Trucker steers in the di­rec­tion of mak­ing the most out of a de­cline


Business Day - Motor News - - COMMERCIAL NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

The heavy com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle mar­ket has reg­is­tered a de­cline this year com­pared with pre­vi­ous years, but some com­pa­nies are man­ag­ing to make the best of the sit­u­a­tion.

“We see that the de­mand for buses and coaches in the South African Com­mon Cus­toms Union has de­clined by al­most 10% year on year, caus­ing much-needed fleet re­newals to be de­layed and big­ger ten­ders for ex­panded fleets to be post­poned by a num­ber of months into the fu­ture,” says Dave van Graan, head of spe­cial sales projects at MAN Truck & Bus SA.

“The truck mar­ket over 8.5 tonnes in the Com­mon Cus­toms Union has shown bet­ter for­tunes with only a de­cline of 1.8% year on year. How­ever, this vol­ume up­take seems a lot more buoy­ant than much of the feed­back we get from cer­tain sub­seg­ments of the in­dus­try — where we of­ten hear of de­clines in kilo­me­tre util­i­sa­tions of about 10% year on year and con­se­quently as­sets be­ing sweated for one year longer than their orig­i­nal re­place­ment point. High stock re­serves, in­no­va­tive sales sup­port pack­ages and new model in­tro­duc­tions have cer­tainly brought about a pos­i­tive im­pact on over­all reg­is­tra­tions of heavy and ex­tra heavy trucks,” he says

With 180 units more de­liv­ered into the over 16.5 tonne ex­tra-heavy cat­e­gory, com­pared with the same pe­riod (Jan­uary to Au­gust) last year, MAN says it has im­proved its mar­ket share in this strongly con­tested sec­tor by 2.3%. With a 10.4% mar­ket share of this sec­tor on a year-to-date ba­sis, it would ap­pear the brand is mov­ing strongly to­wards be­ing a reg­u­lar podium fin­isher.

With 37.1% mar­ket share in the heavy bus mar­ket over 8.5 tonnes, the com­pany has re­mained the dom­i­nant mar­ket leader for a num­ber of years run­ning now. The bus mar­ket, too, is in a state of de­cline, with the mar­ket shrink­ing al­most 10% year on year.

Talk­ing to th­ese suc­cesses, MAN Au­to­mo­tive MD Markus Geyer says: “We ex­press sin­cere grat­i­tude for our truck and bus cus­tomers who are choos­ing our of­fer­ings in grow­ing num­bers. This is the best ac­co­lade we can get, and is tes­ti­mony to the ef­forts of the en­tire team at MAN who have worked on im­prove­ments to many as­pects of our busi­ness. We have made a lot of ef­fort to optimise our used ve­hi­cle busi­ness and are in­vest­ing strongly to im­prove our cus­tomers’ af­ter-sales ex­pe­ri­ence at the point of sale.”

Truck sales di­vi­sion head Eren Gun­duz adds: “Our TGS long-haul trucks are prov­ing to set the fuel con­sump­tion bench­mark in many ap­pli­ca­tions, and the tech­ni­cal en­hance­ments made a few years ago are prov­ing to demon­strate reli­able, cost-ef­fec­tive transport so­lu­tions. Of course, we also play in the shorter-haul dis­tri­bu­tion and con­struc­tion seg­ments, where MAN Truc­knol­ogy, CLA and Volk­swa­gen prod­ucts are prov­ing suc­cess­ful too.”

Head of bus sales at MAN/VW SA, Philip Kalil-Zackey, says: “The ad­di­tion of the first-class RR4 480 horse­power coach chas­sis, the new CLA 280hp com­muter chas­sis and the fan­tas­tic new Lion’s Ex­plorer Gen­er­a­tion 2 bus body all add to our suc­cess in the lo­cal mar­ket. We are able to of­fer our bus cus­tomers a wide range of cus­tom-made so­lu­tions for the de­mand­ing pas­sen­ger transport en­vi­ron­ment. We have grown our MAN mar­ket share by just on 2% year on year, with the VW mar­ket share to be re­stored in the next month or two.”


The MAN TGS con­tin­ues to do well in the long-haul dis­tri­bu­tion seg­ment.

Markus Geyer, MD of MAN Au­to­mo­tive SA.

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