Sumitomo Rubber has started production of truck and bus tyres at its Ladysmith, South Africa facililty to supply the Afircan continent.

"Until now, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA) relied on imports to supply African markets with truck and bus tyres," said a Sumitomo statement. "Now, with the start of local production of truck and bus tyres, we have gained the ability to ensure a stable supply for Africa.

"Moving forward, the SRI Group will continue working to enhance our tyre sales business in Africa as part of our efforts to further grow and develop our overall global business."

Last month Sumitomo Rubber Europe and Dunlop Tech opened their European Development Centre campus in Germany.

After a construction period of more than one year, the 30,000sqm premises in Hanau-Steinheim now houses facilities for tyre development and testing, the production of liquid latex and the design of tyre pressure monitoring systems.