World class quality, competitive pricing and trucks designed for South Africa conditions , these are the elements which define the Powerstar display of vehicles at the Johannesburg International Motor Show.
“We have taken care over the years to listen to what our customers need and we have designed our trucks accordingly,’ says Bob Wang, Powerstar S.A. CEO. “The end result is that our trucks are tough and durable and yet easy to operate and service. Our company remains committed, through extensive research and development, to continuously refining and adjusting its designs to meet customers’ ever-changing needs.’
Powerstar engineering and R&D is an important factor in the success of the Powerstar operation in South Africa. “During 2012, we expanded our team of engineering and technical experts to be able to deliver high-end consultation with respect to early technical trouble-shooting and solutions. This has paid off significantly with our reliability levels -which have always been excellent – improving continuously,’ Wang says.
Powerstar VX and VR ranges
A dedicated team of POWERSTAR’s research and design engineers originally fast-tracked the superior design and superb technical developments of the new ranges specifically for the southern African market. Their scrupulous craftsmanship resulted in the VX range and the state-of-the art, long haul, heavy-duty V3.
The VX range features a host of updated features including a trendy and improved cab design for extra driver comfort. Introduced in 2012 the VX range comprises the 1627 4X2, 1729 4X4, 2628 6X4 S&LWB, 2635 A 6X6, 2642S 6X4, 3335 6X4 S&LWB and the 4035 8X4. Using the renowned, powerful and compact WEICHAI engine, the new VX’s torque output and workhorse capabilities remain unquestionable.
One of the defining features of the long-haul heavy-duty V3 is its superior cab comfort where spaciousness is maximised enhancing visibility, while the uniquely designed instrument panel promotes safety and increased productivity. Sculptured design lines are on par with European trends. The V3 2646 truck tractor, powered by a Weichai Euro 3 Intercooled engine and with a maximum geared road speed of 111 km/hour was also introduced at the show.
With a footprint spanning more than 30 countries, WEICHAI is the largest high-speed, power diesel engine manufacturer in the world. It has an annual production capacity of 80 million kw with engines ranging from 40hp to 10 000hp. Its manufacturing capability is diverse, ranging from small-bore engines for light trucks, excavators, forklifts and marine applications to powerful WEICHAI series engines for bus, tractor, engineering and marine applications. To remain at the forefront of technological competitiveness, WEICHAI employs more than 800 advanced R&D engineers.
Wang says that international representatives from Weichai – and other suppliers – are based at the Powerstar Pietermaritzburg plant to expedite and resolve any required technical changes with their corresponding operational division in China. “In this way we are constantly able to ensure that our vehicles keep up to date with the demands of local businesses and the local environment in general,’ he says.
There are countless satisfied Powerstar customers in South Africa and none more so than Polson Vervoer’s Derick Polson who bought his first Powerstar truck in 2005 and now has more than 20 in his fleet.
Polson comments. “Powerstar are great trucks at a great price. They don’t have complicated electronics and are very easy to service , and repair, when necessary – wherever we may be in the country. Yet they can do any job as well as any very expensive brand that I have owned.
“My experience with Powerstar is that downtime is virtually eliminated. Firstly, the vehicles are strong, rugged and reliable, and, secondly, because they are mechanically simple my team can often do the repair on the spot. In cases where we need spares, they are easy to get hold of through our Powerstar dealer and, very importantly, they are reasonably priced.’ Polson says.
Wang says he is delighted with the relationship that exists between Powerstar Brits and Polson Vervoer. “This is the how we like to do business. When there is a genuine partnership between our dealers and their customers, the customers are able to get the best out of our unusually reliable and tough vehicles. In this way there’s a win-win situation created for all involved.
Meanwhile the turnaround of Powerstar S.A. has become quite a talking point in the South African industry (300% increase in sale of vehicles from 2011 to 2012) and sales and networking director Mark Beukes says that one of the key success factors has been the company’s ability to do things ‘˜its way’. “We have kept the elements that have been working and got rid of those that have not. We are not afraid of using our instinct to make decisions and to get things done. We are guided by our vast combined experience in the trucking industry and the belief that the reason for being in business is to satisfy our customers’ needs while creating a workplace environment that our team is happy to be in each day,’ Beukes says.