Quest Mo­tor Corp starts as­sem­bling Yu­tong buses

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Martin Kadzere Harare Bureau

QUEST Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion has started as­sem­bling Yu­tong buses at its Mutare plant after re­ceiv­ing approval from the world’s largest lux­ury coach builder, an official said last week.

“Their strat­egy is to use Zim­babwe as a launch pad to en­ter the Com­mon Mar­ket for Eastern and South­ern Africa and Sadc,” Quest op­er­a­tions man­ager Carl Fer­nan­dez said. “Yu­tong’s long-term plan for ex­pan­sion in Africa is not to ex­port fully built buses but rather to sup­ply kits for lo­cal as­sem­bly. It is an ar­range­ment which presents huge op­por­tu­ni­ties for us.”

Mr Fer­nan­dez said the ar­range­ment makes Quest the only as­sem­bler of Yu­tong buses in South­ern Africa.

Al­ready, Yu­tong is an ac­cepted brand in Zim­babwe and the com­pany was hop­ing lo­cal buy­ers would pre­fer lo­cally as­sem­bled units to sup­port the com­pany and re­lated down­stream in­dus­tries.

He said, Quest was strength­en­ing the buses to make them suit­able for ru­ral road con­di­tions. “This will make them much bet­ter than the im­ported ver­sions,” said Mr Fer­nan­dez. The model be­ing man­u­fac­tured by the com­pany is Yu­tong F11 63-seater coach.

Apart from Yu­tong F11, Quest is also as­sem­bling Fo­ton 28-seater buses. He said the com­pany was re­ceiv­ing good en­quiries from schools “and hop­ing to get good re­sults”.

Other brands as­sem­bled by Quest are Ch­ery, and JMC and Q buses. It also pro­duces Fo­ton Tun­land sin­gle and dou­ble cabs, Mit­subishi Tri­ton dou­ble cab. How­ever, as a re­sult of eco­nomic chal­lenges Quest’s ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion has dropped mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult to buy new kits, a prob­lem wors­ened by the de­lays in banks pro­cess­ing pay­ments for im­ports.

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