The Tyre Equipment Parts Association (Tepa) is cracking the whip on tyre looters or buyers of looted product who were hoping to make a killing with what had been made off during the riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week.

The association which associates with the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) has sent out an urgent appeal to all tyre dealers and workshops to refuse to fit any tyres or parts that were supplied by the customer without a valid proof of purchase.

Tepa national director Hedley Judd said that as a result of last week’s civil unrest, a number of tyre warehouses, tyre dealers and spares dealers, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, were looted and ransacked. This meant that much of this stock was now doing the rounds in the marketplace.

Tepa, said that where tyres or parts were provided without a valid proof of purchase, Tepa suggested that the SAPS be alerted to the fact immediately, and that any instructions from the SAPS be followed correctly.

Judd said the losses were likely to lead to a short-term shortage of stock on a localised basis, particularly where current transport issues were also proving difficult at the moment.

Recently, the manufacturer of the Dunlop tyre brand, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) said it lost an estimated R90 million in stock and assets when its Durban Westville warehouse was invaded unlawfully and vandalised earlier this month, and said it was aware that much of the stolen passenger and motorcycle tyre stock was now being sold online.

The tyre manufacturer said that in videos circulating on social media, groups of unidentified individuals were seen making off with tyres in the warehouse.

SRSA chief executive Lubin Ozoux said the loss in stock and assets is estimated to be approximately R90 million with 70 000 tyres stolen from their own warehouse of an estimated total of 140 000 tyres known to have been looted from across the tyre manufacturing chain. “However, there will be a substantial impact not only for the Dunlop business but for the entire value chain, including employees, the community and the supply chain,” said Ozoux.

According to the “South Africa Tyre Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020” report, the tyre market in South Africa was forecast to exhibit a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 11 percent through 2020. Rising per capita income, expanding automotive fleet, increasing automobile exports and continuing launch of new vehicle models in the domestic market, were the major factors driving the automotive industry in South Africa. Growth in the automotive sector was resulting in increased demand for both original equipment manufacture (OEM) and replacement tyres. Segment wise, passenger car tyres were expected to remain dominant in the market through 2020. In 2014, the replacement tyre segment dominated the market, predominantly on account of extensive use of commercial vehicles for construction purposes. The replacement segment was expected to retain its dominance in the market over the forecasted period.

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