Obtaining well looked after and high-quality, second-hand commercial vehicles is the greatest challenge currently facing the commercial used-vehicles division of automotive manufacturer Hyundai Automotive South Africa, says commercial vehicle marketing director Stanley Anderson, who adds that demand for used commercial vehicles is increasing.
“Our dealers indicate that the demand for used trucks in good condition is increasing again, simply because customers are spending their money more carefully and have realised that, if the correct used vehicle is found, more money can be saved,” he highlights.
Anderson notes that the sale of new commercial vehicles from dealers is important, as it impacts on the dealer and the potential customer buying the vehicle. He adds that dealers who sell new commercial vehicles need to sell vehicles with extended warranties, as well as maintenance and service plans.
Therefore, once a car is up for sale again, the next owner has the necessary background information on the vehicle, enabling them to make an informed purchase.
“Most dealers strive to put a used vehicle in good condition on the market and, obviously, to earn revenue from a vehicle for a second time. Therefore, the constant goal is to get good used vehicles and then to tap into markets that we normally wouldn’t have tapped into,” he explains.
It is also important for customers to know their dealers well, as reputable dealers will have the advantage in terms of being able to solve any issues the vehicle might have, owing to the service footprints and the reputation and standards they have to adhere to.
He stresses that the new and used commercial vehicles markets support each other, and that it is a relationship in a dealership that needs to exist. He explains that new-vehicle sales at a dealership will not be successful if there is not an economical used-vehicle business in place: “You need to be able to dispose of used vehicles to sell new vehicles,” he says, adding that, without the support of these markets, there will not be a motor industry.
TransUnion HPI Check
Anderson cites the TransUnion HPI check, a national vehicle database managed by credit information and information management services provider TransUnion, which prevents the risk of buying a vehicle in poor condition, as a technological advance that benefits the second-hand truck business.
He explains that the TransUnion HPI check tells a consumer or dealer whether there are outstanding instalment sale agreements on a second-hand car; whether it has been written off, scrapped, stolen, in a major insurance claim or stolen and recovered. It also logs progressive dealer enquiries, where mileages are noted, and it will confirm whether the engine, chassis and registration numbers, as well as the year of first registration, are correct.
Anderson further highlights that buy-backs and trade-backs for trucks have become popular solutions among original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs), as they guarantee a good selection of used vehicles. “Larger OEMs have witnessed the value in having a separate division for used trucks and other commercial vehicles. This is also an indication of how big this sector is, as it enables consumers to conveniently see what is available in the market.”
He adds that there is also a demand for technicians in the industry, as conditioning and maintenance is required for the trucks that are traded in or for any second-hand vehicles that enter the dealership.
Taking exports into account, Anderson says many second-hand commercial vehicles, such as trucks, are legally exported and, therefore, the commercial used-vehicle sector is currently bigger than the new-vehicle market.
Consequently, the demand for used trucks will remain, he concludes.