UD plant building a new trucking legend
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This series has now been replaced by the new Croner MDT range, which also assembled at Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.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.
The UD Croner replaces the legendary UD 100.