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MAN TopUsed – as easy as one, two, three!

Man TopUsed
Flagship used vehicle retail outlet, where clients can view one-, two- and three-star prepared TopUsed MAN vehicles.
Gert Fourie and his team at a recent MAN TopUsed open day in Centurion.

MAN TopUsed had its best-ever sales year in 2016 and has already chalked up sales ahead of budget in 2017, according to the southern African arm of the international label for used vehicles from MAN Truck & Bus AG.

“Customers are seeing the benefits of owning a used MAN, which is excellent value for money,” comments Gert Fourie, the region’s Head of MAN TopUsed.

Upbeat about the opportunity to showcase some innovative new developments in this used vehicle business, Fourie embarked on a roadshow starting in Gauteng before moving to KwaZulu-Natal. The roadshow is now on its way to East Africa.

“During the roadshows customers physically touch and feel three distinctly different levels of used vehicle preparation,” says Fourie.These levels are:

  • One Star – in COF (Certificate of Fitness) condition with mechanical health check done;
  • Two Star – COF, mechanically checked, cosmetically refurbished, with mechanical health check done; and
  • Three Star – COF, mechanically refurbished, with one-year warranty, with complete vehicle health check done.

“Each level of preparation is clearly marked on the side of the cab via MAN’s seal of quality, incorporating the ‘star value’ realised after due preparation,” explains Fourie.

“Any OEM worth its salt has to have a direct involvement with used vehicle trading. It is an entry-level requirement if you are serious about the overall commercial vehicle business. Given the size of the overall vehicle parc, it is clear that reputable third party traders must also be available to cater for the volumes needed to be traded annually – and for this reason we have a few well-established partnerships with them.”

“MAN will, for example, always use genuine MAN parts when preparing MAN TopUsed vehicles for onward sale. Not every sales outlet qualifies to be an authorised MAN TopUsed franchise, due to stringent rules and standards that must be demonstrated,” he highlights.

MAN vehicles are often sold into their first economic life with a repair and maintenance agreement, and a guaranteed end-of-term residual value. MAN-owned retail and MAN private capital dealers take care of these rolling assets through their lifespan, ensuring that their use is optimised for the duration for which they were purchased.

“The MAN international vehicle return process ensures that the vehicles return to the TopUsed division in the condition required, due to an additional independent check done on the quality standard of that vehicle; irrespective of it being on a repair and maintenance agreement or not. From the point of take-in, MAN TopUsed ensures that the vehicle is further prepared for re-sale – the scope of work being confirmed by a one, two or three star rating with a very visible seal of quality.”

“These preparations enable MAN to offer warranties and even service contracts for applicable model types and qualifying customers. MAN TopUsed has a vested interest in every MAN asset, and will ensure reliable resale values coupled to dependable performance,” notes Fourie.

“This means that they are extending the life of their fleets,and we at TopUsed are either getting back older vehicles on average, or vehicles with higher mileages. Many operators have also found the economic climate overwhelming, and as such have de-fleeted or even closed down divisions. The result is an over-supplied used vehicle market where retail pricing is under severe pressure. Having said that – this industry has never been for ‘sissies’ or for short-term players.”

This year, team MAN is set to tackle the market with an all-inclusive suite of services. Knowing that its customers are keeping vehicles longer, it is focusing on ensuring customers are getting utmost value for money with its aftersales offerings.

“We are running dynamic pro-grammes for parts, such as Ecotrade, where we give clients substantial discounts on new parts, providing we get their used parts in for potential refurbishment,” continues Fourie.

“We are extending warranties on our new parts to a second year. We are enhancing our vehicle care programmes in first economic life vehicles by having free of charge health checks for our customers vehicles while we have them in our shops for routine work.

“These initiatives, together with our prudent trade in process and variety of refurbishment programmes, enable us to offer a wide variety of transport solutions, at various price levels, and with various degrees of guaranteed peace of mind. Having such great product offer-ings is also enabling us to expand our footprint of authorised TopUsed selling points.”

Developments in southern Africa are also under foot, with the company expanding its authorised TopUsed franchises to various African countries. “The East African community is particularly interesting for us. Many South African based customers are traveling across the border into neighbouring countries, and we therefore have a dedicated sub-equatorial team that is focused on business and network development in these countries,” Fourie points out.

Prepared TopUsed vehicles at MAN Centurion.

“We encourage road transport operators to follow the MAN TopUsed success story. We are trading and onward selling large volumes of MAN vehicles. Visit us to experience first-hand our growing sales team as well as the various product offerings. Trust us to be your long-term trading partner during tough economic times. We have every intention to protect the value of your investment in MAN. Clearly we are doing some things right,” he concludes.

Access to MAN TopUsed is as straightforward as the contact to any of its company owned branches, private capital dealers or authorised TopUsed selling dealers. Through its main dealer in Centurion, Fourie confirms he and his team will be at the service of any potential customer throughout southern Africa.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa