Bobcat has announced a number of new developments in the company’s Authorised Dealer network in Africa, with new appointments and other changes across the continent.
New Authorised Dealers in Zimbabwe and Sudan
As part of changes in the countries bordering South Africa, Bobcat has confirmed the appointment of Harare-based Machinery Exchange as the new Bobcat Authorised Dealer for Zimbabwe, effective 1st January 2022. Bobcat is aiming to make further dealer announcements in the near future for Botswana, Namibia and Zambia.
In response to the opening up of the market in Sudan, Bobcat has also appointed Khartoum-based Albadri Power Co. Ltd as the company’s new Authorised Dealer for the country, again effective from !st January 2022.
Nicolas Dumont, District Sales Manager - Africa for Doosan Bobcat EMEA, said: “We have changed the way we operate in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and Machinery Exchange is the first announcement we are making in this respect, with more to follow. With Sudan being removed from sanctions lists, this opened the door to a new market for Bobcat, which is now the responsibility of Albadri Power Co. Ltd. Both appointments provide us with strong dealers in place to meet the local demand in these countries.”
Commenting on the company’s new appointment, Antony Dube, National Sales and Rental Manager at Machinery Exchange, said: “Bobcat’s product range is diverse and provides customers with versatility on their job sites. With the Bobcat brand, Machinery Exchange aims to be a market leader in the backhoe and skid-steer loader markets in Zimbabwe. The most important Bobcat product in Zimbabwe is the backhoe loader because it is multifunctional, covering agriculture, construction, earthmoving and mining.”
Mohamed El Badri, CEO of Albadri Power Co. Ltd, said: "We are honoured to represent Bobcat in Sudan, this partnership will surely add a huge value to the company with Bobcat being the global market leader for the compact equipment industry. We believe customer service is the tip of the spear in the sales process. So we have heavily invested in the aftersales service department as the highest priority for our business. We have also sited maintenance teams in different regions of Sudan, to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction."
Successful First Year for New Authorised Dealer in Gabon
At the end of 2020, Bobcat appointed Sodim TP, with headquarters in Libreville, as the new Authorised Dealer in Gabon. Sodim TP is a major player in construction equipment, trucks and in the automotive sector in Gabon. Nicolas Dumont added: “We are delighted with the impact Sodim TP has made as the new Authorised Dealer in Gabon. After only one year in the role, Sodim TP has succeeded in repositioning Bobcat as the market leader in compact equipment in Gabon, with a market share of over 20% in 2021.”
Julien Canh, Director General of Sodim TP, commented: “Sodim TP is a leading company in Gabon, specializing in public works equipment, mining machinery and forestry machinery. With Bobcat, Sodim TP has had the opportunity to expand its range and thus offer its customers compact construction machinery for the first time. We aim to continue to be Number 1 in the compact segment. One new market for us is in the cleaning sector in large cities. We have already delivered the first sweepers intended for cleaning the streets and sidewalks of our capital, Libreville.”
Reactivating Existing Dealers
Bobcat has also reactivated the following dealers: Rock Plant, with offices in Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam and Kampala serving Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, respectively; Douala-based Speed Appro for Cameroon; Chanic, with branches in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tunis-based CME for Tunisia.
Typical of the excitement shared by the reactivated dealers is Pritpal Roopra, Managing Director of Rock Plant, who commented: “With Bobcat we have an additional utility line and thereby an increased customer base, especially in the compact construction sector. We were appointed just before the pandemic, but even with the problems caused by Covid, the fact that Bobcat machines are known worldwide for their excellent reputation, it has not proved difficult to promote the line to our existing clientele. We are also not new to Bobcat, in the past having worked on Bobcat machines for our existing customers using the highly trained team in our workshops. For any additional information/training we have relied on Teams and Zoom sessions like the rest of the world during the pandemic.”
Nicolas Dumont continued: “With all these changes, the Bobcat network for Africa now comprises 19 dealers, officially covering 22 countries. Algeria remains a top priority and we are actively working behind the scenes and making ourselves ready to re-enter this market with a leading Algerian company.
“As mentioned above, we will be making further announcements in Southern Africa, where we are exploring our options with high potential especially in the Backhoe Loader segment. West Africa is another area full of potential with the mining sector on one hand, and many infrastructure projects in the area on the other. We are in advanced talks with companies offering a multi-country presence in this part of Africa.”
Impact of Covid-19 and Supply Chain Issues
Like in most parts of the world, Covid-19 impacted demand in Africa, with the industry declining by 23.6% in 2020. However, with all the efforts made to reactivate various dealers and to enter new markets, Bobcat sales were less affected and even though sales volumes declined slightly, Bobcat managed to grow its market share in 2020. Bobcat spent much of 2021 dealing with supply chain issues caused by logistics problems worldwide, including the lack of containers and fewer ships visiting Africa, but the situation continues to stabilise.
On top of developing the dealer network in Africa, Bobcat has also added many new products over the last two years as part of the company’s Next is Now programme, including Backhoe Loaders, Small Articulated Loaders and Light Compaction. Backhoe loaders, in particular, are in high demand in the region, as they account for 67% of the compact industry in Africa.
Nicolas Dumont commented: “We closed 2021 with a record number of orders for Africa and this, combined with the ongoing development of the dealer network, provides us with plenty of optimism for further growth in the African market in the coming years.”