Volvo Bus Southern Africa has partnered with MCV to manufacture luxury and semi-luxury coaches, which were showcased at the 2018 Southern African Bus Operators Association (Saboa) Conference. FOCUS chatted to Volvo about its first vehicle in the semi-luxury sector with MCV
Volvo Bus Southern Africa showcased a variety of its services and products at the 2018 Saboa Conference; including its B9R and B11R chassis with the MCV and Predator bodywork.
Marius Botha, director of Bus South Africa at Volvo Group Southern Africa, said: “Volvo believes it is important to attend Saboa annually. It is not every day you get all the operators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and bodybuilders together. We further support the conference for the valued feedback we receive from the speakers.”
Volvo aspires to introduce a new product or service offering to Saboa each year. “Our focus is to offer something different,” Botha noted. A new Volvo aftermarket service offering showcased at Saboa was its two-year warranty on parts.
“Aftermarket services are just as important to the operator as the actual product. Vehicles on Volvo maintenance contracts with service records have a high demand in the used-vehicle segment,” Botha explained.
“Volvo is very proud to now offer a two-year warranty on parts fitted by the dealerships. It is important that Volvo Bus operators receive the benefit, as the standard warranty on parts will be one year if procured over the counter. The two-year warranty shows our confidence in our products and aftermarket services.”
Volvo also showcased its new buses built in partnership with MCV. Ryan Levendale, sales and business development executive at Volvo Bus Southern Africa, noted: “Volvo has renewed its focus on expanding its footprint out of South Africa. Part of this is to expand the product range that it offers.”
“We are very strong in the top-end coaches and are extending our focus to the medium-luxury price bracket, which was one of the reasons for the partnership with MCV,” he added. Volvo teamed up with MCV as it enjoys brand recognition in the identified markets, has reliable products and together the duo can offer a competitive price.
Volvo has already made sales in various cross-border markets, however the economic state of these markets means that the rate of progress remains slow.
Melanie Koen, sales and marketing executive at Volvo Bus Southern Africa, was fortunate enough to sell one of these vehicles at Saboa. She is the first female sales executive at Volvo Group Southern Africa Bus Division. Koen noted that working in the bus sector is challenging, but with a good mentor and some courage, anyone can follow her example.
She concluded: “The MCV and Predator bodywork, in partnership with Volvo, are stylish, attractive and very competitively priced. Volvo enjoyed the brand exposure and opportunities offered by the Saboa Conference.”