at 90% of its manufacturing capacity, with Haffejee stating that this will be the norm for the foreseeable future. While he says there were no challenges regarding rubber imports during Level 5 of the lock down, the importing of chemicals and steel from suppliers in China did present a challenge, owing to China's lockdown.

In addition, when raw materials did arrive in South Africa, delivery was further delayed, owing to the backlog at the Port of Durban. Therefore, raw material containers were accessible only by mid-May. "However, this did not affect us in the end, as we were not manufacturing."

Much of Sumitomo Dunlop's energy has been focused on educating employees on their responsibility to protect those around them. "We started a programme at the end of March called Asivikelane, which means 'Let's protect each other' in isiZulu," notes Haffejee.

As the infection rate continues to rise across the country, he says the only way Sumitomo can operate in this environment is if every employee is disciplined and takes responsibility for their actions. "The biggest disruption to the automotive market going forward will not be sluggish demand, but the failure to take responsibility for keeping those around you safe and to ensure that South Africa can continue economic activity. This will be a big threat for us for the next few months," Haffejee concludes.

For more, visit: www.srigroup.co.za

2019 Read More...

Archived News

DUNLOP GRANDTREK – GOING PLACES GOOGLE STREET VIEW HASN’T BEEN

06/10/2020

Most people have used Google Street View to view places they plan on going to. But what happens ...

2019

HEIGHTENED PRICE SENSITIVY PREDICTED AS SA ECONOMY RESUMES

06/10/2020

Riaz Haffejee CEO of Sumitomo Dunlop says: "Annually South Africa experiences around 14 000 road ...

2019

Locally produced tyre a game changer for trucking industry

07/09/2020

Buying local is key to rebuilding the South African economy following the impact of the COVID-19 ...

2019

Female mechanical engineer breaks through gender defined barriers

07/09/2020

Working in a male dominated industry can be a daunting prospect for a woman. But today, women are ...

2019

Lower human activity limiting tyre sales

Tracy Hancock, Engineering News 24/08/2020

Every business is going to face the consequences of lower human activity and, thereby, commercial ...

2019

Young racing driver going places – at high speed

21/08/2020

A business analyst by profession, 28 year-old Jonathan Mogotsi, is not only smart at hedging his ...

2019

AJ Venter on COVID-19: Please guys – be careful!

16/07/2020

Professional Motorcycle Racer, Allann-Jon Venter, also known as AJ shares his thoughts on COVID-19 ...

2019

Motorsport is my life

16/07/2020

Stuart White dreams of being back on the track

2019

Sumitomo Dunlop Covid-19 Health and Safety Operating Protocol

Dunlop Tyres SA 04/06/2020

Sumitomo Dunlop sales and service sites are open along with our manufacturing plant.

2019

Take the road again

Dunlop Tyres SA 04/06/2020

As a responsible brand concerned with the wellbeing of employees, customers and community at large, ...

2019

ASIVIKELANE! LET’S PROTECT EACH OTHER

Dunlop Tyres SA 24/04/2020

COVID-19 is changing lives as we know it and it’s clear that it’s not going away anytime soon. ...

2019

Our commitment to those who have to still take the road

Dunlop Tyres SA 09/04/2020

A notice to those in essential services.

2019

Dunlop says “Don’t Take The Road” during national lockdown

Dunlop Tyres SA 30/03/2020

Dunlop is asking South Africa to play our part by staying home, as the world fights the COVID-19 ...

2013

Game changer SUV and 4X4 tyre to be released

Dunlop Tyres SA 10/03/2020

With undeniably the most comprehensive range of SUV and 4X4 tyres, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa ...

2013

Could your insurer reject your claim due to poor tyres?

Dunlop Tyres SA 05/03/2020

When a vehicle has been involved in a car accident, one of the first things the assessor will do is ...

2019

Automotive aftermarket guidelines: Beneficial to consumers?

Dunlop Tyres SA 05/03/2020

Consumers have welcomed the recently published Guidelines for Competition in the South African ...

2013

Take the road back to work and school - safely

Dunlop Tyres SA 24/01/2020

Schools are back and so is the traffic. The days of leisurely drives along the coast, exploring the ...

2013

Helping learners put their best foot forward

Dunlop Tyres SA 12/12/2019

Shoes are recognised as a symbol of pride in many communities and cultures. Children are often ...

Featured 2019 Featured Article

Three simple checks to save you money on your tyres

Dunlop Tyres SA 05/12/2019

Tyre maintenance is a vital part of keeping a vehicle roadworthy,” says CEO of Sumitomo Rubber ...

2019 Featured Article

KZN business scoops 2019 Exporter of the Year Award

Dunlop Tyres SA 31/10/2019

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa clinches KZN Exporter of the Year - Africa

Featured 2019 Featured Article