Post-Covid used-truck sales grew from 860 in 2019 to 1,400 last year for Daimler Truck Southern Africa (DTSA), the region’s outgoing Group CEO and president, Michael Dietz, has said.
Although about 70% of that remains in the South African market or re-enters the country, at least 30% is left for the eight other sub-Saharan countries falling under DTSA’s used-truck fold, Dietz’s successor, Maretha Gerber, has added.
She said the heavy-duty original equipment manufacturer (OEM) had sold used trucks from South Africa as far afield as Kenya.
Focusing on strengthening used-truck sales and support services in the region has become as important for the Daimler brand as it is to sell new Mercedes-Benz and Fuso units.
“If we don’t have a robust used-trucks business, we cannot sell new vehicles,” Gerber said.
“Our used-trucks business has grown year-on-year for the past five years.”
Taking over from Dietz, under who's four years at the helm of DTSA used-truck sales received due priority, Gerber said this strategy would not change.
“Our intention is to grow the new vehicle side which inevitably means the used-truck side as well.
“What comes in the one end has to go out the other,” she said, emphasising that used trucks are particularly important for the local region.
Gerber, who is still sales and marketing vice president of Mercedes-Benz and Fuso, has managed to record some of the best figures for DTSA.
Dietz, who will leave to head up Daimler’s regional office in Dubai from April 1, said: “Last year we had our best-ever year in 60 years of sales history, handing over more trucks and buses than before.”
He said more trucks had been sold in one year than the combined amount of Mercedes Benz and Freightliner trucks in preceding years.
Because of the growing popularity of the OEM's used trucks, DTSA has opened nine dedicated dealerships across South Africa to assist with sales and after-sales support.
“We cannot leave used-truck sales in the hands of independent dealers,” Dietz said.
“It’s part of our fully integrated value chain.”