Dressta leverages on LiuGong’s African footprint for better customer service
Africa remains one of the most important sales regions for Dressta.
Polish dozer manufacturer Dressta became part of Chinese OEM LiuGong in 2012. Leveraging on each other’s strengths, the two companies believe they are ready to conquer new market segments, and Africa is one of their crucial growth areas.
Africa is becoming a strategic growth engine for the Dressta brand, according to Howard Dale, vice-president of global sales. “There is a lot of investment going on across the continent, more specifically related to mineral extraction despite the current downward commodity prices. But, we have recently seen a lot of growth in infrastructure development such as highway construction and pipeline projects,” says Dale.
“For Dressta, we have seen a lot of interest in our products related to heavy infrastructure projects. For example, in the north of Africa, more importantly in Algeria, we have been very successful in several projects where we have supplied our TD25 and TD40 dozer ranges on road and highway jobs, as well as on pipeline projects,” he adds.
South Africa is one of the important markets on the continent for the dozer maker. “It is a very valuable market for Dressta. We firstly established a footprint about seven years ago through our dealer ELB Equipment. We are currently expanding our dozer product range across Africa, but typically in South Africa. ELB Equipment has a good regional reach throughout South Africa and the neighbouring countries. The dealer is also renowned for its unparalleled customer service. That has been one of our cornerstones of our immediate success in southern Africa,” says Dale.
The company’s main focus has previously been with its TD15 dozers, mostly suited for rental contracting for construction-related applications. “We are now entering into the mining sector with our heavy range. The largest machine in this range is the TD40, a 550hp dozer,” says Dale.
Dressta is now targeting a bigger share of the mining sector with its heavy range. The largest machine in this range is the TD40, a 550hp dozer.
Dale believes that leveraging on LiuGong’s existing footprint on the continent, there are better prospects of growth through better customer service. LiuGong has between 25 and 30 dealers across the continent, complemented by a subsidiary in South Africa helping with better spare parts provision.
However, Dale says the synergies are more from the back office side of the business. “For example, the great synergy that Dressta has right now as we take the brand globally is that we leverage on seven regional commercial hubs of LiuGong,” he says. “We now have seven global subsidiaries where we can provide our technical services, parts distribution, marketing and sales. It’s a great synergy to be able to leverage back office functions of the Dressta business throughout LiuGong’s existing global operations.”
Dale says a great example is the spare parts distribution system. Dressta is now able to stock quickly in LiuGong’s parts warehouses. “We now have parts distribution centres in Asia Pacific in Dubai; Africa in South Africa; North America and of course Latin America. So this is a great synergy for the brands, but for the customer on the ground, the brands are very separate,” he says.
However, alignment of dealers simply varies from market to market. In some cases the two companies have a single dealer and in some instances they have two separate dealers for the two brands. The key focus for Dressta is to understand how a dealer is aligned with its customers in a particular market, according to Dale. “For example, a construction equipment dealer focusing on general earthmoving equipment may not be the ideal dealer for Dressta. This is because we need a dealer that has experience in both mining and construction. That is one of the difficulties of being a crawler dozer manufacturer and supplier because your dealer base has to be diversified. You have one foot in general construction and another in the mining sector,” he says.
Africa remains one of the most important sales regions for Dressta. Dale says the company has several sales regions globally. These are Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America, Russia, CIS as well as the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “Africa and the Middle East is our second biggest sales region. We have garnered a lot of market share because of the resurgence in infrastructure development,” he says.
The company sells in excess of 100 units per year in Africa. The biggest market is South Africa, followed by Algeria. “We are also actively involved in Ethiopia. We have also seen encouraging growth in Nigeria. In these countries, the growth is more project-based, but South Africa is broad-based,” says Dale.
Equipment Africa says: The two companies are leveraging on each other’s strengths to better their support systems. One of LiuGong’s key focus areas is developing bigger machines for mining related applications, and having Dressta in its stable gives the Chinese OEM the edge with the mining dozer range. Meanwhile, for Dressta, package deals are also possible with LiuGong’s bigger machines such as the 70t mining excavator and 50t wheel loader for the mining sector.