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Price is not narrowing the pool of buyers says MD of Volvo Financial Services

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There is no doubt about it. The latest generation trucks coming into South Africa from European truck manufacturers are stunning, brimming as they do with a herd of features which enhance safety, driver comfort and transport productivity. This was once again highlighted at the road show held by Volvo Trucks South Africa where it showcased its new generation of truck models across its existing four extra heavy commercial truck ranges – the Volvo FH, FH16, FM and FMX.

This 5th Generation range was actually introduced onto the South African market earlier this year but because of Covid-19 lockdown regulations, was heralded in at the time via a virtual launch. With the easing of the lockdown rules, Volvo is now taking the range around the country on a road-show to allow the market to get a closer hands-on feel of the models and their various offerings.

The first leg of the road show was held over three days in Mulderdrift and FleetWatch attended the first day’s media morning. The other two days were for customers, dealers and staff. It was great to interact on a personal, face-to-face level once again and proved to be a worthwhile event which gave the opportunity for Volvo to spell out the new features as well as value-added offerings of its new models. At the end of it all, however, the thought came to mind that although these are all dream machines, are they affordable in today economic climate?

Let’s take the average price of say a new Volvo FH 440 as coming in around the R1,9-million to R2-million mark, depending on extras. The equivalent models from other European manufacturers would be around the same figures. Of course, there are a number of other factors that come into play in determining the final price but let’s hang in at the figure of between R1,9m to R2-million. And note, that’s for the truck tractor only. You then have to add on a trailer, or tanker.

The question is: Can operators afford such prices in the current economic climate or have economic conditions resulted in a narrowing down of the pool of potential buyers based on the high price of trucks?

This is the question Patrick O’Leary, editor of FleetWatch, asked Paul Uys, Managing Director of Volvo Financial Services and the good news is that no, according to Uys, the buyers are still there. Listen to what he says in the accompanying video.

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