TruckStore: all about quality used commercial vehicles
TruckStore: all about quality used commercial vehicles
As part of the Daimler family, TruckStore South Africa’s primary motivation has always been to build a strong value offering for its customers. ROWAN WATT-PRINGLE speaks to the head of TruckStore South Africa, Annelie van Rooyen, about how TruckStore and the used commercial vehicle (CV) market in general are adapting to the new economic landscape imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Specialising in buying and selling used trucks and trailers from various CV brands, TruckStore was launched in 2012 in Centurion. Since then, it has grown into a renowned, trusted and reliable used CV brand across the country. “In building our brand nationally, as well as cross-border, we have progressively enlarged our footprint through various sales and marketing channels. What started off as a small used CV dealership has grown into a network of agents across South Africa who understand you, your business and your individual needs,” Van Rooyen says.
This measured expansion has allowed TruckStore to consistently provide quality products, while bringing them closer to their customers. “Making it possible for customers to reach us when, where and how they prefer has been a key focus for us. Today, we are proud to be one of the most successful used CV traders in the market, with a wide range of vehicles from which customers can choose,” Van Rooyen says. “You can be sure to find a TruckStore Centre somewhere nearby, knowing that no matter what, you can rely on the same high standard of quality, advice and selection.”
She adds that the role the company plays in the customer lifecycle value chain, bringing high-quality used CVs back to the market, has enabled TruckStore to build strong and lasting relationships with its customers, through fairly priced, reliable products.
By now, everyone is aware of the significant impacts the pandemic has had on our economy, including the small- to medium-sized businesses that play such an important role in the used CV market. But while smaller businesses may have had to delay used CV purchases, this has been at least partially offset by an increase in used vehicle purchases by some of the larger corporate fleets. “In the medium-term, however, this may negatively impact new vehicle sales in the local market,” Van Rooyen says.
Going the used vehicle route can help to offset costs and minimise financial risks, but Van Rooyen warns that customers should never skimp on reliability or vehicle condition to save money. “Look for a used vehicle that is still in excellent mechanical condition and, for peace of mind, check for options offering a manufacturer’s warranty and service plans, so you know that the vehicle meets strict certification requirements,” she advises.
TruckStore’s used vehicles are divided into one of three categories – Gold, Silver, or Bronze – based on the level of testing done and refurbishments made. Whereas trucks in the Bronze category simply get a technical inspection and basic cleaning, Silver category vehicles are also refurbished and must be under six years old. On top of the technical inspection, Gold category vehicles, meanwhile, are under four years old and come fully repaired, serviced and refurbished, along with that trusty manufacturer warranty.
TruckStore’s qualified staff conduct detailed and thorough technical inspections, which are an essential part of the process, as service records may not always be available. “Ensuring that our customers are familiar with the condition of a vehicle at the time of purchase is a crucial part of building trust and ensuring that we can form long-term partnerships,” says Van Rooyen. “When purchasing a used CV, it is crucial that customers can be sure there are no mechanical issues. This is why the mechanics of the vehicle are a top priority – reliability is central to the philosophy of both TruckStore and Daimler.”
A changing used vehicle landscape has led to an evolution in the company’s value-added offerings, fuelled in no small part by the fact that people now have so much information at their fingertips. “The internet and the rise in prominence of social media have brought direct communication with potential customers to the fore,” explains Van Rooyen. “There are so many choices out there – different makes, types and models – so people can really research and evaluate products before making a decision to buy.”
This is why having a reliable, high-quality product is vital; customer satisfaction is, now more than ever, key to success. “We supply transport solutions that not only suit individual operational requirements, but are also tailored for different budgets,” Van Rooyen says. “Our value offerings – including reliability, professional advice, trusted after-sales support, finance solutions and vehicles with set standards customers can trust – will ensure future growth: we know what our customers want and we continuously grow our product offering to meet these demands.”
As South Africa moves forward in a landscape dominated by the “new normal”, customer needs are rapidly changing and evolving. “Understanding and catering for these individual requirements by finding tailormade solutions will be key to future success for used CV traders. This includes national distribution channels, flexible finance solutions and improved service levels, with a wider selection of quality vehicles at fair prices,” Van Rooyen explains.
“But these are not the only considerations. Customers need a partner they can trust to support them throughout their journey from a small- to medium-sized business into a larger fleet of vehicles. This necessarily places a great deal of emphasis on building and maintaining strong long-term relationships.”