Features
20 fév 24

Is it time to invest in African fleets?

While the haulage industry in many countries and across continents is struggling against rising costs and falling demand, Africa shows economic promise. The African Development Bank released a report last week illustrating that the Continent is home to 11 of the 20 fastest-growing economies in the world. 

Africa’s leaders are now calling for larger pools of financing and policy interventions to support the second-fastest growing Continent after Asia. And some automakers are launching new vehicles in Africa rather than dumping old ones. 

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Tata Motors and its authorised distributor, Tata Africa Holdings, have launched a range of multipurpose trucks specifically designed for the world’s third-largest Continent. The Ultra T.9 and Ultra T.14 have been designed to fulfil the need for safer, smarter and greener cargo mobility within bakery, FMCG, white goods, agriculture and construction applications. These are all strong markets in the South of the Continent. 

Expressing confidence in new markets in Africa

Tata states that the Ultra range delivers high productivity, fuel efficiency and lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). The trucks feature walk-through cabins, power steering, booster-assisted clutch and mechanically suspended seats for more comfortable and fatigue-free driving - especially over rough terrain. Powered by a turbocharged, fuel-efficient diesel engine (3.3L in the case of the T.9 and 5L for the T.14) that can comfortably carry heavy loads over long distances, the trucks are offered with Tata’s flagship connected vehicle system - Fleet Edge - for efficient fleet management. The T.9 also has two driving modes - power and Eco. The Indian automaker can also finance the trucks and offers a 5-year/500,000km warranty. 

Expressing confidence in the all-new Ultra trucks, Mr. Len Brand, Managing Director, Tata Africa Holdings Limited, said, “This introduction aligns seamlessly with our commitment as a partner to Tata Motors and their vision for South Africa. The addition of these innovative products to the South African transport sector serves as a catalyst in our ongoing efforts to secure a more significant market share in South Africa. We are excited about the potential these new offerings bring and the positive impact they will have on our presence in the region.”

A network across South Africa of 90 touchpoints gives Tata’s customers access to comprehensive support facilities. Tata Motor’s umbrella of vehicle lifecycle management includes maintenance, extended warranty, fleet management services, and other value adds. 

Africa’s top 11 countries projected to experience strong economic performance (measured in terms of GDP): 

African Country

Expected GDP growth/annum

Niger

11.2%

Senegal

8.2%

Libya

7.9%

Rwanda

7.2%

Cote d’Ivoire

6.8%

Ethiopia

6.7%

Benin

6.4%

Djibouti

6.2%

Tanzania

6.1%

Togo

6% 

Uganda

6%

At a conference last week, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, African Union Commission, Ambassador Albert Muchanga, called for economic integration: “Our small economies are not competitive in the global market. A healthy internal African trade market can ensure value-added and intra-African production of manufactured goods.” he said. 

The African Development Bank’s report and Tata Motor’s confidence in at least South Africa’s economy calls for cautious optimism, given the challenges posed by geopolitical risks, which could disrupt trade and investment flows at any time. 

Image courtesy of Tata Motors

Authored by: Alison Pittaway