HISTORY

1887

The pneumatic tyre is born. John Boyd Dunlop, a Scotsman had no idea that child’s play would help revolutionise transport as we know it and laid the foundation for one of the world’s most iconic brands - Dunlop. His son complained that his solid tyre tricycle was uncomfortable and jerked as he rode along the stony streets. He then came up with the idea to wrap a rubber tube inflated with air around the rims of the tricycle and tested it by rolling it along the floor. The pneumatic tyre went much further compared to the solid tyre.

1888

Dunlop knew his invention had endless potential. He patented his chamber of rubber to contain air under pressure and then fastened it to a rim. This as we all know today is a tyre.

1896

Dunlop opens its first tyre plant in Dublin.
Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company (SA) Limited starts the first tyre distribution depot (60 Strand Street) in Cape Town for tyres manufactured in the United Kingdom.

1924

Dunlop and Bentley achieve their first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Grand Prix of Endurance.

1935

Dunlop officially opens the first tyre factory in Durban.

1953

Dunlop provides the aviation industry with the first anti-lock braking device, called “Maxaret”. Previously landing planes was risky business, due to the heavier ones skidding easily. Thanks to Dunlop that ceased to be an issue, allowing pilots to apply the brakes fully the moment the wheels touched down. It was the first invention of its kind.

1962

Dunlop discovers the aquaplaning phenomenon and soon develops aquajet tyres, the first ever aquaplaning-resistant tyres.

1973

Dunlop’s steel-radial tyre factory at Ladysmith officially opens.

1988

Dunlop celebrates its 100th anniversary by racing to victory with Jaguar at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1989

Dunlop launches the "Staffie" TV commercial. Legend has it the Staffie was named Rhubarb.

1994

The Dunlop Accredited Dealer Network, a national group of independently owned dealerships is formally established. Hardie Tyres, Ermelo was the first store to join the programme.

1998

BTR plc sells majority control to Dunlop Africa Holdings (Pty) Limited, a private equity consortium. The company name changes to Dunlop Africa Ltd.

1998

Dunlop develops the Dunlop Self-Supporting Technology (DSST) system, enabling vehicles to drive on flat tyres.

2003

South African operation receives the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System accreditation.

2008

The reinvigoration of the Dunlop Accredited Dealer (DAD) programme results in the rebranding of the dealer network as Dunlop Zone.

2008

Dunlop Tyres’ Driven by Precision positioning is launched with a new television commercial. The largest commercial produced at the time in the Mother City, Cape Town. It reignited the Dunlop brand for South African consumers.

2012

Dunlop launches its first store in Africa through Autoxpress, Kenya.

2012

The first Dunlop branded container is launched as part of the ongoing Township Development Project.

2013

December 2013, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. purchases the Dunlop brand and marketing rights for Africa.

2014

January 2014, the company name officially changes to Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (Sumitomo Rubber South Africa).

2014

September 2014, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa's Head Office relocates to the newly restored iconic Lion Match Office Park in Durban.

2015

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa engages in a sponsorship agreement with the Sasol Global Touring Car Championship, Engen Polo Cup and Volkswagen Driver Search.

2015

Dunlop opens its new Dunlop Express channel nationally and continues to grow exponentially.

2016

2016 marked the revitalisation of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa CSI policies and the start of some exclusive initiatives; namely Ubumbano Garden • Tyres Can Do More • Tyres for Good

2016

Falken launches its first store in Africa through Wabco Trading Co., Kenya.

2016

Dunlop’s Take the Road brand positioning is launched with an all-new TV commercial that set out to solidify Dunlop as one of the world’s most iconic brands.

2016

Dunlop Commercial is established as a specialist channel, focusing on truck and bus tyre products and services within the ever-growing Dunlop distribution network.

2016

Dunlop is proud to be associated with MotoGP World Champion, Brad Binder.

2017

Dunlop launches FM800, its most advanced locally manufactured tyre. The FM800 will replace over 15 Dunlop patterns with a single pattern across 42 of the most popular sizes in this market.

2018

Dunlop’s original equipment (OE) relationships continue to grow in 2017 with the Dunlop Grandtrek AT25 selected as the OE tyre on certain Toyota models. Other local OE relationships include the following brands.

2018

Dunlop introduces the new, all terrain Grandtrek AT3G tyre. This new 3-ply tyre, along with the AT3M and AT25 tyres, gives Dunlop the most comprehensive SUV / 4x4 range in the market.

2018

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa recognised for its business excellence in the Investor of the Year and Enterprise Development Programme categories at the 5th Annual South African Premier Business Awards.

2018

Dunlop wins Exporter of the Year in the large exporter category. The award was presented by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

2019/2020

Dunlop announced as the top tyre brand in South Africa in the Ask Afrika ICON TGI Brand survey, an accolade the brand continues to achieve into 2020. This is Dunlop’s seventh win in this category since 2011.