MAN TopUsed: right place, right time

Given the country’s economic woes (and that of transport operators, too), there has never been a better time to buy a used truck. And, as CHARLEEN CLARKE reveals, MAN TopUsed is the perfect place to go shopping.

MAN TopUsed has been on a roll for some time. Back in 2015, MAN’s used-truck division sold a mere 420 trucks. And last year? A whopping 971!

The reason why is quite simple. TopUsed offers an enticing product offering, namely quality used trucks at appealing prices. According to Gert Fourie, head of MAN TopUsed, this proposition is proving exceptionally popular. “With the arrival of Covid-19 and the subsequent financial pressures on many businesses, demand for our used trucks has grown even further. Many customers are opting to buy used trucks instead of new,” he tells FOCUS.

Those customers are getting a terrific deal. According to Fourie, each TopUsed vehicle is fully refurbished by the company’s TopUsed repair team. All TopUsed vehicles are then sold with a Seal of Quality.

“Trucks have different ratings. A one-star truck is sold with a Certificate of Fitness (CoF), the chassis is sprayed and the body is polished. A two-star truck is older than 54 months, it has a maximum mileage of 750 000 km, the 12-month MAN TopUsed extended warranty is optional and it goes through rigorous testing and repairs.

“A three-star truck has a maximum age of 54 months, it comes with the warranty, and it’s been privy to premium reconditioning, including all necessary repairs/services. A three-star truck also comes with a five-page test report,” he reveals.

He adds that, due to the refurbishment and repairs, MAN is able to offer repair and maintenance contracts at very competitive rates to its clients.

Thus, the used vehicle will come with many of the benefits of a new vehicle at a very affordable price. “Our customers get a vehicle that has been technically tracked by the original equipment manufacturer since birth. We know exactly where it operated and what work has been done on it,” Fourie explains.

Once prepared for resale, the MAN TopUsed vehicle is supplied with all of the company values and support that is expected from a global manufacturer. For us at TopUsed, the main benefit involves trust and support with integrity – a value-add on which one can’t really put a price,” he adds.

Since November 2016, TopUsed vehicles have been available for rental – and this is also proving fruitful. “With the advent of Covid-19, there is a great deal of uncertainty in the market. In these times, a rental unit is a particularly attractive proposition, and we are fielding more enquiries in this regard than ever before,” Fourie says.

While the year started off well, the breaks were applied to sales when Covid-19 came to town. “It was tough,” Fourie admits. “But things are now looking much better. The salesmen are reporting increased prospective sales, so the forecasts are improving.”

The export market is a major area of opportunity. “We appointed an export salesman in November 2018, and he focused first on East Africa where we have had a very positive response to our vehicles. We have also started to build relationships in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and have already started to see the results.

“We are consistently exporting to Namibia, Botswana and Uganda, while Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique also show big potential. I believe there is a huge opportunity for us in the export market and hence the dedicated sales professional for the export sales.”

Last year was a massive success for MAN TopUsed, with almost 1 000 sales. Fourie says it will be hard to top that achievement in 2020. However, he is cautiously optimistic.

“Operators have never been more cost-conscious. However, they don’t want to take risks either. We can offer them a superb truck at an appealing price. Given the current market sentiment, we’re in the right place at the right time. I think 2020 will be yet another good year for TopUsed,” he concludes.

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Charleen Clarke

My friends call me a glomad (a global nomad lest you don’t get it). That’s a particularly apt word, because I am always trawling all corners of the globe, looking for stories. As a result, I have slept in some seriously strange places – on a bed of ice in the Arctic circle, on the floor in a traditional Japanese hotel, on the sand dunes in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan … and even on the floor of a Thai cargo ship. Mostly however I tend to sleep on aircraft (if I had a dog, he would bark at me when I eventually come home). I am passionate about trucks, cars, travel, food, wine, people and hugs – so I write about all these things. Except the hugs.
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