The production of tyres in Ethiopia goes back to 1973, when Addis Tyre S.C. (ATC) the first of its kind in the country, was established with a yearly production capacity of 60,000 tyres and a total labor force of 260 people.
Major inputs and raw materials for tyre manufacturing are imported from Malaysia, India, China, Indonesia, Egypt and Europe. Natural Rubber is one of the major inputs. Among those imported raw materials, the price of natural rubber is constantly growing.
After subsequent joint venture formation between Addis Tyre S.C. (Government Owned) and the Slovakian renowned tyre manufacturer, MATADOR –A.S. was established in June 2004 and the operation commenced in July 2004 with the hybrid trade name MATADOR-Addis Tyre S.C.
However, due to shift in Business focus, MATADOR-Addis Tyre S.C. transferred its share to Continental AG on October 23, 2007. Continental AG, the world known German tyre manufacturer company with about 23% world tyre market share, has bought all Matador holding companies in Slovakia, Russia and Ethiopia.
Due to lack of concentration of continental AG, there was no significant progress on the commitment of MATADOR-Addis Tyre S.C. in terms of upgrading the existing Bias tyre technology and commencement of Truck Radial tyre production. Continental AG rather preferred to sale its share to a potential strong national investor who can discharge all joint venture obligations.