KOLKATA, India (June 18, 2007) – Apollo Tyres Ltd. is planning to boost radial tire capacity at its Dunlop South Africa unit “substantially” in the coming two to three years, although it declined to provide details.
Apollo, which acquired the South African firm in April 2006, said it has increased the combined capacity of the unit's Durban and Ladysmith factories by 13 percent through debottlenecking and expects a further 12-percent expansion in the near future through productivity improvements and additional debottlenecking efforts.
Apollo said the combined daily capacity of the two factories is now at 170 metric tons a day, up from 150 tons when it acquired the company. Capacity should rise to about 190 tons per day before year-end “without any additional investment in plant and machinery,” an Apollo spokesperson said.
The Ladysmith plant makes car and light truck tires, while the Durban unit makes truck, mining and off-the-road (OTR) tires. Apollo said OTR tire production represents roughly 15 percent of its South African output.
Apollo also said it is not planning investments in Dunlop's Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, plant until the foreign currency situation in Zimbabwe has improved.