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motoring: Super Group Gets 65 Freightliner Trucks


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Zwartkop, Pretoria – Super Group, an integrated supply chain management business listed on the transport sector of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange recently took delivery of 65 Freightliner Argosy trucks to run their business the smart way on a national basis.

The company took delivery of the Freightliner trucks intermittently at NMI-DSM Commercial Vehicles and Cargo Commercial Vehicles, two of Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s (MBSA) dealerships in Pinetown, north-west of Durban as well as Germiston, east of Johannesburg.

The trucks were financed on a full maintenance operating lease basis by MBSA’s fleet management division, debis Fleet Management (dFM), over a period of 60 months and contract mileage of 870 000 kilometers.

“Super Group’s choice to purchase our trucks is proof that they are finding the product to be extremely competitive and fuel efficient, making the Argosy the highway truck of choice,” says Ian Riley, divisional manager of MBSA’s Freightliner, Mitsubishi FUSO and Western Star division.

He says that Freightliner is continuing to hold the number one spot in the long-haul 6x4 tractor market after recording increased sales volumes of 1 719 units during 2008, an increased growth of 46% over 2007 volumes of 1 181 units.
Aluwani Ramabulana, chief executive officer of dFM, says the full maintenance deal between his company and Super Group amounted to R120-million and that dFM has already delivered R65-million of the deal.

“This deal shows that the outsourcing of fleet management is becoming widely accepted in both public and private sectors. We are very happy to partner with Super Group and help them deliver a seamless mobility solution for their business,” says Ramabulana.

Hendrik Barnard, chief operating officer of Super Group, SCP, Freight Division says Freightliner was the first choice among other trucks that they considered to run their freight division which specialises in the transportation of general cargo from industrial to food products.

“We tested the various aspects of the Freightliner brand together with other commercial vehicles. Looking at the combined finance package offered by the parent company [MBSA], Freightliner was the number one choice in terms of price, maintenance rate and the ability to save fuel,” says Barnard.

He says the 65 Freightliners will be incorporated in their long distance fleet, which mainly transport long distance industrial products and a dedicated fleet moving goods and general cargo between main centers of South Africa as well as Botswana and Namibia.

Gerhard Rossouw, a truck expert at Cargo Commercial Vehicles Germiston, says Super Group was more concerned about Freightliner’s engine derivatives such as capacity and power before choosing the trucks to run their fleet. “They brought along their own truck technician to test various aspects of the engine such as capacity and power as well as to guide Super Group in choosing the Freightliner as their truck of choice. We arranged a demo engine and ran tests between Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg. The results met their expectations.”

Rossouw says in the midst of the global economic downturn he remains confident that the commercial vehicles market will remain resilient, especially in the extra heavy market as there is more likely to be more demand in the coal mining and supply chain sectors. His dealership managed to sell 450 Freightliner trucks during 2008.

“Our Freightliner dealer network is well prepared for the tough challenges of 2009 and I am confident that our range of trucks will create opportunities for us to rise above the current economical challenges,” concludes Riley.

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