Local Tyre Manufacturers and Importers at Loggerheads

  Colin Windell


 29 Jul, 2022

Manufacturers of tyres in South Africa are calling for import duties of between 8% and 69% on tyres imported from China.

Battle lines have been drawn between the importers and local tyre manufacturers in South Africa, the latter asking for duties of between 8% and 69% on tyres imported from China.

The Tyre Importers Association of SA (TIASA) is warning of a price increase of up to 41%, severely impacting already cash-strapped people buckling under the weight of increasing fuel prices and the latest rate hike from the Reserve Bank.

The four local tyre producers – Continental, Bridgestone, Goodyear and Sumitomo – known as the SA Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) -are asking for the duties, despite importing nearly 80% of the tyre variants they offer.

At a recent media briefing, TIASA said: “The taxi industry will be hit the hardest, with taxi tyres increasing by 41%; small passenger vehicle tyres by 38%-40%; and truck and bus tyres by 17%. Tyres are the third biggest cost driver in transport, after wages and fuel, and it will impact the cost of transport and road safety.”

TIASA says it will oppose SATMC’s application to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) to impose additional duties of between 8% and 69% on passenger, taxi, bus and truck tyres imported from China.

Charl de Villiers, Chairperson of TIASA added: “The sad reality is that while this application makes no sense at all, it will, if successful, add a significant cost burden to motorists, taxi and bus operators and trucking and logistics companies.

“Even more concerning is those vehicle owners, when faced with such dramatic cost increases, may trade down to second hand or illicit tyres, or simply delay replacing their tyres, which places every road user at greater risk of accidents.”

TIASA says the increase in the cost of tyres will not affect the aviation industry or the cost of air travel as the increase only affects the road, freight and consumer transport industries.

Tyres are a colossal cost factor for road transporters in South Africa, and any increase in costs will have a knock-on effect, as over 80% of SA’s food, medicines, fuel and many other goods rely on road freight. Thus, rising costs impact every single item transported to and across South Africa.

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