COST CONCERNS A lack of growth within the local commercial vehicle space has resulted in fleet owners’ buying and installing cheaper, but inferior aftermarket products
Commercial vehicle technologies supplier WABCO South Africa (SA) last month launched ProVia – a high-quality, price-competitive aftermarket brand for commercial vehicle braking systems – across ten Southern African countries.
ProVia is a safety-focused and reliable budget parts product range for the aftermarket care of commercial vehicle braking systems. The ProVia range now offers 19 key product categories to the Southern African region. The portfolio includes air dryer cartridges, wheel speed sensors and pressure limiting valves, clutch servos, spring brake actuators, air dryers and cabin levelling valves. All ProVia products come with a one-year guarantee to ensure product standards and reliability.
According to WABCO SA GM Enoch Silcock, ProVia will give fleet owners and operators peace of mind in knowing that they are maintaining their fleets with products that adhere to original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) standards, but are also affordable.
The brand is now available from WABCO SA’s distributors and service partners across the region in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The launch expands ProVia’s availability to 55 countries globally and comes two years after its initial introduction to the European market in 2016.
Silcock explains to Engineering News that affordability is an important consideration for fleet owners in the Southern African market because they often do not prioritise maintenance, owing to a lack of growth in the industry that has reduced profit margins in the commercial vehicle market.
He says the lack of growth and investor hesitation – predominantly caused by political and social upheaval in the Southern African region – results in fleet owners buying and installing cheaper, but inferior aftermarket products. He explains that as a result the Southern African commercial vehicle aftermarket space has become flooded with low-cost and low-quality imports, which force superior quality aftermarket components out of the market.
“The region accepts the ‘copy’, or alternative, inferior parts and does not question them. Fleet owners often assume that the copies they have bought will last longer, but instead, the region has become the dumping zone for inferior products. As a result, no guarantees of product quality are acceptable here,” he explains.
Silcock emphasises that ProVia will assist the region in combating the inflow of inferior aftermarket products for commercial vehicle and trailer upkeep without requiring fleet owners to “break the bank”.
Inferior imports – while initially less costly – are often dangerous and do not last in commercial trailer systems, making them unreliable on the road and, eventually, resulting in more costly maintenance, he declares.
“WABCO SA understands that fleet owners are under immense pressure to ensure profitability in Southern Africa’s trying market environment, but as a large trusted supplier to OEMs in the region, it also knows the importance of ensuring that a fleet is maintained using safe, reliable and quality equipment.”
Silcock concludes by saying that focusing on the elements that commercial vehicle aftermarket customers really require, the company has managed to produce “consistently reliable, ‘no frills’, quality products at affordable prices”.