DAF Trucks of the Netherlands has renewed its distribution contract for Southern Africa with the Babcock International Group for a further five years. The signing ceremony took place in Amsterdam recently and was witnessed by a group of South African transport operators and executives from Babcock Africa’s Transport Solutions Division who were in Europe as part of a “DAF Experience” fact-finding visit.
DAF, which originally came to South Africa in 2003 as part of the Tyco Group’s truck offering, granted its franchise to Babcock in September 2010. At the contract signing ceremony, MD of sales operations at DAF Trucks NV, Michiel Kuijs, said he was pleased his company was continuing its relationship with Babcock in Southern Africa.
“Reintroducing our brand to this competitive market was not as easy as we thought it would be but real progress is now being made,” he said. “DAF believes in three strong pillars to ensure success: the organisation, the product and the people.
“We know DAF is a good product, while Babcock is a successful, internationally renowned organisation that is gathering a strong team of trucking people together to keep the sales momentum moving. We look forward strengthening our partnership in the future.”
Wilna Steyn, CEO of Babcock Africa’s Transport Solutions Division, acknowledged that it had taken a few years for Babcock to get to grips with the DAF brand, relying heavily on its experience as a leading supplier of Volvo construction equipment in South Africa.
“We’re now reaping success from the foundations we laid and sales are showing a marked improvement. In the first eight months of 2014 we sold 157 trucks, compared to 88 units in the same period last year and we’re building up a strong order book. We’ve also established a strong dealer network of 17 dealers, strategically located on long haul transport routes.
“The manner in which we’ve engaged with our customers and listened to their requirements has made a significant contribution, not only in terms of the specifications of our range of trucks, but also in respect of the after-sales service we provide. We now have national 24/7 roadside assistance and excellent parts back-up.
“A major priority in the near future is to establish a dedicated finance house that offers a full range of financing options, as well as service and maintenance contract programmes,” added Steyn.