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The Dunlop Brand Celebrates 130 Years

Multi-award winning tyre brand Dunlop, manufactured by Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), kicks off its 130-year birthday celebrations across South Africa in October this year.  The brand is known for its impressive history in the tyre industry, pioneering ground-breaking innovations and developing quality products that consumers know and continue to trust.

John Boyd Dunlop, the namesake of the Dunlop brand, patented the first practical pneumatic tyre

Dunlop’s legacy of quality and reliability is why it has stood the test of time

Speaking on the brands successful history Riaz Haffejee CEO of SRSA, manufacturers of the brand said, “We acquired the Dunlop brand in 2013 and it has been a privilege to take a brand, with such a rich heritage and continue its amazing journey. Dunlop’s legacy of quality and reliability is why it has stood the test of time. At SRSA we are committed to serving our customers with excellence and as the custodian of the #SaferthanSafe initiative, quality and safe products remain our top priority.”

Dunlop turns 130: Iconic brand Dunlop celebrates 130 years in 2018.

John Boyd Dunlop lay the foundation for one of the world’s most iconic brands when he invented the first practical pneumatic tyre. Since then the brand has achieved many significant milestones such as:

  • Dunlop and Bentley winning their first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Grand Prix of Endurance in 1924;
  • Opening the first Dunlop factory in Durban, South Africa in 1935;
  • Providing the aviation industry with the first anti-lock braking device, the “Maxaret;
  • Developing aquajet tyres – the first ever aquaplaning-resistant tyre;
  • Opening the first Dunlop steel-radial tyre factory in Ladysmith in 1973;
  • Celebrating the launch, in 2018, of the Ladysmith truck and bus radial tyre factory, the culmination of R2-billion investment into upgrading the entire plant into a world-class manufacturing facility.

The Dunlop brand is a proudly South African

Customers and staff alike shared their enthusiasm regarding the impressive 130-year achievement.

“Dunlop is the tyre brand that took my parents and grandparents places, helped them make memories and is a big part of who we are as a family today.  The brand is a proudly South African household name to me,” said Kenneth Botha of Cuyler Service Centre.

“The brand ‘Dunlop’ is more than a tyre brand. In most parts of Africa especially in countries like Nigeria and Zambia, Dunlop has achieved an iconic status. Even after decades of existence, it is still amongst the most trusted brands in Africa. The ‘D’ of Dunlop is one of the most recognised symbols in the tyre industry and we feel privileged to represent the brand in many countries in Africa,” said Govind Ram, DWA Tyre Group.

Fit Dunlop and be satisfied. Consumers have confidence in the Dunlop brand.

Dunlop was again voted the #1 Tyre Brand by consumers this year

Stephen Orr, Group Manager: Business Development at SRSA has been employed at the company for over 10 years. He said, “Under SRSA, we have seen the Dunlop brand grow from strength to strength! This is due to the company’s commitment to customer service, quality and safety. I am proud to work for a brand that is so passionate about its products.”

As a household name with an impressive track record of firsts and a firm favourite with consumers, Dunlop was again voted the #1 Tyre Brand by consumers this year. This win comes as the sixth triumph since 2009 and is testimony that Dunlop continues to be the brand of choice.

SRSA Marketing Director, Yvette Govender said it was inspiring to have Dunlop – already an iconic international tyre brand – reaffirmed as the winner in the 2017/2018 Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey¹. “Earning world-wide trust is not easy. Dunlop’s high standards of quality, affordability and availability is what makes it stand tall. At a time when cash-strapped consumers are showing less commitment to brands, it is indeed inspiring to see that Dunlop still retains consumer loyalty.”

“Dunlop’s new brand positioning reinforces the Dunlop brand essence of ‘confidence’ – the confidence the company has in its product and the confidence consumers have in the brand. The current ‘Take the Road’ campaign encourages   consumers to ‘Be who they want to be and go where they want to go, embracing their personal journey’,” says Govender. “Through consistent delivery of quality tyre products to the market, we will continue to enable consumers to quite literally take the road with this type of trust and confidence in our brand.”

Backed by Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, Dunlop will continue its history of innovation, producing solutions developed specifically for African conditions, driven by the needs of its customers with the added advantages of Japanese technology.


Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa