Babcock Transport Solutions the sole importer and distributor of DAF trucks, parts and service in Southern Africa.
For DAF, 2014 turned out better than expected as it exceeded its own projected market growth. “The year on-year result is a measurement of our own performance over time and I’m thrilled that the DAF trucks brand is taking off so rapidly in South Africa,” says Mark Gavin, National Sales Director of Babcock Transport Solutions, which imports, markets, services and supports DAF trucks locally.
“We gained many new customers in 2014, while not losing a single one of our previous existing clients,” he says proudly. “At Babcock Transport Solutions we enjoy an advantage with the DAF trucks we bring to market.
It became evident that the existing finance channels did not suit many of our customers who needed a better understanding of their businesses than that offered by traditional financial institutions
We are one of the newer contenders in a market which has one of the broadest brand representation of truck models and makes. Our leverage is that we are able to respond quickly to market trends and changing customer needs.
Babcock Transport Solutions the proverbial speedboat amongst the battleships
We’re like the proverbial speedboat amongst the battleships. Our offering is great too, as we now provide an end-to-end solution for our DAF trucks customers. “Take for example the introduction of Babcock Finance, which we launched last year. It became evident that the existing finance channels did not suit many of our customers who needed a better understanding of their businesses than that offered by traditional financial institutions. We were able to look at the scope of possibilities and came up with our own unique solution.
With our Babcock Finance package we are able to provide a total solution to our customers. “Our outlook for 2015 is that the market growth will be slightly higher or similar to that of 2014. The challenges we face are typical of any business importing fully built-up vehicles (FBU).
However, the advantage for us is that quality is not compromised.” DAF trucks are sourced from the OEM’s manufacturing plants in the UK and the Netherlands, where they are built on the same line, by the same expertly trained people and to the exact same high quality standards.
“Furthermore, our trucks are built and tested to our unique ‘Africa spec’ – designed and built to cope with the harsh realities of our continent with regard to climate, road and infrastructure, and operating conditions.
“Factors that continue to influence our business as we go into 2015 are the same as those for everyone else. Looking at different sectors, I believe that the mining sector will remain under pressure, while construction will start to recover.
On the upside also there could be a more positive trend across sectors like distribution, infrastructure building and farming. “Ideal replacement cycles are once again being adhered to and at Babcock we are seeing those orders coming through.
We will keep our feet firmly on the ground and focus on our people and their skills and ability to best serve our customers.
We have a fully-fledged, extended sales team in place, ready and raring to go, to meet a higher demand for our trucks. “We recently appointed new sales executives for Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to head up the teams there; and we continue to enjoy good, solid performances from our regional representatives in the Free State, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape areas.
Until now about 80% of DAF trucks sold were into the long-haul 6×4 truck-tractor segment
We will keep our feet firmly on the ground and focus on our people and their skills and ability to best serve our customers. “We are aiming to increase our primary sales by between 15% and 20% compared to last year,” says Gavin. To keep the DAF parts supply chain nimble, Babcock holds parts and spares in three regions – at their main PDC in Benoni, in Middelburg and in KwaZulu-Natal.
We have received very positive feedback from those customers who have been reporting phenomenal fuel consumption figures
Until now about 80% of DAF trucks sold were into the long-haul 6×4 truck-tractor segment. “We have received very positive feedback from those customers who have been reporting phenomenal fuel consumption figures.
Without a crystal ball, I would guess that the transport industry would see slow growth through continuing tough times, throughout this year and perhaps into the next
Much to our delight our customers are also reporting great overall running costs and have expressed satisfaction with our products and services. “Last year we spread our wings slightly by adding a 4×2 truck-tractor to our line-up.
This year we are looking at possibly adding other models, which will enable us to diversify into new segments. “Without a crystal ball, I would guess that the transport industry would see slow growth through continuing tough times, throughout this year and perhaps into the next.”