Despite the high amount of electronics incorporated into today’s modern trucks, it remains a nuts and bolts business – especially when it comes to trailers – and when you can’t get any nuts and bolts, that’s when you start worrying.
I was speaking to a long-time reputable used truck dealer not long ago who told me he was battling to get hold of nuts and bolts for his workshops – seriously. That conversation came to mind when FleetWatch received a statement from the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) welcoming the signing of a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Supreme Spring, a subsidiary of JSE listed company Metair, and Springs and Bolts Company Limited Ghana.
The signing of the MOU came about as a direct result of an exploratory visit in early March to Ghana by automotive component manufacturers hosted by AAAM. The objective was to introduce potential investors to the Ghanaian automotive market, focused on aftermarket opportunities which, in time, will also support OE assembly as volumes grow. Currently, almost all aftermarket components in Ghana are imported.
Supreme Spring, which is based in Nigel South Africa, is engaged in the designing, manufacture, marketing and supply of quality heat-treated steel components such as leaf and coil springs, torsion and stabilizer bars to the local and international automotive market.
The Springs and Bolts Company Limited based in Kumasi, Ghana manufactures leaf springs, U bolts, trailer axles and suspensions for the Ghanaian and other West African aftermarkets.
“We believe this MOU is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship that will allow both parties to grow their business. With us sharing our technical expertise and providing training of key skills, Springs and Bolts Company Limited will open new markets for us in West Africa” says Mark Barley, Managing Director of Supreme Spring.
He adds that during their visit to Ghana, it became clear that the Ghanaian government is serious about developing Ghana into the automotive hub for West Africa “and we want to be a part of that growth by partnering with a local company.”
Equally enthusiastic about the MOU is Derrick Asamoah Boahen, CEO of the Springs and Bolts Company Limited in Ghana who says that their visit to Supreme Spring confirmed their view that they had found the ideal partner “to help us develop and grow our business in Ghana and potentially expand it further to additional West African countries going forward.”
“While we are currently focused on the aftermarket and see much growth potential in this area in the future. However, we’re excited that as we see OEM’s entering the market in Ghana, through our relationship with Supreme Spring we’ll be able to manufacture components in Ghana that meet the stringent quality standards that the major automotive vehicle manufacturers demand from their suppliers.”
Obviously chuffed with this deal is David Coffey, the CEO of AAAM. “Seeing the first concrete outcome from our component supplier visit to Ghana in March through the signing of this MOU, is gratifying for AAAM as we continue to actively drive our vision to develop a viable automotive industry for Africa. I would like to congratulate both companies for not only seeing the opportunities of this collaboration but acting upon it so quickly” he says, adding that a second exploratory visit by component suppliers to Ghana is planned for the second half of this year.
Given all this, please can we ask that if there are any spare nuts and bolts lying around in Ghana, can Supreme Spring please bring them back so that our used truck dealer can replenish his supply. He’s not far from Nigel so he’ll even have them collected. Thanks hey!.
And it’s a big congrats from FleetWatch to these two companies on this milestone agreement. With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) now in motion, I reckon we can expect to see more of such deals in the future.