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UD Trucks – Going the extra mile in 2015 and beyond

UD Trucks Southern Africa, driven by its vision of being professional, passionate and dependable in everything that they do.

Rory Schulz, MD of UD Trucks Southern Africa.
Rory Schulz, MD of UD Trucks Southern Africa.

As one of the region’s leading truck manufacturers, UD Trucks Southern Africa is driven by its vision of being professional, passionate and dependable in everything that they do. “The future plans of UD Trucks are all about enhancing our customers’ transport and service experience with us.

We are committed to supporting our customers in a smart and modern way, and going the extra mile in every scenario,” said Rory Schulz, Managing Director of UD Trucks Southern Africa.

“As one of the main role players in the SA truck market for the past 52 years, we believe the local market still managed to deliver a satisfactory performance in 2014, especially if one takes all the macro – and socioeconomic challenges into consideration, and we therefore remain positive of the industry’s potential in the region going into 2015 and beyond.

“A recovery in the platinum mining sector and increased activities in heavy construction and long haulage were the main drivers of demand for extra-heavy trucks,”

“A recovery in the platinum mining sector and increased activities in heavy construction and long haulage were the main drivers of demand for extra-heavy trucks,” explained Schulz. UD Trucks, in fourth position overall, managed to increase its market share from 9,96% in 2013 to 10,66% last year.

UD Trucks managed to increase sales of its now discontinued U41 range by 3,96% to 657 units.

Heading for our shores: the UD Trucks Quester, which will be launched within the next few months.
Heading for our shores: the UD Quester, which will be launched within the next few months.

In terms of growth, UD Trucks increased overall sales by 9,29%, outperforming the 2,04% industry average. In the MCV segment, UD Trucks managed to increase sales of its now discontinued U41 range by 3,96% to 657 units.

The last unit of this legendary range was produced in October 2014, with more than than 13 000 units sold since its introduction in 1996. According to Schulz, UD Trucks was once again the top-performing heavy commercial vehicle range in the market, with a 23,94% market share.

The company’s best-performing model was its Quon extra heavy range, which grew by a significant 24,9% compared to 7,68% for the total extra-heavy commercial vehicle market. This performance pushed UD Trucks to the fourth position in the segment, gaining ground from its 8,77% market share in 2013 to 10,12% in 2014.

“2014 certainly was another noteworthy year for the UD Trucks brand in the country,”

During 2014, Trucks also continued to play a significant role in the export market. The brand’s total sales in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, increased by 44,68% to 544 units. “2014 certainly was another noteworthy year for the UD Trucks brand in the country,” said Schulz.

“Over the last number of years we have spent significant time and resources to ensure that we offer the right type of products for our local customers, backed by the professional support of our 65 region-wide dealers. We believe that this renewed focus has been one of the reasons for our success in 2014.”

Overal outlook for UD Trucks in 2015

“The forecast for the truck market remains positive for 2015, as some macroeconomic factors are beginning to show signs of improvement. We expect the GDP to increase slightly to 2,5%, a downward revision from some previous forecasts, while some credit rating downgrades remain a concern.

Meanwhile the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) index is set to decrease marginally as investment in construction and non-residential buildings decline – an indicator that there will be a decrease in demand for construction-related truck applications.

“Inflation is expected to ease due to lower oil prices, while no interest rate hikes are expected until the third quarter of the year. “Exchange rates remain a problem for the industry, with the effects of ZAR weakness in 2013 and 2014 to be felt through higher than inflation product price increases in 2015 by all truck manufacturers,” said Schulz.

“We are also hoping that labour relations will be better after the prolonged industrial action in various segments throughout 2014.”

The UD Trucks Quon, the company’s best-performing model for UD Trucks South Africa.
The UD Quon, the company’s best-performing model. Sales of the Quon extra-heavy range grew by a significant 24,9% compared to 7,68% for the total extra-heavy commercial vehicle market.

UD Trucks in 2015

UD Trucks, part of the Volvo Group SA, will launch its new Quester range in March this year the first of a new generation of trucks specifically developed for the world of extra-heavy transport. It is derived from a combination of the
company’s Japanese quality heritage and insights from the local market.

The Quester range will not replace the company’s Quon range, but is expected to enhance its current product offering to the market. “UD Trucks’ passion is to make fleetowners working day simpler and more productive, whether they are in long haulage, distribution, construction or mining.

“The new range will cut fuel costs and maximise uptime, giving fleetowners quick, dependable payback…”

UD TrucksQuester is expected to be s most cost-efficient truck ever, explained Schulz. “The new range will cut fuel costs and maximise uptime, giving fleetowners quick, dependable payback that will help them succeed in their business.”

The Group will also open a new multi-million parts distribution centre in Johannesburg during the first Quarter of the year. “UD Trucks has a proud after-sales care record in the Southern African region as a result of our concerted commitment to provide our customers with the best possible vehicle availability and utilisation,” said Schulz.

“…the efficient and timely supply of quality UD Trucks parts remains one of our main priorities.”

“As part of the world’s second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, with its multitude of resources and technologies, the efficient and timely supply of quality UD Trucks parts remains one of our main priorities.”

The company is also continuously investing in the enhancement and expansion of the UD Trucks dealer network across the region.

“With 65 franchised dealers already present all along the major routes and trade corridors in Southern Africa, fleet owners are able to get complete support from UD Trucks, no matter where they operate in the region,” concluded Rory Schulz.

 
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Tristan Wiggill
Seasoned writer, journalist, photographer, and editor.
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