Experts push for General Tyre revival

DAR ES SALAAM: ACADEMICIANS have amplified the government’s determination to revive the General Tyre East Africa factory, suggesting the plant to be granted to a strategic investor who can roll out latest technologies to serve the current widened market.

The General Tyre East Africa, which was established in 1971 by the first phase government under President Julius Nyerere to enhance an automobile industry in the Eastern Africa region, failed to yield desired fruits and was closed in 2009 due to among others mismanagement.

As the result today the country imports 100 per cent of its tyres.

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Reacting to the recent announcement released by the National Development Corporation (NDC) inviting potential investors to express their interest for revamping the factory, Business Expert, Dr Sylivester Jotta said the changing nature of the global car industry demands the potential investors to renovate the plant by installing modern machines.

Mr Jotta, who is also a lecturer at the Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), commended the ongoing efforts to privatise the General Tyre East Africa, while advising the government to pick a capable investor who can produce quality tyres.

“I am happy to hear that the government is searching for investors to revive the General Tyre which was the main producer of tyres for cars. Its ceased operations caused our country to rely on importation of tyres,” Dr Jotta told the ‘Daily News.’

He said if the plant is successfully revamped, the country will generate foreign currencies and save foreign currency.

Dr Jotta said there is a promising market for tyres by considering the increasing number of cars in the country, the East Africa region and Africa at large.

“Its revival will boost the entire economic chain in our country,” Dr Jotta said.

Revisiting, the fall of the General Tyre East Africa, Dr Jotta mentioned poor industrial governance and mismanagement as key contributing factors for the failure of the tyre manufacturer.

In that regard, he urged the government to keep on creating enabling environment for supporting the plant to be revived and to operate profitably.

Economist cum Investment Banker, Dr Hildebrand Shayo requested the government to offer favourable incentives to the investor, who will win the tender for operating the plant so as to withstand competition posed by other existing tyre industries in neigbouring countries.

He said the favourable incentives such as tax exemption should focus on lessening production cost, facilitating manufacturing of enough tyres with high quality which in return can be sold at affordable price to local users and others in the East African region.

He said the General Tyre upon revival can create tremendous jobs and revenue as it has ripple effects to other economic sectors including energy, transport and business as well as agriculture, where rubber which is a chief raw material is sourced.

Toward enhancing the automobile manufacturing in the country, Dr Shayo urged the government to ensure the country’s education curriculum prepares graduates who can join factories such as General Tyre among other firms within the automotive sector.

Furthermore, he said early efforts should start to expand farms for production of raw materials especially rubber.

“All necessary raw materials which can be sourced and produced in our country for tyre manufacturing should be identified and made available for the envisioned factory to operate efficiently,” Dr Shayo said.

NDC is searching for the prospective investor who can develop the tyre manufacturing plant with a capacity of at least 1 million tyres per annum.

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