MAN Truck & Bus South Africa and MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa has relocated its head-offices to new premises in Modderfontein, Johannesburg – a move which the company says is representative of the organisation’s new strategy to satisfy markets across South Africa and Sub-equatorial Africa by leveraging synergies between the two regional divisions.
With the retirement of former MAN Truck & Bus SA managing director, Geoff du Plessis in December 2015, MAN AG has appointed chairman of MAN Truck & Bus SA (and Head of Sub-Equatorial Africa, Middle East and India), Markus Geyer as the new managing director of MAN Truck & Bus SA and MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa.
Relocating from Munich, Geyer is now based in Johannesburg and is contracted to occupy the position for four years with the option of extending the term by two years.
Geyer’s experience with MAN in South Africa and Africa as a whole goes back to 2004 when he was involved from a central controlling point of view. “Since then, my engagement with African customers has increased and I have come to understand the idiosyncrasies of respective markets on the continent. I believe our local management team has the necessary experience to lead MAN into a new era of positive growth in the Pan-African markets I now manage,” says Geyer.
Joining Geyer on the Board of Directors of MAN Truck & Bus SA are Arshad Hassim (financial director) and Sarah Luthuli (non-executive director). Ian Seethal, Head of Network Development, adds the position of head of Marketing Communications (South Africa and Sub-Equatorial Africa) to his portfolio of responsibilities. Robert Clough is head of MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa.
“The streamlining of our management structure extends to our proprietary dealerships in Centurion, Pinetown and Cape Town where we have created branch manager positions to elevate decision-making power at the point of sale.
According to Geyer, this forms part of MAN’s new global project PACE2017 which is designed to enhance customer-centric product and service delivery for customers and increase efficiencies within the company.
At the core of the PACE2017 project is a focus on a dynamic business culture where processes are simplified to ensure that customers get the right products and services more swiftly, with all MAN personnel being guided by the acronym, PACE (Performance, Accountability, Commitment, Execution).
“Our new head office reflects our premium brand positioning and our values of transparency and openness. A total investment of R75-million demonstrates MAN’s commitment to long-term investment in South Africa and to establishing the organisation as the leading employer in the heavy commercial vehicle sector by attracting the right talent to ensure market-leading customer orientation,” adds Geyer.
“We now have full decision-making power for the entire sub-equatorial Africa region, including South Africa, under one roof. MAN Financial Services, a joint venture between ABSA and VW Financial Services, will also relocate to our new headquarters, which will ensure stronger support between sales and finance, thus ensuring better customer service.
“Having our sales and aftersales teams sitting next to each other will also strengthen our ability to support our customers more effectively. Furthermore, having all strategic business units in one building enables us to not only share business intelligence from respective market bases more easily between operational divisions, but also cultivates concentrated effort to enhance efficiency in dealing with customer requirements.”
It all sounds the right stuff but MAN has a lot of work to do to recapture the market share it lost last year. In 2014, the company sold 1 565 trucks units for a market share of 8,1%. Last year sales dropped to 1 317 units to give a market share of 6,9%. It fared better on the bus side with 498 units sold in 2014 and 489 in 2015. Although there was a slight drop in units sales, MAN’s market share of the bus market increased over this period from 39,7% in 2014 to 43,7% last year.
So it’s now gloves off and sleeves rolled up to get out there and recapture what they lost. There is work to do.