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What is the status quo currently of sub-standard tyres being imported, especially those coming in from China? PK: It is difficult to say as all tyres need to go through a homologation process. How do you believe tyres of dubious quality are able to infiltrate our market given the homologation

❝I strongly believe we need an Independent Testing Facility to conduct the relevant tests on random tyre samples❞


How big a threat do tyres of inferior quality pose to local manufacturers and importers of reputable products alike? PK: I believe that the dealer trade should be taking greater responsibility for the products it is selling. Granted, a lot of this is being driven by the consumer asking for the cheapest product, but that said, the dealer should be educating their customers on the


perils of buying some of these tyres which simply do

PK: It is my opinion that many of these tyres are

not perform in terms of mileage and more importantly,

homologated with the paperwork already supplied. But that does not


necessarily mean that the tyres arriving are of the same quality as those

AM: These cheap no-name brands are a big threat to the market as

tested and furnished with an ‘E’ mark of approval. More worrying still,

typically, there is no long-term commitment or after-sales service.

scores of tyres arrive in South Africa marked as something else, in order to avoid paying the import duty.

What can be done to educate the general public on the dangers of fitting inferior quality tyres to their vehicles?

Do you believe there are sufficient measures in place to limit their

PK: As I’ve just mentioned, dealers need to take responsibility for the

entry into the country?

products they sell. Their customers rely on them to supply them with

PK: No, not when tyres are being declared as something completely

a quality product at a reasonable price, but it has become the market

different. Which begs the question; ‘how does one control this’? The

norm to flaunt the cheapest price, just to get the business.

only way would be to scan each and every container at the arrival port, but resources are scarce.

In turn the consumer should also be asking some pertinent questions, such as: ‘Does the tyre carry a full guarantee? Is the local

AM: Thankfully, the NRCS is working hard to structure and put in place

supplier large enough to assist in the event of a tyre fault/claim?

the necessary procedures in order to protect the brands that do follow

Why is this tyre so cheap, and will it last for 40 000kilometres?

the rules and regulations.

AM: I believe a more targeted advertising drive aimed at the consumer would go a long way towards educating the motorist, however, most

What would you like to see being done to combat this problem?

imported brands do not have a sufficient marketing budget to run

PK: I strongly believe we need an Independent Testing Facility to conduct

proper educational advertising campaigns.

the relevant tests on random tyre samples, as opposed to checking the samples ahead of arrival. Only then, will you have a real chance of

How informed is the South African consumer on the differences

identifying and catching offending plants and unscrupulous importers.

between reputable brands and sub-standard ones, in your view? PK: Some are extremely brand-driven but the average person has no

Would you say that the number of imported ‘cheapies’ has grown in

clue and relies solely on what he is told by the dealer, or worse still,

recent years?

insists on buying the cheapest product as that is all they can afford.

PK: Yes, up until twelve months ago this was definitely the case. Currently there are around 449 tyre importers in South Africa (this

AM: I don’t believe the South African consumer is suitably informed.

number includes the local manufacturers who also import product to

For example, all Chinese brands are placed inside the ‘Chinese’ box. It

supplement their range), but the past few months have seen a sizeable

takes years for a good quality brand to step outside of this box and to

decrease in the numbers of tyres being imported, mainly due to the

be seen as a reputable imported brand.

exchange rate, which at this point, greatly favours the local producers and makes it extremely difficult for imported products to compete.

Do you believe the consumer would be prepared to pay more for a

But the biggest challenge in my opinion, remains the downward trend in

reputable brand if properly informed?

sales worldwide. In a bid to remain sustainable, this has forced factories

PK: The irony here is that by buying a sub-standard tyre, the consumer

to cut prices in order to dispose of surplus stock.

could in fact be paying double in that if the tyre only delivers 30 percent

SA Treads June 2016  
SA Treads June 2016  

SA Treads quarterly magazine for the tyre industry in South Africa