The pace­set­ters

Finweek English Edition - - Fleet management and financing -

THE SAME NAMES keep crop­ping up in South Africa’s young fleet man­age­ment in­dus­try. Some of those man­age­ment groups have long been set­ting the pace while oth­ers only re­ally came to the fore over the past five years.

Fleet Africa, of Su­per Group, the large listed trans­port group in Jo­han­nes­burg, is one of those that set the pace in SA’s fleet man­age­ment in­dus­try. Af­ter it made its name in its first big con­tract (the well-known Blue Rib­bon Bak­eries) and then took over the SA Post Of­fice fleet with great suc­cess there was no hold­ing it back. Es­pe­cially af­ter it clinched one of SA’s big­gest con­tracts, with the Jo­han­nes­burg City Coun­cil in Fe­bru­ary 2001, it de­vel­oped into one of the big­gest in the coun­try.

Over the past six years, Fleet Africa has also signed fleet man­age­ment con­tracts with the De­part­ment of Trans­port, the East­ern Cape pro­vin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion and sev­eral smaller con­tracts. GM SA’s ser­vice and main­te­nance con­tract for all its Isuzu LDVs in June 2005 was one of its re­cent break­throughs.

Im­pe­rial Fleet Ser­vices, part of the listed Im­pe­rial group, is also known through­out SA. Some of its well-known con­tracts are the man­age­ment of Albany’s huge ve­hi­cle fleet (clinched in 1995), Ned­bank’s Group scheme (since 2003) and sev­eral oth­ers. It also has ma­jor in­ter­ests in Namibia, Swazi­land, Botswana and Le­sotho.

Daim­lerChrysler, a con­trol­ling share­holder in private com­pany de­bis Fleet Man­age­ment (an­other Gaut­eng group) is also pleased with the growth of this fleet man­age­ment com­pany, which will be 10 years old in Novem­ber 2008 but al­ready one of the big guns.

This fleet man­ager also pro­vides in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to a wide range of clients, in­clud­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Bela-Bela (Warm­baths), Kung­wini mu­nic­i­pal­ity (which in­cludes Bronkhorstspruit, Bron­berg and Ekan­gala) and Canon SA.

How­ever, it’s ac­tu­ally the de­vel­op­ment of Pre­to­ria’s Digi­Core group (listed in 1998) that re­flects the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of out­sourced fleet man­age­ment in SA. This com­pany, which de­vel­ops, man­u­fac­tures and pro­vides qual­ity ser­vice and man­age­ment so­lu­tions to SA’s trans­port in­dus­try, sur­prises ev­ery year with its good re­sults.

When an­nounc­ing its latest fi­nan­cial re­sults for the six months to end-De­cem­ber 2006 a few weeks ago, CEO Nick Vlok again spoke of the strong and on­go­ing growth of all its mar­kets. He re­ferred specif­i­cally to the out­stand­ing per­for­mance of Digi­Core Fleet Man­age­ment, a private com­pany within the group, which made a sound con­tri­bu­tion to group turnover growth of 31% (to R190m) and profit growth of 41% (to R50,4m).

Digi­Core Fleet Man­age­ment MD Mark Rousseau says that the fleet man­age­ment di­vi­sion is far­ing ex­cel­lently, grow­ing by more than 35% over the past year. Large fleet man­age­ment con­tracts with Gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions and a well-known trans­port com­pany, which are at an ad­vanced stage of ne­go­ti­a­tion, could in­crease the com­pany’s turnover fur­ther.

Keep an eye on its progress in SA and in its var­i­ous over­seas mar­kets.

Strong and on­go­ing growth of its mar­ket.

Nick Vlok

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