Following an encouraging 2017, UD Trucks Southern Africa is on the up.
MD Gert Swanepoel says: “Although 2017 began as a tough year after a terrible 2016, it ended as such a good year for us. Most importantly, the brand’s sales and customer satisfaction experienced significant growth.”
A major contributor to this performance was the launch of the Croner. As 2018 will be the first full year of sales for this model, marketing director Rory Schulz expects it to help the company achieve predetermined goals.
“Speaking boldly, we expect the market to grow by 1,5 percent this year. Our goal is to try to outgrow the market and achieve a three-percent growth,” he says. Nevertheless, the brand finished the year in second position of the medium-duty segment (with 19,53 percent) and fifth in the heavy-duty segment (9,24 percent).
“Phasing out the Condor range and getting market acceptance for the Croner was a tough ride,” says sales director Paul Uys. “We are looking at variations in the model line-up to further satisfy customer requirements,” he adds.
The company will also place more emphasis on offering customer solutions.
“We have employed someone to be dedicated to the mining segment. We see this as a market in which we can grow. We will also be increasing our effort in terms of soft products, such as parts and support, fleet management with UD Telematics, and finance through our Volvo and WesBank partnerships,” says Schulz.
By the end of 2017, UD Trucks Southern Africa ranked in second and third positions for customer satisfaction in parts and service, respectively.
The company will also implement completely knocked-down production in Kenya during 2018. “While the operation will be owned by a strong Kenyan partner, the numbers will count for UD Trucks Southern Africa. The product offering will be based on new models and future light-duty models. About ten variants will cover 80-percent of that market’s requirements,” explains Schulz.