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Daimler opens regional centre for commercial vehicles in Southern Africa

Mercedes-Benz South Africa is expanding its operations in Southern Africa to take advantage of growth opportunities in the industry.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), along with its brand divisions Daimler Trucks & Buses and Mercedes-Benz Vans, strengthened its continued drive for excellence and customer dedication with the opening of the Regional Centre Southern Africa (RCSA) in February 2016.

The RCSA will be responsible for Daimler’s full commercial vehicles portfolio in the region, ranging from the full offering of Mercedes-Benz Vans, heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses as well as the uniquely suited products (trucks and buses) from FUSO. The Regional Centre Southern Africa will be responsible for South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

“Opening our new Regional Centre Southern Africa, we are able to respond even faster to our commercial vehicle customers and their requirements. This will help us to further tap the growth potential of this emerging region,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses.

Clear focus on commercial vehicles

Based in Pretoria, South Africa, the Regional Centre Southern Africa will be a catalyst in ensuring highly efficient business processes and an even higher level of customer satisfaction. MBSA and its parent company Daimler AG are confident that the Regional Centre Southern Africa is poised to provide excellence and ultimately a competitive advantage to its growing number of southern African-based customers through superior products and custom value chain offerings.

“Having a stronger presence in the southern African markets means that we are able to react faster and be in touch more frequently with our commercial vehicles customers and the various General Distributors in the respective countries,” said Kobus van Zyl, Executive Director: Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa. “The RCSA provides further opportunities for all our commercial vehicle endeavours, including sales, after-sales, marketing, client services and parts.”

Long-term potential

Southern Africa is a promising growth region for all of Daimler’s commercial vehicles. In line with the global outlook, the region is facing a tough economic cycle but is still expected to grow at a rate of 3.75% in 2016. Improved external prospects and domestic policy improvements will support gradually stronger growth rates from 2017, with the regional average back up to more than 4.5% annually during 2018-2020. Moreover, southern Africa possesses large reserves of untapped natural commodities such as copper, oil and gas. In 2015, Daimler sold approximately 5,500 trucks and buses in the region.

About the Commercial Vehicles Regional Centres

The Regional Centre Southern Africa is the third of six Regional Centres being opened for Daimler’s commercial vehicles business around the world. In February 2016, the Regional Centre for East, Central, and West Africa started its operations from its base in Nairobi, Kenya. The first Regional Centre had been opened in October 2015 in Dubai as Daimler Commercial Vehicles Middle East North Africa (DCV MENA). Similar bases will follow for South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America during the course of 2016.

In the past, Daimler had managed these regions primarily from its group headquarters in Stuttgart. Further decentralisation will keep the business even more in tune with the market. The many years of product and service-related expertise pay off in this respect just as much as the broad portfolio of products offered by the group’s various commercial vehicles brands.

Kobus van Zyl and Dr Wolfgang Bernhard
Kobus van Zyl and Dr Wolfgang Bernhard

Originally published in the 2016 edition of
 Eastern Cape Business.


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