Local chassis manufacturer KLT Automotive and Tubular Products South Africa is the only independent chassis manufacturer in Africa, supplying chassis frames and other high-tech components to motor vehicle manufacturers. It is also one of eight automotive component manufacturers which, according to a statement released late last year by automotive association the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers, has and is investing substantially in expanding the company’s local footprint or gearing up local operations for new business in the automotive and non-automotive sectors.
KLT Automotive South Africa has partnered with value-added steel processor Allied Steel for close to a decade. KLT has supplied steel for local manufacturing requirements, which includes hot rolled pickled and oiled steel, as well as various grades of high-strength steel.
“With a sound industry track-record, and over two-million chassis frames manufactured in India and South Africa, we are trusted as experts in the manufacture of precision tubes, chassis frames, chassis components and body components in the local and Pan-African automotive industry. KLT Automotive prides itself in partnering with only the best suppliers,” says KLT Automotive South Africa CEO Paul Leonard.
“It is therefore vital to our ongoing success as a business, to partner with suppliers who share our belief in the importance of delivering excellent quality products and superlative customer service. Allied Steelrode is such a partner,” he adds.
“We truly value our long-standing relationship with KLT Automotive. KTL’s matching dedication to high standards of quality and customer service is something we appreciate, making it a pleasure to work with them. It is also an important competitive differentiator for us, in a very competitive market,” comments Allied Steelrode automotive sales GM Lee-Ann Geyser.
She adds that Allied Steelrode's state-of-the-art, value-added steel processing equipment – ranging from high-speed cut-to-length and slitting lines, to its fully automated high-precision, high-speed guillotines and stretcher-levelling facilities in Midvaal – means that the company is able to supply a wide range of products and sizes to the automotive component manufacturing sector.
“Our capabilities across all lines range from 0.30 mm to 12.0 mm, excluding plasma facilities, which extend up to 65 mm. We are currently supplying the local automotive industry with steel products ranging from 0.70 mm to 9 mm. To KLT specifically, we supply steel ranging from 2 mm to 5 mm; as well as various high-strength steels processed at our Midvaal stretcher-leveller facility,” Geyser advises.
The company furthermore supplies both local and imported steel: from cold-rolled, electro-galvanised and hot dip galvanised to hot-rolled, hot-rolled pickled and oiled, dual phase and high-strength steel products.
The road ahead
Owing to the high standard and operational imperatives which drive the need for quality, reliability, customer service excellence and quick turn-around times in the automotive component sector, Allied Steelrode stays ahead of the curve – and competition – through an investment road map in new steel processing technology. Most of this technology finds application in the automotive and automotive component manufacturing sector.
The local automotive industry is one of the most pivotal manufacturing sectors in the country, with vehicle and related component production accounting for a significant share of South Africa's manufacturing output.
According to US government website export.gov, total revenue in the automotive business sphere in South Africa amounted to $38.1-billion in 2018. Exports of automotive products in 2018 accounted for $13.52-billion, equating to 14.3% of total South African exports that year. As the largest manufacturing sector in the country’s economy, vehicle and component production accounted for 29.9% of South Africa’s manufacturing output in 2018.
“With these statistics in mind – and in an industry that demands perfection down to the last millimetre –Allied Steelrode sets the benchmark in terms of quality and reliability. We have continued to develop our market offering, to ensure we are suitably ‘geared up’ to meet our customers’ requirements, and allow them to remain locally and internationally competitive,” Geyser observes.
Gearing up for Growth
“The local automotive segment has the potential for enormous growth; however, the flipside of this coin is that this also means tougher competition. That is why we rely on partnerships such as the one we have with Allied Steelrode. They have grown with us, and understand the demands and high standards according to which we operate. It is this understanding, and the constant and consistent delivery of top-quality products from both sides, which allows us to ‘gear up’ for the future,” says Leonard.
“I believe that our long-term partnership with Allied Steelrode reflects our shared approach to doing business; as well as good communications and delivery. Based on these factors, our partnership has grown and will continue to grow, as KLT continues to develop and diversify – across automotive as well as non-automotive manufacturing segments,” he adds.
“The partnership with KLT has been a feather in our cap. It has opened many doors for us in the automotive industry. We are proud to be associated with one of the largest independent chassis manufacturers on the continent, which supplies leading motor vehicle manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Toyota and others via various business and production partnerships,” concludes Allied Steelrode Group CEO Arun Chadha.