German auto-maker, Daimler AMG on Thursday launched the Southern Africa Centre in Pretoria, South Africa in a drive to build its motor vehicle brands in the region.
The Pretoria office will manage sales and service across all divisions and brands, Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler AG board member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses said.
The event yesterday follows the opening on Tuesday of another centre in Nairobi, Kenya to service 41 markets in East and the Horn of Africa.
“The opening of two additional regional centres in Africa reflects our consistent efforts for getting closer to our commercial vehicle customers in important growth markets.
“Through stronger local presence, we will be tapping the potential of these emerging countries even better,” said Bernhard.
The launch of the offices comes just four months after the opening of the first regional centre for commercial vehicles in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Industry experts in Pretoria say Daimler is driving on with the continued regionalisation of its sales and service organisation for important emerging markets.
What this means is that markets such as Malawi will now be supported by the regional centre in South Africa.
It is also a big boost for local franchise dealers such as Stansfield Motors because owning a Daimler truck such Mercedes Benz, Fuso would be easy as worries about maintaining will be the thing of the past.
With Daimler Commercial Vehicles Africa (DCV Africa) for East, Central and West Africa and the Regional Centre Southern Africa (RCSA) for Southern Africa and an additional two of a total of six regional centres taking up their work this week, means Daimler footprint has spread across Africa.
It is hoped that in future, the two companies will manage the sales and service for commercial vehicles for all brands in 50 African markets.
“Through stronger local presence, we will be tapping the potential of these emerging countries even better.
“Instead of leaving the African continent to our competitors, we will offer tailor- made products for the African markets,” said Bernhard.
Daimler believes East, Central, and West Africa is a promising region with a population of 770 million inhabitants.
In future, DCV Africa with a head office in Nairobi will be responsible for the entire commercial vehicles portfolio of light and heavy-duty trucks as well as for mini to large tourist buses.
In 2015, Daimler sold around 5 900 commercial vehicles in the region, 4 000 units out of these came from the Asian brand Fuso.
Market observers see similar dynamics in the region of Southern Africa. The region is comprised by nine countries.
Despite the currently challenging global economic situation, experts expect a growth rate of 3.75 percent in 2016.
By the end of the decade, experts expect an even more significant rise of the annual growth of more than 4.5 percent annually. n