new frontiers CFAO Zambia’s managing director talks about plans to expand its Nissan distribution system.
By Ian Armitage
issan sees Africa as an increasingly important market and has been upping production here in South Africa for a while, its sights set on first-time buyers in emerging markets. One of those key emerging markets is Zambia. 2
The country’s only authorised Nissan distributor is CFAO and, according to it’s managing director Sue Mennell, Nissan vehicles are playing a substantial role in its continued development. CFAO has set its sights on becoming the country’s “number one car dealer” and is currently expanding its network. “Africa is seen as a fast-growing continent and is an increasingly important market for a number of players,” says Mennell. “Here in Zambia it is very much an exciting time.” CFAO Zambia was established in October 2000 by French company CFAO Automotive, part of the French group Pinault Printemps Redoute (PPR), which owns luxury brands. Since its establishment, CFAO Zambia has concentrated on two main objectives: one to firmly establish the company within the motor vehicle industry in Zambia, and secondly to re-establish the name and reputation of the Nissan brand whose market share had shrunk to just six percent in 2000.
CFAO focus REtail
“Over the years CFAO has made considerable headway,” Mennell says. “What I have now is the exciting challenge of building on it.” CFAO Zambia has grown from nine employees at start-up to a company that employs more than 100 people. It has headquarters in Lusaka and branches in Kitwe and Livingstone with showrooms, service workshops and parts outlets. “We’re actually planning to expand our branch network and are looking at opening some branches further north in the Copperbelt Province where the mining community is. “Zambia has huge mineral resources; we are looking at expanding.” Motor vehicles are no longer a luxury but a necessity and the biggest challenge to owning a vehicle is finance, she says. “We realise that many people need effective mobility. CFAO is partnering with various finance houses to offer affordable finance plans for vehicle purchase. Since its inception CFAO has sold many new Nissan vehicles and our sales and forecasts improve every year. “We are performing very well. Expanding the network is a priority; we need more space. We’re growing all the time. We’ve got many new customers. We sell many more vehicles. And we are
We’ve got a stronghold. Our products are reliable and trustworthy expanding rapidly on the aftersales side. “Our UD Trucks sales have also really taken off this year. We are looking at expanding our Truck workshop as a result. So, there’s a lot that needs to be done.” CFAO’s models include the Navara, Pathfinder, Qashqi, NP300 Hardbody, NP200, Murano and Patrol, sourced from Thailand, Europe, South Africa and Japan. It recently confirmed a deal with parastatal Zesco to supply 33 UD90 crane trucks and Mennell says “orders are flooding in”. “It is looking very good. I’m very optimistic about the future.
“Where would I like to see CFAO Zambia in the coming years? Well, I would like to see us as the number one vehicle supplier in the country. That is our ultimate aim. If we could do that it would be fantastic. In a few years I would be glad to be able to look back and see what we have managed to do – opening new branches, appointing agents in some towns, selling vehicles and servicing vehicles right across Zambia; that is the aim. It is a massive country and some of the north-east hasn’t been looked at yet. “We are very optimistic. This is a stable country, www.southafricamag.com
CFAO focus REtail
UD Trucks Southern Africa UD Trucks Southern Africa has enjoyed a proud history of success since its establishment in South Africa 1962, becoming the UD Trucks Corporation’s top market outside of Japan. Over the years, the company has built a strong reputation as a credible and successful truck supplier, boasting unequalled flexibility and full backing from the UD Trucks Corporation in Japan.
which is attracting investment and has strong mining potential, as well as strong tourism and a very strong agricultural industry. We have a growing middle-class and demand is increasing month on month. Zambia is going places for sure. “We’ve got a lot of expansion and development in the pipeline, some ongoing, and others in planning. We’re currently putting in a new express service facility to service vehicles faster, a state-of-the-art body shop, and bigger workshops for both passenger cars and trucks, and we’re obviously opening branches in the north. There is a lot going on.” Nissan cars and UD Trucks are only part of the CFAO story. It is also an authorized distributor for FG Wilson generators. 4
“The demand is there and we recently received a consignment of various sized generators. We’ve already installed some and we’re pushing to expand on sales and aftersales for the generators.” All in all, things are looking good. “We’ve got a stronghold. Our products are reliable and trustworthy; everybody knows them and you get a lot of customers who are faithful to the Nissan brand. It is a strong brand and we’re getting new models coming in – we launched the Almera earlier this year for example and we’ve got the new Patrol being launched in 2013. Things are changing. New models are coming out all the time and customers are excited about it.” To learn more visit www. cfao-zambia.com/nissan END
Now in 2012, UD Trucks Southern Africa is once again moving the benchmark higher with the launch of the new generation Quon extra heavy range. The company is resolved to offer only vehicles engineered, developed and rigorously tested to meet the harsh operating conditions in the region. The local company is also responsible for UD Trucks’ exports into 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and both right and left hand drive variants will be introduced into the region according to each territory’s market requirements. UD Trucks Southern Africa will continue to develop its footprint in the African market wherever fleets can benefit from its efficient design, state-of-the art technology, quality assembly and dependable support. Moving into the future as the company build on its proud legacy, UD Trucks will continually aim to fulfil its core values; to be Professional, Passionate and Dependable in every aspect of its business. For more information, visit www.udtrucks.co.za
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