Onwards and upwards for Iveco!

Onwards and upwards for Iveco!

The bus team at Iveco South Africa has been surprisingly unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as Emir Solapgir, head of bus at the company, tells CHARLEEN CLARKE.

While Covid-19 has created something of a doom-and-gloom situation within the transport industry in general, it’s been a case of all systems go for the bus team at Iveco South Africa.

According to Solapgir, sales have been relatively unaffected. “To date, our sales are the same as they were in 2019,” he says.

The same cannot be said of the industry in general. “The pandemic has had a considerable impact on the bus market, and I think that this will be the worst year for the market in recent history. One big issue is vehicle financing. As a result, some customers have opted to rent vehicles instead. Covid-19 could change the future of bus financing and customers may not go back to the previous methods. As a result, we could see more rentals and other leasing options – because this is a safer choice, which also means much less risk,” says Solapgir.

While the company’s orderbook looks quite good, he says 2020 has been anything but easy. “On the one hand, we have high demand for our bus product. On the other hand, the whole country is suffering from financial problems. Having said that, we cannot complain. Customers are looking for quality and products that they can trust – so they are buying from us now. During the pandemic, quality products and companies providing solid aftersales support have become more important than ever before. Customers realise that, whether we’re talking about the finance of the vehicles or buy-back values, we have the network and the resources to give them the best service.”

Ekurhuleni Municipality is one such customer. It recently took delivery of 11 18.28A Afriway buses. “They liked the fact that we had the ideal product and the longest warranty in the market. They were also impressed by the quality of the product and the countrywide network of Iveco Bus,” reports Solapgir.

While 2020 is not yet over, Iveco is already planning for 2021. “We will launch a facelifted bus next year,” he reveals. Watch this space for more details!

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