MAN Truck & Bus South Africa (SA) hopes to grow its share of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) truck market to 12.4% this year, up from last year’s 11.1% share, says MAN Truck & Bus sales region Middle East and Africa CEO Markus Geyer.
MAN’s 2010 share was 10.6%.
Geyer says there are “a lot of good signs” that the German truck brand can achieve this healthy jump, as MAN Truck & Bus SA has broken into a number of new fleets, while it has lost no fleet customers.
Fleets the MAN badge will be seen in again this year include Spar, Imperial, Afrox and Grindrod.
Another positive has been that MAN “has worked hard to reach a strong position in the timber industry”, says Geyer. “We believe we will do more business here in 2012 and 2013.”
Supply problems from the Volkswagen truck stable have also been resolved.
MAN Truck & Bus SA distributes MAN and VW trucks and buses in the Sacu region. Volkswagen owns just short of 54% of MAN globally.
MAN Truck & Bus SA has also initiated two strategic developments to help it achieve its market share growth goal.
“The streamlining of our national centre from three business units to two, namely MAN Centre North and MAN Centre South, will enable us to leverage synergies that exist within these broader markets more effectively,” notes Geyer.
“Furthermore, MAN Truck & Bus SA has implemented a new customer relationship management programme that will monitor customer complaints from a centralised point and ensure swift resolution of issues arising from all our areas of operation. 2012 and 2013 will see a strong focus on customer relationships.”
Product development may also help MAN achieve its goal.
For a 6x4 tractor operating in long-haul conditions in South Africa, traveling around 200 000 km a year, fuel makes up 40.7% of total operating costs, says Geyer.
“And, the fuel price is still going up and will be an even bigger concern going forward.”
Geyer argues that if an operator can save one litre of fuel per 100 km travelled, he or she will save R60 000 over 600 000 km travelled, at a price of R10 a litre of diesel – which provides the cue for the TGS EfficientLine model to enter the local trucking scene.
This model bundles together fuel-saving technologies and features, such as reduced dead weight and rolling resistance, into one comprehensive package.
During its recent tour of Europe, this model managed savings of up to 3 l/100 km. The 4 200 km South African EfficientLine tour will start at the end of May, crisscrossing the country and its varying terrain.
Other product developments targeted at boosting MAN’s market share include the fact that Geyer may, somewhere in the future, have access to a larger product portfolio, as Volkswagen has started developing small trucks, at below 7 t. MAN does not currently have these smaller trucks in its stable.
MAN Truck & Bus SA deputy CEO Bruce Dickson says these smaller trucks will, eventually, also come to South Africa.
“It is a very exciting development, as we are not currently active in those markets. It will plug a gap for us in the light truck market.”