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German company optimistic on Southern African expansion

Image of SEW-EURODRIVE MD Raymond Obermeyer

RAYMOND OBERMEYER SEW-EURODRIVE's extensive footprint positions it well to offer full product supply, support services and solutions to its growing markets

24th May 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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German original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) SEW-EURODRIVE is bringing products, solutions and technologies, along with support, training and skilled information, closer to its clients in the Southern African region, as it continues its major expansion strategy to bring more countries into its “global family”.

The company’s extensive footprint positions it well to offer full product supply, support services and solutions to its growing markets as companies continue to leverage modern advancements in drive technology to improve efficiencies and productivity, and reduce carbon footprints and energy costs, says SEW-EURODRIVE MD Raymond Obermeyer.

The company, boasting one of the largest global stockholdings to ensure efficient and effective service, has found that its clients prefer working directly with OEMs, and advanced SEW-EURODRIVE products are already deployed across the region, with more planned later in the year as its global operations research and develop a pipeline of new technologies.

With further plans to expand its local in-country presence in Angola, Mozambique and Eswatini, the company aims to cement its highest-standard service and support, actively diversifying its offerings in Africa to meet each market’s specific requirements.

“We need to make sure that we can keep our footprint strong and our service levels to what is expected in the marketplace. For us, it is critical [to] keep the momentum going in South Africa and in Africa,” he continues, highlighting that customers in the region will benefit from having direct access to SEW-EURODRIVE locally and globally – including the “mothership” based in Bruchsal, Germany – with a network of nearly 20 production plants and 85 centres in 52 countries.

“This is the advantage of SEW-EURODRIVE. We are the global leaders. We have numerous facilities and we can source from anywhere in the world.”

This assists major multinational customers investing across Africa to access direct support from SEW-EURODRIVE.

In addition, SEW-EURODRIVE continues extensive investment activities across South Africa and across the region, reaching hundreds of millions of Rands, as the service- and customer-driven company continuously seeks “better ways” of staying ahead of the pack and making sure its offerings – and standards – are those that the customers require and expect.

“It is not just about the service availability, but also sustainability.”

As SEW-EURODRIVE expands, it plans to host a global conference on Africa in June this year, where the expansions will be discussed and strategised.

“For us, it is very important to ensure a continuous momentum . . . in getting our footprint and our business closer to the customer, because we are a solutions-driven company and we have to find ways to support our customers,” Obermeyer tells Engineering News.

Within South Africa, the group already has an extensive footprint and a firm base, having been established in 1986, and has steadily increased support services across all its branches spread across several provinces, including Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, and various sales offices in the Northern Cape and Limpopo, besides others.

The company also completed a revamp, expansion and upgrade of its Johannesburg headquarters during 2019 and 2020.

“We do not rest on our laurels. We have just bought a new premises in Gqeberha, which we are upgrading to the full service capacity of all our other branches,” he says.

SEW-EURODRIVE is also opening various sales and technical offices in several industrial areas in South Africa, as well as expanding its new sales and service centre in Johannesburg, all of which will be fully serviced by its own staff.

SEW-EURODRIVE upskills its own employees and customer staff, with extensive and ongoing training efforts through its in-house Drive Academy, to fully understand both its operations and its technologies.

“We are committed to continue providing access to training and skills development through the Drive Academy,” Obermeyer concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor




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