Motovac opens Byo branch
LEADING regional automotive spare parts retailer, Motovac Group, has finally set up base in Bulawayo and will open its doors for business tomorrow.
The first subsidiary to be opened in Zimbabwe, situated at No 128B Corner 13th Avenue and Fife Street, had been fully stocked by yesterday with management saying 20 workers had been employed and were undergoing training ahead of opening.
The new business venture is jointly owned by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s family and the Patel family of Botswana.
The Mphoko family is also a key shareholder in the regional retail chain stores, Choppies, which has a footprint across the country.
In an interview at the shop yesterday, Group sales director in charge of Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe branches, Mr Samir Patel, said his company viewed Zimbabwe as a favourable investment destination.
“Everything is now in place and we are ready to open business on Thursday. It was a long wait but our dream has finally come true and we are very excited,” he said.
“We are very grateful to the people of Zimbabwe for allowing us to set up business here. Our promise is that Motovac will give a totally different direction in the motor industry parts business.
“We assure our clients transparency and quality service and products that will satisfy their needs.”
Mr Patel said the Botswana headquartered firm offers 60 000 product lines from different manufacturers, which would soon be available in Zimbabwe.
Its range of products includes body panels, engine parts, filters, paints, bearings, suspension parts, lamps and accessories, borehole diesel engines among other spares.
“Motovac deals directly with manufacturers of most parts and that makes us more competitive. We are able to get more volumes and personnel strength in terms of experience in the industry. As such our clients are assured of product quality in terms of warranty,” said Mr Patel.
He said the new Bulawayo branch marks the beginning of serious business in Zimbabwe adding that plans were underway to expand business across the country.
Businessman Mr Siqokoqela Mphoko, who is also Choppies Zimbabwe’s director and son to VP Mphoko, said the coming in of Motovac was a strong endorsement of Bulawayo as an attractive investment destination.
“The motor industry is a specialised field and we are doing our part to invest and empower our people. We have created 20 jobs here and 90 percent of recruited personnel are women as we seek to promote gender equality.
“We are eager to get the wheels going and hope to be well received by the local market. Our drive is to create more job opportunities in support of our Government,” said Mr Mphoko.
“This is a demonstration of investor confidence in Bulawayo. We are bringing this corner back to life and this is a journey we cannot walk alone but with the people of Zimbabwe.”
The new look outlet had been under renovation for the past few months.
Motovac is one of the largest importers and distributors of automotive spare parts in Botswana with 18 branches in the neighbouring country.
Mr Mphoko indicated that the company would establish a large distribution centre in the city as part of its expansion drive.
“We promise the market that we will be competitive in pricing and offer a wide range of services. What the Zimbabwean market needs is competitiveness and quality service.
“Setting up business here will also ease the burden of motorists travelling to neighbouring countries for spare parts. This will not only reduce travel and time constraints but help retain liquidity in our economy,” he said.
Motovac has 12 branches in Namibia and two in Mozambique. It has an estimated monthly turnover of 1.2 billion pula. The company offers a wide range of vehicle spare parts and quality customer service to the wholesale, retail and government markets.
Motovac, which started business in 1983 in Lobatse, Botswana, with a handful of employees, now boasts of more than 400 workers with operations spread all over Botswana and partner companies in South Africa, Namibia and the United Kingdom.
The Mphoko family has become one of the most active economic players in Zimbabwe in the past few years. It has spearheaded the establishment of Bulawayo-headquartered Choppies Zimbabwe, which entered the country’s market three years ago and boasts of 30 branches countrywide. To date the business employs more than 2 000 people. Plans are also underway to establish a water purification plant and a powdered soap factory in Belmont, which would also create more job opportunities.
Motovac outlet at corner Fife St and 13th Ave Mr Siqokoqela Mphoko