By Theodore Opara
SUMITOMO Rubber South Africa (PTY) LTD (SRSA), manufacturer of the popular Dunlop tyre brand, launched the Dunlop High Performance Sport SP FM800 tyre at its dealer meeting in Lagos, in partnership with Tyre Express Nigeria Limited.
Some 50 dealers were hosted at the launch, which was attended by Guests of Honour including His Royal Highness Prince Olusegun Aderemi, as well as Chairman of Tyre Express Nigeria, Jaber Abbas, Director Mr. Govind Ram and Executive Director of Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), Mr Yutaka Kuroda.
SRSA Chief Executive Officer Riaz Haffejee, expressed his excitement about the prospects for growth of its Dunlop and Sumitomo Tyre brands in Africa. “Nigeria’s market for tyres is approximately four million a year and the country is a key market in terms of our Africa strategy, which sees us focusing on countries with great growth potential and expanding markets,” said Haffejee.
The Dunlop brand and retail presence were relaunched in Nigeria two years ago. With the launch of the FM800 tyre coinciding with International Nelson Mandela Day, Haffejee reminded the audience of the impact Mandela had on the world. “For us as Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, the famous quote attributed to Mandela – “It always seems impossible until it’s done” – was so apt for our relaunch of Dunlop in Nigeria and we are very proud of the progress made since then,” he said.
“We have confidence in our distributors, Tyre Express Nigeria, a subsidiary of DWA, which operates in a number of countries in West Africa, to leverage these advantages. It is an ideal partnership, in that the company caters to all segments of this market, in particular Passenger Car Radial (PCR), 4×4 and Truck/Bus Radial (TBR),” added Haffejee.
Tyre Express Nigeria is the sole authorised distributor for Dunlop and Sumitomo tyres in Nigeria. It boasts a Dunlop Zone and four Dunlop Express stores in Nigeria, in addition to a well-established dealer network.
He said SRSA, through Dunlop, offered training assistance and technical expertise to back up its superior quality products like the new Dunlop High Performance Sport SP FM800.