Boxe(r)s full of nuts and bolts

Boxe(r)s full of nuts and bolts

Peugeot is pushing the growth of its commercial vehicle range with all the noise and energy of a toolbox full of nuts and bolts. One of its latest expansions has been into the distribution fleet of Eureka. GAVIN MYERS nails into the deal.

“Everybody has an orange and brown packet in their toolbox,” says Johannes van Rensburg, director of sales at Eureka. One really can believe that statement, what with 1 500 resellers countrywide stocking the company’s range of nuts, bolts, nails, screws … well, just about anything and everything the DIY enthusiast might need.

The company had humble beginnings and grew over the years to become the name in the local DIY industry. Van Rensburg, being one of the founding members, gives a brief outline: “We started off helping shop keepers to save time by pre-packing the product into quantities the buyer would like. We also wanted to give our customers very good service – we used to have hardware shops and we knew what it took to satisfy a hardware shop owner; including getting the order on the shelf once placed.”

As with any distribution operation, a very reliable fleet of vehicles was needed. “We’ve always had our own trucks,” he says, “but in 2009 we got a big surprise when the petrol price suddenly jumped from R6,75 to R12! Many people involved in distribution were caught unaware.”

Boxe(r)s full of nuts and boltsThe company now needed an exceptionally fuel efficient range of vehicles for both its long-haul “country” trips and its more regional “mini-country” trips. “We found a very reliable vehicle for the long distance, big tonnage trips, but there was always a question around the mini-country vehicles. How much can it pack, how far must it go?” Van Rensburg notes.

After some market research the answer presented itself in the form of the Peugeot Boxer, and the company added three to its fleet last year. “It offered a bit of everything we needed,” explains Van Rensburg. “They are much easier to drive and park than trucks. Despite relatively small engines they pull without a problem and are by far our most fuel-efficient vehicles. At around
10 l/100 km laden, they’re almost as light on fuel as a car!”

Van Rensburg notes that the fuel price has increased again since buying the vehicles, but evaluating the Boxers’ results since purchase showed that they are delivering a very good return and filling that gap for the company’s Gauteng-based distribution needs – each running around 200 km a day.

These pleasing results prompted Eureka to buy another five Boxers in August from Peugeot Northcliff. There are now eight in the company’s fleet of 40 vehicles.

Karl-Heinz Göbel, owner of the Peugeot Northcliff dealership, explains that the Boxer’s competitive price, new Euro-5 diesel technology, standard five-year/120 000 km maintenance plan, three-year/100 000 km warranty and 20 000 km service intervals all result in a cost-effective package with low maintenance requirements.

“Our original deal for one Boxer was enough to convince Eureka to take more,” Göbel says. “They found the fuel efficiency to be better than expected and they were impressed overall! They now have various L3H2 2,2 and L4H2 3,0 diesels in their fleet.”

From its 2,2 litre diesel engine, the L3H2 delivers 96 kW and 320 Nm torque. The three-litre L4H2 pushes out 130 kW and 400 Nm. Being a slightly shorter vehicle, the L3H2 offers a 1 525 kg payload, a 3 500 kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) a 6 000 kg gross combination mass (GCM) and 13 m3 of loading volume. In comparison, the longer L4H2 offers a payload of 1 850 kg, GVM of 4 005 kg, GCM of 6 505 kg and 15 m3 load volume.

The Boxer range comes rather well spec’d, too, with ABS brakes incorporating electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), a driver airbag, remote central locking, an electronic immobiliser and independent locking of the loading area.

Boxe(r)s full of nuts and boltsVan Rensburg says that the drivers love the handling and ease of parking of the Boxers. “They say that even though it is a delivery vehicle it drives like a car,”
he enthuses.

That upbeat attitude continues into Eureka’s experience with servicing and maintenance at the Northcliff dealership. “The vehicles come back in good nick and in super quick time – Peugeot’s four-times daily parts supply system results in quick turnaround times at the dealership.

“The staff at Peugeot Northcliff are also very knowledgeable; it was not an effort for them to accommodate us. They have a passion for Peugeot, they know the product can deliver and they have confidence in it. You buy the vehicle and feel happy in your heart, confident in your purchase,” Van Rensburg says.

That confidence shines through in the fact that no problems have been experienced with the vehicles. “Perceptions around the vehicles did make us a little sceptical when buying them, but we’ve now noticed quite a few on the road. There is no real reason for that perception. We feel we have peace of mind with the vehicles,” continues Van Rensburg.

After all, he knows how a brand can become the name in an industry – and if the performance of the Peugeot Boxers in his fleet is anything to go by, this van too is on its way to becoming a vehicle everybody will have in their fleet.

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