Volatility pushes Bell Equipment out of South Africa

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Volatility pushes Bell Equipment out of South Africa

An equipment manufacturing company Bell – which has operated in South Africa for decades – now plans to relocate more of its manufacturing out of the country, the company announced on Monday.

Bell, which produces the world’s largest range of articulated dump trucks (ADTs) at its main plant in Richards Bay, as well as assembly sites in Germany, said it remained committed to South Africa as as a local manufacturer and that he was confident in the opportunities available. to her.

“To safeguard the long-term sustainability of the group, a growth plan is in place to ensure that Bell’s ADTs, as our higher volume products sold primarily in northern hemisphere markets, are less exposed to risks presented by the volatility of the South African landscape moving forward.

“Therefore, over time, more aspects of ADT’s manufacturing will shift to the northern hemisphere,” he added.

According to CEO Leon Goosen, Bell will move its manufacturing to Germany. Speaking to Engineering News, Leon noted that moving raw materials and components between South Africa and Bell’s German plant was proving increasingly expensive and highly inefficient.

“We need to bring production closer to the customer. It will also allow us to adapt quickly based on market demand,” he said.

In 2021, the company said it saw increased demand for equipment in most markets. Demand, the company said, was driven by infrastructure investments and government stimulus packages in developed markets, particularly in the northern hemisphere. Improved commodity prices and demand have also led to some improvement in some African markets.

The German economy was more stable in 2021 and the market ended at a record high. Orders at the end of December 2021 were roughly double the previous one
financial year. Similarly, Bell France had a good year and succeeded in reaching its budget forecasts and recovering its margin despite the arrival of a new competitor of ADT in this country.

During 2022, the operation will focus on the reorganization of its concessionaire model to strengthen its position. Southeast Asia has been in a depression for two years, but a large batch of ADTs shipped to Indonesia in late 2021, signaling an uptick in that market.

Agriculture and forestry in the region remains price sensitive and a competitive space, but the distribution network has shown demand for loaders and loggers with higher volume expected to ship to Thailand in 2022. First ever Matriarch rotary loader has been sold in Sri Lanka and additional machines will be shipping to this market in the first half of 2022.

New Zealand has also been hit hard by shutdowns and a local recession in 2021, with the market only absorbing F-series loggers and the first Matriarch LogPro for the country. The group anticipates a rebound in 2022.

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