Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has officially opened the doors of the first TruckStore outside Europe. The R20-million second-hand commercial vehicle facility, in Centurion, will buy and sell all brands, sizes and configurations of vans, trucks, buses and trailers.
“We have the aspiration to turn this into the biggest used commercial vehicle dealership in Africa,” says MBSA CEO and president Dr Martin Zimmermann.
TruckStore is not all about the sale of used trucks, however. It is hoped the dealership will also speed up the process for existing and new Mercedes-Benz customers to trade in their old vehicles to acquire a new MBSA product, notes Zimmermann.
TruckStore will then also accept commercial vehicles of any vehicle type or brand as a trade-in for a new Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle.
In short, TruckStore will be used to do the deals no one else can do, in order to facilitate new trucks sales for MBSA.
“We have traditionally been weak in the used-truck business,” says MBSA commercial vehicles VP Kobus van Zyl. “In the past they all went into the wholesale business, which inhibited our competitiveness. This concept will now give us new sales.”
TruckStore South Africa head Oliver Marte says used truck sales for MBSA can, a few years from now, increase from the current 200 units to 300 units a year to around 1 000 a year, using the TruckStore concept.
In Europe, small Truckstore dealers sell around 150 units a year, with larger dealers moving up to 2 500 units a year, says TruckStore Global founder and director Ralph Plavac.
In total, the ten-year-old TruckStore brand, as Europe’s largest used-truck dealer, moves an average of around 20 000 units a year.
TruckStore currently has 30 outlets in 14 European countries.
Plavac says he aims to roll out the TruckStore concept to the rest of the world, with Brazil to follow next year.
TruckStore is an initiative by Daimler, MBSA’s German parent company.
The local TruckStore will have a dedicated reconditioning centre at Zandfontein, in Pretoria, where the used commercial vehicles acquired will be repaired to a gold, silver or bronze status. A gold vehicle is no older than four years, has a warranty, and tyre tread of at least 6 mm. Silver vehicles are no older than six years, and have a tyre tread of at least 3 mm. Bronze vehicles are roadworthy.
Customers can search for available vehicles online at www.truckstore.co.za.
The 30 000m2 TruckStore facility will also assist customers with in-house finance and insurance.