Gentyre Pty Ltd. then - The General Tyre and Rubber Company (SA)
Pty Ltd - was established in 1947 by the Williams Hunt Group, South
Africa, and General Tyres International in Akron, Ohio.
The manufacturing facility was built in Port Elizabeth in 1948
and by the end of 1950, tyres, tubes and repair materials were being
sold in South Africa, the Rhodesias (now Zambia and Zimbabwe), Nyasaland
(Malawi) and South West Africa (Namibia).
The Company continued to expand through the 1950's and in the early
1960's General steelbelted radial ply tyres were introduced in the
In 1978, General Tyre in South Africa concluded a technical service
agreement with Continental AG in Germany - the first formal association
between the two companies - which gave the Company access to the
technology required to build high performance steelbelt radial ply
tyres in South Africa.
In 1985, the association was further consolidated when Continental
in Germany approved the production of Continental branded products
by General Tyre at its factory in Port Elizabeth.
Continental tyres were launched in South Africa in 1986 and quickly
achieved success in both the original equipment and replacement
Internationally, the 1987 acquisition of General Tyre USA by Continental
AG, further reinforced the association between the Continental and
General brands in South Africa and helped create new product opportunities.
A major milestone for General Tyre in South Africa - and an important
acknowledgement of the company's technical capability - was the
approval for Continental branding of a range of South African designed
and developed recreational vehicle (RV) tyres - which had previously
been marketed as General branded products.
The General Tyre and Rubber Company also introduced Continental
commercial steelbelted radial ply tyres - where they have been particularly
well received in the uniquely South African minibus taxi market.
Limited numbers of imported Continental heavy truck tyres have been
introduced in South Africa and exciting opportunities exist for
the local manufacture of these and other giant truck tyres.
Offering outstanding tyre life and excellent value for money, General
branded products remain a South African favourite and have a high
level of acceptance in other Southern African markets.
In 1994, the General Sportiva range of steelbelted radial ply tyres,
based on a highly successful European design, was launched in South
Africa at the upper end of the economy segment of the market and
has set new standards for General in the domestic passenger tyre
market as a tyre offering modern features and affordable all-round
General crossply and radial ply light and heavy truck tyres have
a long-established reputation in South Africa as dependable, durable,
hard-working tyres and are found in every industrial, commercial,
building and haulage application.
South African agriculture as well as the mining and logging industries
are extensively supplied with locally manufactured General tyres.
As with all Gentyre products, these are backed by comprehensive
after-sales, service and technical support from the factory and
by a nationwide dealer and field service network.
Over the past four years, Continental Tyre SA has invested over
R200 million in the modernisation and upgrading of its research,
development and manufacturing facilities. The Company now has the
only holographic tyre inspection facility in the Southern Hemisphere
and manufactures exceptionally high quality products which meet
the exacting construction and uniformity requirements of its overseas
technology parents. Most recently, programmes have been implemented
to further streamline production and optimise factory utilisation
as the Company prepares to become an increasingly competitive supplier
to domestic and export markets.
Continental Tyre SA has achieved notable success through Continental
in the original equipment market - particularly in the high performance
passenger tyre categories. With an overwhelming dominance of production
car racing in South Africa, Continental became highly visible as
a leading performance tyre - and three leading motor manufacturers
chose Continental tyres to establish nearly every South African
speed and endurance record over the past 6 years.
Reaffirming its performance heritage, Continental introduced the
first locally manufactured Z-speed rated tyre in South Africa in
1992. In the same year, they also introduced the first high performance
16-inch tyre - the 205/55ZR16 CZ90. In 1994, Continental again asserted
its position at the forefront of leading edge technology in South
Africa with the introduction of the first locally manufactured 17-inch
tyre - the 235/40ZR17 CZ90 - fitted as original equipment on the
BMW M3 sports coupe'.
Continental tyres are now approved as original equipment on all leading
South African manufactured high performance saloons and sports hatchbacks
-manufactured by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Opel, Toyota, Nissan,
Mazda and Ford.
|| Continental Tyre SA in bold new partnership move Continental Tyre South
Africa (Pty) Ltd, a leading premium brand tyre manufacturer
and distributor, heralded in 2003 with the first direct
Black Empowerment equity holding in the tyre manufacturing
industry in the form of Vulisango Industries.Continental
Tyre S.A. (Pty) Ltd is the Regional Headquarters for tyre
manufacturing and distribution for Continental A.G’s
Tyre Division, in sub Saharan Africa.
Vulisango, which is a Xhosa word meaning “open gate”,
has a 26% equity stake in Continental Tyre S.A. which
it purchased from WACO. The remaining 14% equity held
by WACO was purchased by Continental A.G. The German registered
multinational now has 74% equity in Continental Tyre S.A.
The deal was concluded mid December 2002 and became effective
on 1 January 2003. Vulisango’s stakeholding entitles
them to two Board seats in Continental Tyre S.A. Continental
Tyre SA and its majority stakeholder, Continental AG,
are both fully supportive of the Government’s initiative
in increasing the stake of the previously disadvantaged
groups in the economy. In entering into a partnership
with Vulisango there would be several advantages for the
company and its majority shareholder, Continental A.G.
In return, both Continental Tyre SA and Continental AG
will seek to actively transfer skills to the new partner.Vulisango
was chosen specifically because of the value that it can
add to the business, its strong Eastern Cape roots and
its willingness to enter into a meaningful partnership.“
I see Continental Tyre SA as a microcosm of South African
society, with all races, genders and social elements combined
in one place. Continental Tyre SA and Vulisango will show
how relationships between races and genders can work and
be very successful. I see us as a role model to the rest
of South Africa, to be used as a bench mark for other
Black Empowerment relationships.” Stated Mr.Mkele,
Chairman of Vulisango Industries.
|| The launch of the Moments TV Commercial. It is the first advertisement in South
Africa to use thousands of still photographs to represent
movement, with black and white imagery linked to classical
music. The final result was a never before seen type of
Television Commercial that caught the attention of the
public and set new standards in advertising.
|| Continental Tyre SA (Pty) Ltd. won an Exporter of the year merit award.
|| Continental Tyre SA (Pty) Ltd. won an Exporter of the year merit award. Continental
Tyre SA (Pty) Ltd. becomes the first South African Tyre
Manufacturer to supply tyres to the production line of
an overseas vehicle manufacturer, namely Mercedes Benz.
The tyre size was 225/70 R15C for the Sprinter Van.
|| Continental Tyre SA (Pty) Ltd. won the Exporter of the year award for the East
|| Continental AG acquires majority shareholding of 60% in General Tyre SA. Company
is renamed Continental Tyre SA (Pty) Ltd. Won the State
Presidents Award for Export achievement, and the PMR Golden
Arrow Award (ie. confirming the brands preffered status
with national fleet owners and Chief Executives).
|| Won 15 out of
19 Group "N production National car racing championships
and the overall Production car championships for four
|| Manufacture of the first Z-rated tyres in South Africa, with the stunning ultra-low
profile 235/40 ZR17 fitted exclusively to the BMW M3 Sports
coupe which also set the SA standard production land speed
record of 272.27km/h.
|| Continental branded range was extended with the introduction of the first locally
developed commercial tyres to cater for the minibus-taxi,
one-tonner bakkie and off-the-road markets.
|| The first Continental-branded
passenger tyres were launched in South Africa.
|| Continental AG and General Tyre SA signed agreement to manufacture Continental
branded tyres in South Africa.
|| Official opening (by the then-Minister of Transport, Mr. Hendrick Schoeman)
of the first steel radial truck tyre plant in South Africa.
Tyres introduced: Steelex RS 570, RS 580 and the General
|| General Tyre sponsored the UPE
Chair of Elastomer and Polymer Science to provide a higher
level of local skills and expertise.
|| USA disinvested
in SA, due to political pressures. Signed agreement with
Continental AG in Germany (then West Germany), effectively
giving General Tyre SA access to the latest European tyre
technology, especially with the development of steel belted
|| Introduction of the R 280 passenger textile belted radial tyre.
|| Introduction of radial passenger tyres, the most modern fabric processing unit
in the country.
|| The introduction
of Tractor and Grader tyres.
|| Manufacturing facility was commissioned and officially opened by the mayor of
Port Elizabeth on 20 April 1948
|| General Tyre South Africa was established by the Williams Hunt Group and General