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SVI sees strong growth in armoured vehicle demand as crime surges

5th May 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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SVI Armouring Solutions expects to armour about 200 vehicles this year, up from 130 vehicles in 2020.

SVI business development director Nicol Louw says the recent surge in the domestic crime rate, as well as the 2021 riots, seem to have kindled demand for armoured vehicles, both on a personal and corporate level.

Uncertainty around the security of power supply from parastatal Eskom and the potential repercussions of a total blackout have also prompted interest in SVI’s products.

Corporate customers make up about 80% of SVI sales.

“Demand showed a very strong upswing in KwaZulu-Natal following the riots there,” notes Louw.

There has also been strong growth in demand for the MAX 3 armoured personnel carrier at mines in the face of continued and expanding illegal mining.

The MAX 3, built on a Land Cruiser platform, typically replaces the Mambas and Nyalas currently in use at mining operations.

SVI sold three units in 2020 and is expected to end 2023 at 50 units.

Louw says SVI has also seen a strong move in recent years from B4 armour, which offers handgun protection, towards B6 armour, which offers protection against assault weapons.

SVI takes a standard vehicle and transforms it into an armoured vehicle.

The least expensive type of nondiscreet armour (cab only) starts at R260 388, excluding VAT. This would typically be for a single- cab bakkie acting as an escort for other vehicles.

B4 discreet all-round armour starts at R500 000, and B6 discreet all-round armour at about R760 000, excluding VAT, for a double-cab bakkie.

Armoured bakkies make up most of SVI’s work.

Louw says SVI saw a 57% growth in turnover in the 2023 financial year. This follows on a 51% increase in 2022.

He says these numbers included not only vehicle sales, but also armoured guard houses, income from the company’s armoured rental fleet (currently at more than 30 units), and advanced driver training courses.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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