Dunlop SA has acquired a firm grip on its escalating distribution needs locally and into Africa with the opening of its new 12 500 sq/m purpose-built warehouse in Cato Manor, Durban.
The new site, which has storage capacity for more than 200 000 tyres, adds to the series of investments being made by Dunlop’s parent company, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA). SRSA’s flagship Dunlop brand, as well as its Falken and Sumitomo tyre brands will be housed at the new premises
Speaking at the opening event, SRSA CEO Riaz Haffejee said the move from the previous location in Sydney Road, Umbilo – which had been occupied for 80 years with Dunlop House being preserved as a heritage building – was spurred by the increasing demand for products in the rest of Africa, as well as to cater for anticipated growth in the supply of tyres to the automotive manufacturing sector.
“The investment made in systems, planning, technology and infrastructure will now easily position us to accommodate this demand. We are proud to announce the beginning of a new era for Dunlop,” said Haffejee.
Dunlop’s new site on the periphery of Westville, is positioned close to the N3, forming a central location to key arterial nodes. The property will house a 650 sq/m technical examination centre for on-site consumer quality testing in addition to the 7 200 sq/m bonded warehouse facility.
The site was developed in a record five months and is leased to Dunlop by Durban-based commercial property developer Newlyn Group. More than 200 temporary jobs were created during the construction phase of the development, co-ordinated with the help of the local ward councillor.
Earlier this year, the company announced a R2-billion investment made by Dunlop SA’s Japan-based owners, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Limited, which is geared at upgrading, expanding and modernising its Ladysmith production plant. It is also in the process of upgrading and expanding capacity at its warehousing facility in Jet Park, Gauteng, scheduled for completion later this year.