UD plant build­ing a new truck­ing leg­end

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT -

UD Trucks em­ploy­ees from the com­pany’s head of­fice and its as­sem­bly plant in Ross­lyn early in June sent the last unit of the leg­endary UD55 to UD100 Medium Duty range off the line at the Ross­lyn plant.

This se­ries has now been re­placed by the new Croner MDT range, which also as­sem­bled at Ross­lyn, north of Pretoria.

Many diesel me­chan­ics be­moan the end of this era, for while the UD55 and UD100 are heav­ier on diesel than their mod­ern coun­ter­parts, they are also eas­ier to fix.

“The UD55 to UD100 range served our cus­tomers loy­ally for more than 20 years,” Gert Swanepoel, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of UD Trucks South­ern Africa, said in a state­ment.

“This is one prod­uct range that we can truly say is a leg­end in its own time. It con­sis­tently achieved more than 20% mar­ket share in its seg­ment and also spent a good many years as the top sell­ing MDT in the lo­cal in­dus­try.”

With more than 20 723 units sold since its launch, there are still ap­prox­i­mately 75% of these still in op­er­a­tion — ev­i­dence of its dura­bil­ity and ap­peal in the mar­ket.

“A few of our staff that are cur­rently work­ing on the as­sem­bly line, were also present when the orig­i­nal range was in­tro­duced,” said Aubrey Ram­bau, Ross­lyn plant gen­eral man­ager.

“So not only are we cel­e­brat­ing a leg­endary se­ries, but also our leg­endary staff who have en­sured the range’s on­go­ing qual­ity and suc­cess.”

Look­ing ahead to truck sales for the rest of the year, Swanepoel said con­tin­ued busi­ness re­silience to over­come some of the larger hur­dles cur­rently present in the mar­ket, is con­tribut­ing to some pos­i­tive sales re­sults in some of the mar­ket seg­ments.

He said that Stats SA re­cently re­leased some in­ter­est­ing data on the lo­cal trans­port sec­tor for the first quar­ter of 2017.

“It showed that the in­dus­try’s to­tal turnover re­duced by 2,9% ver­sus the fourth quar­ter of 2016, while in­ven­to­ries re­duced by 9,6%, and cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture de­clined by 13,1%.

“If one com­pares that to the stats from the first quar­ter of 2016, the trans­port sec­tor’s turnover in­creased by 12,8%, thus a clear in­di­ca­tion of rough wa­ters ahead,” ex­plained Swanepoel.

“We are await­ing the re­lease of the sec­ond quar­ter’s data from Stats SA to see if some sta­bil­ity will re­turn to the mar­ket.” — WR.

PHOTO: UD

The UD Croner re­places the leg­endary UD 100.

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