Transport equipment specialist SAF-Holland says its strategic decision to elevate both the marketing and production capabilities of its South African subsidiary has helped establish a successful foothold in the country for years to come.
Through the appointment of South African Managing Director Jo du Toit and additional personnel, plus the acquisition of new premises and the building of a new assembly line, SAF-Holland believes it has the blueprint in place to improve the brand in South Africa.
“Getting a foothold in the local market was by no means easy,” says du Toit. “Transport operators in South Africa are relatively conservative and generally skeptical of new products that offer ‘more for less’. Brand loyalty on their part is extremely strong and we had to prove that we were serious about servicing the local market; that we were in it for the long-haul.”
“We moved our headquarters from Alrode to newer, bigger premises in Ormonde in Johannesburg last year and tasked our new technical manager, Simon Dolphin, to source local suppliers to help with the installation of our assembly line,” du Toit explains.
According to du Toit, the new assembly line offers many benefits, for customers and for the country. “Government has targeted the automotive industry as a key area for job creation and skills development via its Local Content programme,” he adds.
“As the road freight industry in South Africa evolves, it looks for better ways to carry more payload using fewer vehicles; an approach that is both economically and environmentally beneficial.
“By expanding our supply and service capabilities through the new assembly line and our Pinetown branch, SAF-Holland has not only proven its nay-sayers wrong, but has made a significant leap towards positioning itself as key partner for truck transporters with a forward-thinking approach.”