ENTREPRENEUR, engineer, aviator and owner of MAN’s Swaziland dealership, Ernest Da Cruz, has expanded MAN Truck & Bus’ Sub-Equatorial Africa dealer footprint by building a state-of-the-art sales and service dealership in Matola, just outside the Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo.
The new facility, built from the ground up on a 15000 m² property at an initial cost of R30 million, boasts a 1200 m² workshop, a 400 m² parts department and 600 m² of office space. The workshop includes three service bays, eight repair bays and a wash bay.
At the official roof-wetting ceremony of Matola Truck & Bus Mozambique held on the 14th of September, Da Cruz and his staff members hosted MAN customers from Mozambique, whom he has been servicing from his Swaziland MAN dealership for over 20 years, as well as executives from MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa Region, MAN Truck & Bus SA, MAN TopUsed and members of the media.
“Today’s event goes beyond the basic task of establishing an automotive franchise. This new dealership is not just another outlet for selling trucks and buses, but represents a step towards establishing an infrastructure capable of supporting the immensely competitive transport industry in the region and to make it an essential partner in the development of the beautiful country of Mozambique,” said Da Cruz.
The new dealership is equipped with the very latest hi-tech workshop and parts inventory management systems, including a computerised oil dispensing system, a five-tonne crane and a powerful server running cutting edge inventory management software which links the Matola parts warehouse with its sister warehouse at Da Cruz’s Swaziland MAN dealership.
“Our vision is to manage cost effective business processes with minimum risks with appropriate approval by our management system ensuring market competitiveness by supplying products and services of the highest standards, on time and within budget,” added Da Cruz.
Mozambique is currently one of Africa’s star economic performers with annual GDP growth between six and seven percent. “Foreign Direct Investment, particularly in port infrastructure development at harbours including Maputo, Beira, Nacala, Pemba and Quelimane are ramping up the nation’s international logistics capacity,” said Thomas Ferreira, Head of Export After-Sales, MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa.
“The absence of any significant rail networks from South Africa and other neighbouring countries to Mozambique make truck transport the predominant logistics provider on the sub-continent and this new dealership, which is perfectly located alongside the N4-Maputo corridor, will become an invaluable service and support centre for long-haul trucks running from Gauteng to Maputo and other ports in Mozambique,” Ferreira stated.
Customer feedback at the event was extremely positive, on both the new dealership and on MAN products. Coca Cola Mozambique is one of Da Cruz’s premier customers and according to Leonell Amaral, the beverage manufacturer’s National Fleet Manager: “Having a world-class MAN service dealership on our doorstep will bring new efficiencies to our fleet of six MAN TGS 27.440 truck-tractors. Da Cruz’s dedication to his customers is exemplary and the quality of his technicians’ workmanship is attested to in the performance of our MAN trucks, which outperform their counterparts in our fleet as far as fuel consumption is concerned by an impressive margin.”
Matola Truck & Bus’ order book also suggests a swift return on investment for Da Cruz, stated MAN’s Robert Clough, acting Head of Sub-Equatorial Africa: “The dealership has placed a R2 million parts order and has secured a deal to supply 55 VW buses to the Maputo municipal commuter bus operator, TPM. With ongoing foreign investment in Mozambique, the prospects for Da Cruz’s new dealership to secure high volume business are very good indeed.”
Concluding the presentations, Da Cruz said, “Despite the slowdown in the global economy these last few years, especially in the automotive industry, we have tried to maintain and create an environment where employees are able to realise their true potential and maximise their performance, thus enabling the company to be the employer of choice in our industry.”
A highlight of the event was the arrival of the new MAN TGX 26.540 and the ONE MAN Kann team, which sees celebrity explorer, Riaan Manser and co-driver, Nduna Chari (on loan from MAN customer fleet, MANLINE) undertake an epic truck journey, along with an extreme adventure film crew, through nine African countries, travelling over 13000km over 53 days.
Having departed from Pinetown in KZN on the 8th of September, the team stopped over in Johannesburg for an event at MAN Head Office in Isando and then travelled east to Swaziland, stopping over at Manzini, before heading for Mozambique.
For Manser, who celebrated his 42nd birthday at the roof-wetting event, “Mozambique is a special place for me, having bicycled the entire length of its coastline a few years ago. Now I get to see it from a different vantage point, from inside the cab of the amazing MAN TGX 26.540, which will be loaded with mosquito nets and anti-malaria prophylactics for the Roll Back Malaria Project, to be donated to communities in Mozambique and other countries on our journey towards Nairobi. Da Cruz’s new dealership is an awesome feat of civil engineering and I am sure truckers from all over Mozambique will be beating a hasty path to Matola Truck & Bus.”
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