• Truck sales increased by more than 50% in Saudi Arabia in 2017
• Year on year sales doubled in Bahrain
• UD Trucks breaks new ground in three new markets in East Africa
UD Trucks is marking one of its best performing years in the Middle East, East Africa. Despite challenging conditions in some markets, the Japanese truck manufacturer has achieved significant sales growth across the entire region, with particularly strong results in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
UD Trucks’ expanded range now offers products across a wide range of medium and heavy-duty segments. In 2016 the heavy-duty Quester truck was launched in the region, followed in May 2017 by the medium-duty Croner truck. The introduction of these robust new products, as well as the addition of the new heavy-duty range for heavy construction Quester 40 Tonne /24’ tires with hub reduction and the 8X4 Rigid, now makes UD Trucks offering complete.
Complementing the new trucks sales, UD Genuine Parts sales have also increased its sales penetration. UD Trucks’ regional offices in Dubai includes a parts distribution centre which delivers over 12,000 different spare parts to UD Trucks partners across the region. Thanks to its strategic location in the UAE, UD Trucks importers enjoy short lead times, as well as lower transport and inventory costs to better serve the customers in the region.
In Saudi Arabia, sales increased by more than 50% percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, despite the total market decreasing. The biggest downturn in the market was seen in the heavy-duty sector which dropped by more than 30 percent, however, UD Trucks successfully penetrated the market with the new Quester truck securing a good market share in the heavy-duty segment. 2017 also saw the Jeddah municipality award UD Trucks a considerable portion of a major cleaning project through its business partner, Rolaco Equipement. Government tenders are very demanding as they require very durable and reliable trucks and UD Trucks is a well-established and reputable brand. UD Trucks will continue to focus on the waste management segment and provide its customers with the best support and experience.
Looking forwards to 2018, UD Trucks anticipates further growth in Saudi Arabia, as the new heavy construction range for the Quester will allow the truck firm to become an even stronger contender in the heavy-duty construction segment. In the medium-duty segment, UD Trucks now covers a wide range of applications thanks to the introduction of the new Croner range. With capabilities from 10.4 to 18 tonnes, this diverse and extensive product offering will further bolster an already strong presence in the Kingdom.
In Bahrain, the total truck market grew slightly aiding UD Trucks in beginning to reclaim its stronghold in the market with confidence. In 2017 sales doubled compared to 2016, thanks in part to the newly introduced Quester truck. In another positive move for the brand, Y.K.Almoayyed & Sons - UD Trucks’ retail partner in Bahrain - invested nine million dollars in new a 22,000 SpM, state-of-the-art workshop featuring 36 repair bays to service the growing truck population in the country. In 2018, the Japanese brand intends to see a further growth of more than 30% percent which will see them return as the market leader.
Conversely, market conditions in Oman, Qatar and the UAE have been challenging. Oman saw a drop in the total truck market of more than 15% percent, Qatar decreased by more than 30% percent, and the UAE declined by around 7 percent in 2017. Despite the tough climate in these markets UD Trucks sales grew year on year in Oman, and stable sales have retained the UAE.
Kuwait is also an important market for UD Trucks, the market is slowly growing and 2017 was a transition year for UD trucks as the brand’s new range of products were only available in the market for half year. UD Trucks retail partner in Kuwait, Boodai Trading, is heavily investing in new facilities to better serve its customers and keep up with the growing market demand for trucks and for the UD Brand.
All in all, 2017 was a transition year for UD Trucks in Middle East and East Africa as it marked the launch of new products; however, the brand has enjoyed a double-digit growth putting its ambitions very high for the upcoming years.
The truck brand enters 2018 with robust optimism as the Quester for heavy construction, 40T 24’, with hub reduction Quester 8X4 Rigid and a wider range of medium-duty trucks are available in Oman and deals recently concluded with FEWA (Federal Electricity and Water Authority) and Sharjah Police by UD Trucks business partner in Dubai and Northern Emirates, United Diesel (part of Al Rostamani Group) will increase the brands visibility in the UAE. Meanwhile, in East Africa, the firm and has entered and established a strong presence in three brand-new markets; Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Mourad Hedna, President of UD Trucks Middle East, East and North Africa said, “2017 has been a significant year for UD Trucks in the MEENA markets thanks to a combination of factors. Firstly, the close cooperation we have with our retail partners to sell our comprehensive range of products along with our strong focus on Japanese quality and the fully extensive services we offer have ensured that we’ve stayed a step ahead of our competitors. Looking towards the year ahead, our strategic focus for 2018 will be all about customer satisfaction; ensuring we retain our existing, loyal customers and attract even more new truck sales. We plan to work with our partners to improve the retail experience and aftermarket support as well as deliver more technical and driver training courses for our customers. Also, service agreements and telematics systems which are currently available in some markets will be rolled across the entire region.”