Now into its second year of operation under the Babcock banner, DAF met all its expectations last year, and the trend is set to continue.The year ahead brings with it some pretty high expectations for the growth of the DAF brand – the European Union’s tractor segment leader – in South Africa. Roger O’Callaghan, CEO Africa Division – Babcock, says that sales were in line with expectations in Babcock’s first year of operation of the DAF agency. As such, during 2012, the company’s focus will be centred on supporting the existing and steadily growing vehicle population, establishing a wider dealership network and providing improved parts supply, finance and service support to cope with the ever-growing vehicle parc.
Babcock has already implemented some strategic steps to achieve these objectives. The Johannesburg Parts Distribution Centre (PDC) has improved its service level to a 94% first pick and is continuously fine-tuning inventory to improve service levels. The PDCs provide spare parts for the older DAF models and for the new models equipped with the latest PACCAR MX engines. In the coastal regions, PDCs have been established in Durban and Cape Town to provide the DAF dealer network a faster lead time on parts delivery.
To further enhance backup and service, a brand new Babcock-owned dealership, situated in Westmead, Durban, is being built and plans for a Babcock-owned dealership in Middelburg are in the process of being finalised, with completion expected during 2012. The existing facilities in Benoni will be expanded to include an additional drive-through workshop to facilitate the number of growing services carried out on a daily basis. The anticipated completion of this extension is the last quarter of 2012.
DAF has also recently appointed a new service dealer, Power Commercials, in Cape Town and has established service points in Nelspruit, Richards Bay, Dundee, Pongola, Colesberg and Beaufort West to improve call-out reaction time and the quality of service nationwide, no matter what vehicle or application requires attention.
But this is merely a boost to the confidence DAF owners already have in their vehicles; DAF understands that optimum revenue per kilometre, proven reliability and durability, and optimum driver comfort is what a transporter looks for in a long-distance truck. DAF has earned a legendary reputation in all of its markets and has a truck to meet every application.
In South Africa, Babcock provides customers with a choice of leading DAF vehicles – the XF series for heavy, long-distance haulage and the versatile CF series ideally suited for a variety of applications, including regional routes and construction. The XF is available as a 6x4 tractor, whereas the CF is offered as a 6x4 and 8x4 rigid. In 2012, the agile LF series will be added to the range. With GVMs ranging from 7,5 to 21 tonnes, the LF series is the perfect partner for urban and regional distribution.
In keeping with the organisation’s efforts to limit the impact its products and business processes have on the environment, Babcock has introduced a number of
Euro 5 vehicles into the market. The PACCAR engines fitted to all DAF vehicles have been honoured with the “Bus Engine of the Year” award at Busworld Asia for five consecutive years.
Babcock also realises that it’s not enough to just offer a solid range of vehicles and widespread parts and service centres. Customers are offered a range of value-added products and services, specifically designed to complement the quality-driven DAF truck. These include extended warranties, maintenance and service plans tailored to suit the customer’s needs, fleet solutions, service and parts, and 24-hour roadside assistance countrywide. Early in 2012, Babcock is also set to introduce its “in-house” finance option.“As truck supplier to fleet operators, being trusted to deliver is crucial,” says Wilna Steyn, director – Babcock. “Be it vehicle uptime, lower fuel consumption or increased payload, Babcock and DAF are steadily gaining ground and proving we are passionate and committed to our customers’ success. We are well positioned to deliver on being one of the leading extra heavy truck suppliers in the country,” she concludes.
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