MAN takes Africa by the Horns
Truck and bus manufacturers around the world have identified Africa as a commercial transport’s ‘last great frontier’ and MAN has ramped up its capacity to penetrate new markets on the continent by establishing a dedicated MAN Centre to manage the Export markets which falls under the organisation’s Sales Region Middle East & Africa (SRM).
Where MAN once merely sought product representation north of the Limpopo River, it has since March 2008 assigned SRM Executive Committee Member representation to the Sub-Equatorial Africa portfolio to ensure maximum leverage of its integrated marketing, sales and aftersales strategies in 12 countries namely Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Mauritius.
“Kenya is a rapidly growing market for both heavy and extra-heavy trucks and buses with annual sales figures exceeding 3000 and 1200 units respectively as reported by KMI,” says Godfrey Hani, Executive Committee Member (MAN Centre Sub-Equatorial Africa). “MAN assembles trucks and buses in the country with TiB (truck in a box) kits arriving directly from Germany and India in the case of MAN vehicles, while Volkswagen Buses arrive directly from Brazil in CiB (chassis in a box) kits.”
“MAN’s Export pricing structure used to be South African-based but it is now structured according to export market requirements for competitiveness.
The MAN CKD plant in Kenya saves on import duties on freight carriers and buses whilst the truck tractors carrying a 10% duty are exported as CBU. Parts are sourced from Germany, Brazil and South Africa depending on the situation which also applies to the other export markets/countries.” says Hani.
“Our key strategy is to grow our market share by being competitively priced and offering superior service. Our Centre has a dedicated After Sales Support team which improves customer proximity and drives service levels to meet the customer’s expectations,” adds Hani.
“The Volksbus Explorer is extremely popular in Mozambique as a public transport bus, while the MAN TGS WW is making excellent headway into the East African long-haul market. A key to our growing market share is the fact that we have direct contact with key customers, face-to-face and telephonically, where customers can receive expert technical advice from MAN South Africa,” Hani explains.
“We are a streamlined team with high skill levels in the industry which we pass on directly to our dealers, boosting skills development in the respective export markets. Our sharp focus on specialised support creates continuity for our customers and dealers, a quality much appreciated in our burgeoning African markets,” Hani concludes.