UD Trucks Southern Africa’s commitment to sustainable transport solutions

From left: MD Filip van den Heede, sales director Rory Schulz and aftermarket director Sanjay Naipal.
From left: MD Filip van den Heede, sales director Rory Schulz and aftermarket director Sanjay Naipal.

Despite the tough regional and international operating conditions, the local truck market remains resilient. This was the overarching message from UD Trucks Southern Africa’s Annual Press Conference held on 31 January 2024 at Langhams Executive Conferencing.

Overall, the new vehicle market recorded a total of 32 169 sales, up from 29 455 in 2022, representing a 9,2% growth. UD Trucks Southern Africa successfully concluded the year 2023, achieving consistent growth with a remarkable increase of over 40% in service agreements. This significant progress is a substantial step toward ensuring peace of mind, predictability, and maximising overall uptime for UD Trucks customers.

Filip van den Heede, MD UD Trucks Southern Africa, comments: “2023 was certainly not a walk in the park, but as a company, we are pleased to have significantly intensified our holistic proposition, focusing on delivering transport and service solutions that the world needs today. In pursuit of this goal, we have successfully accomplished various objectives, including achieving retail excellence, introducing innovative transport solutions, enhancing our aftersales offerings to reduce total cost of ownership, and improving parts availability at dealer leading to even further improved uptime and resale value for our customers, among other accomplishments. With improved cost of ownership and uptime ultimately driving customer satisfaction.”

Commenting on some of the key successes achieved in 2023, Van Den Heede notes that UD Trucks Southern Africa re-entered the local commuter bus market with the all-new Croner Bus, which comes in two variants – a commuter bus (PKE 280) and rural bus (LKE 210). This was a turning point for the company from a wider African perspective, in response to the growing demand for sustainable and safe travel options; the Croner Bus was the perfect answer to connect people on the move.

Furthermore, 2023 brought a renewed sense of confidence to the UD Trucks Southern Africa brand when it officially opened a larger and more prominently located dealership in Cape Town. The new establishment is not only testament to the company’s ongoing efforts to become an environmentally conscious brand, but further provides additional capacity for growth. The new dealership in Cape Town and several other investments in the network, are aimed at increasing customer satisfaction.

Last year, UD Trucks Southern Africa was recognised by Naamsa and The Automotive Business Council for paving the way in Women and Youth Empowerment. In addition, the company was named the Most Improved BBBEE OEM at the Naamsa Annual Accelerator Awards, demonstrating its commitment to transformation agenda.

From a product perspective, the company is introducing an armoured UD Kuzer RKE 150 truck to the local market. This follows a venture between UDTSA and SVI Engineering, a leading specialist manufacturer of armoured products in South Africa. The SVI-converted UD Kuzer truck offers its driver and front passengers comprehensive B6 protection, without compromising either comfort or performance. The conversion is fully approved by UD Trucks Southern Africa, and the new armoured solution can be ordered through any OEM’s dealer network, with the standard manufacturer warranty remaining in place.

“With the recent additions, UD Trucks Southern Africa remains committed to utilising a comprehensive approach in addressing today’s challenges,” states aftermarket director Sanjay Naipal. “In this regard, the focus on reducing total cost of ownership for our customers is crucial, ensuring maximum uptime, peace of mind, and ultimately, a high resale value for their vehicles.”

Taking additional strides to provide intelligent logistics solutions, UD Trucks has elevated its data-driven offerings with UD Connected Services which is now a standard solution on specific UD models for a period of five years. UD Connected Services offers extensive fleet management, enhanced logistical efficiency, and industry-leading vehicle connectivity.

20 years of Quon

Meanwhile, the UD Quon is commemorating two decades since its global launch in 2004. Built upon the heritage of overcoming challenges, the UD Quon has consistently introduced groundbreaking innovations, including the Traffic Eye Brake and the revolutionary ESCOT gearbox, among others. These advancements further solidify UD’s market positioning.

Marking the significance of this milestone, UD Trucks Southern Africa is set to introduce enhanced Quon safety features that put people first. These include a streamlined interior and dashboard designed for driver comfort, an easy-to-understand instrument panel layout with driving information and LED indicators smartly arranged in order of warning priority, providing excellent visibility to drivers.

Owners can also expect peace of mind with maintenance with UD Trust Service Agreements which include maintenance plan based on vehicle usage, covering optimal preventive maintenance and reliable inspections. Quon trucks are also supported by UD Extra Mile Support solutions that tap into the full UD network to access vehicle support which benefits owners throughout their vehicle application and lifespan – spanning across vehicle handover training programme, manufacturer’s warranty, UD Road Support, on top of reliable servicing by qualified technicians with genuine parts and UD Connected Services.

“The upgraded Quon contributes to increased sustainability and mobility, thereby reducing the overall carbon footprint in line with UD Trucks’ overarching purpose of creating a better life for people and the planet. Already launched in international markets, specifically Australia and New Zealand since May 2023, these safety enhancements are anticipated to be introduced in South Africa during the third quarter of the year,” says Rory Schulz, Sales Director at UD Trucks Southern Africa.


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