Local construction tools and fasteners distributor Upat aims to support the long-term growth of German company AEG’s power tools range in South Africa and Southern Africa by providing technical support services to and leveraging its partnerships with retailers, Upat MD Richard Kuhlmann says.
The range that will be introduced into South Africa includes grinders, drills (masonry and steel), planers, saws, sanders and some accessories. Corded power tools will be introduced initially, to be followed by tools using advanced cordless technology in accordance with market requirements, Upat retail sales manager Jaco Jansen explains.
Upat has a broad range of equipment that it distributes through retailers and direct sales. It has long-term partnerships with various retailers and retail chains, which it will tap to get a better understanding of the market for the AEG power tools range.
“Our intention is to grow the brand slowly and consistently to get into the market position we want. “The quality of the product and the brand is gaining ground in Europe and in most of the countries where AEG has a presence,” says Kuhlmann.
“The quality of the power tools, including durability, usability and safety of use, will translate into a consistent market share over time. AEG has 385 engineers working only on its range of power tools, and they provide it with significant innovations and performance improvements.”
Upat technicians will provide technical support for retailers of the AEG power tools range. The company will also provide retailers and partners with training on the new range of tools to ensure that technical information is available to the end-user.
“Aftermarket service and training are a major focus to ensure that clients receive the highest level of support,” says Jansen.
In addition to holding a comprehensive range of spares, Upat has established a dedicated service centre to ensure rapid and efficient servicing. Further, the new range of power tools comes with a one-year warranty, which can be extended to two years if the user registers the tool on the AEG website within 30 days of purchase.
Jansen adds that Upat will also source reliable, independent distributors and retailers with a proven record to ensure that the AEG brand develops sufficient traction in the local market.
“We are confident that skilled service providers and professional do-it-yourself users will see the value of the AEG power tools range.”
The strategy is to systematically build confidence with dealers, companies and salespeople by providing direct support and, thereby, support the long-term growth of the brand in the regional market, concludes Kuhlmann.