Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd Company History


  • Smiths Industries (Pty) Ltd Established to manufacture vehicle heating and ventilating systems under license to Smiths Industries Limited, England. Spark plugs manufactured under license to Lodge plugs, Rugby, UK (owned by Smiths Industries, United Kingdom).


  • DC motor manufacture commenced under license to Smiths Industries (UK).


  • License acquired from Behr, Stuttgart, Germany, for local manufacture of vehicle heaters and air conditioners of Behr design
  • License for manufacture of windscreen wiper motors obtained from Jideco, Yokohama, Japan (Major supplier to Nissan).


  • License to manufacture disc and spiral horns concluded with Miyomoto Electric Horn Company Limited, Tokyo


  • License to manufacture blower wheels and fans for industrial applications acquired from Precision Fan Company Limited, Witney, England.
  • Acquisition of Injex (Pty) Limited, New Germany, manufactures of plastic injection mouldings and associated tooling.
  • Hazardous and General Lighting services of Johannesburg acquired. Previously agent for Smiths Industries flexible conduit and ducting. Agencies for electrical fittings, Greelee, Varco, etc. Subsequent supply of flameproof conduit and fittings.


  • Johannesburg operation moved to larger premises in Selby. New base for enlarged marketing operation.
  • Formal license for manufacture of flexible conduit and ducting concluded with Uni-Tube Limited, Slough, England (a subsidiary of Smiths Industries, UK).


  • New plastics factory commissioned on main New Germany site. Name changed to Smiths Industries Plastics (Pty) Limited, Injex (Pty) Limited discontinued. New facility incorporated.
  • Marketing office opened in Cape Town.


  • Security and Technology division opened at Selby to sell high integrity equipment to industry (perimeter defense, radar, infra-red detectors etc). Agency for Kelvin Hughes (Smiths UK) undertaken.
  • License for manufacture of NGK spark plugs acquired. Production started February 1981.
  • Agreement reached with Hettich, Germany, for the franchise of their range of furniture fittings.
  • Wynberg factory opened for manufacture of marketing products, fans, blower wheels, conduit, injection moulding. Additional marketing products introduced; blow-driers, hand-driers, battery chargers, lights.
  • Small separate air-conditioning factory opened in Pinetown – aftermarket air-conditioner production started.
  • Marketing and shipping department opened in John Ross House, Durban.


  • License agreement concluded with Sofica of France for manufacture of heaters and air-conditioners of their design (Sofica, now known as “Valeo Termique”.


  • Larger air-conditioning factory/marketing office opened in Port Elizabeth. Facilities for production of air-conditioner components installed, fin and tube compressor bracket fabrication equipment etc.


  • Marketing and Air-conditioning Fitment Centre opened in Pickering Street, Durban.
  • Smiths Industries Limited (UK), sold heater and instrument business. License for heater and motor production fell away.


  • Wynberg factory closed – production reverted to New Germany. Marketing office and depot retained at Wynberg. Port Elizabeth factory closed. Winder Street, Durban, office and fitment centre closed. Aftermarket air-conditioner business taken over by AA Radio. Cape Town Office closed.


  • NGK Spark Plug production discontinued. License terminated. Production and license acquired by Lectrolite, Johannesburg.


  • Wynberg office moved to smaller premises in Wynberg.
  • Smiths Industries (Pty) Limited acquired by Metair Investments Limited. The Company name was changed to Smiths Manufacturing South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (August 1985)


  • Dunair (Denso Licensee) acquired by Smiths Manufacturing (SA) (Pty) Limited, manufacturing climatic control systems. (December 1986)
  • Dunair Production plant at Brits closed. Plant and production moved to Smiths Manufacturing (SA) (Pty) Limited, New Germany. Dunair aftermarket air-conditioner business consolidated at Laub street, Johannesburg. Smiths and Dunair OE and P&A air-conditioner business located ay New Germany.


  • Full implementation of the Nippondenso Programme – Air-conditioner plant upgrade. (December + )


  • Smiths acquired Siemens license to manufacture permanent magnet motors for climate control systems and engine cooling systems.


  • Commenced production of Siemens permanent magnet motors.


  • Commenced manufacture of Nocolok brazed aluminium heat exchangers. Various technology upgrades were introduced from 1995 to date.


  • Smiths acquired Modine license for specific cooling modules and radiators.


  • Smiths commenced production of air cleaners and thin wall heat exchangers. Discussion between Denso and Smiths commenced for possible Joint venture.


  • Denso buys 25% shares in Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd.


  • Introduced latest Denso Heat Exchanger Technology.


  • License with Asmo to produce wiper and washer assemblies and commenced study for Asmo Blower Motor introduction.


  • Smiths commenced KANBAN deliveries to Toyota of imported Denso Alternators, starters and fuel pump modules.