BPW thinks transport
This year, BPW has jumped in axles and all, as one of the Truck Test suppliers to nine Afrit and seven GRW trailers. CLAIRE RENCKEN gets the inside track from BPW managing director, André Cilliers.
“The Truck Test is a good marketing opportunity for us. It also gives us the chance to show the industry our intent to support the market with our product,” begins Cilliers. “BPW has been in the country since 1945 – we are not a fly-by-night company. We focus heavily on after-sales service and product support.
“In addition, one of our biggest selling points is low cost of ownership, because, even though our products may cost a little more initially, they last longer and result in lower maintenance costs in the long run. We need to communicate this philosophy to our end users – the transporters. Truck Test provides us with an ideal platform to do just that.”
The products that will be used on certain trailers during the test are from BPW’s standard product line – the ECO Plus range of rigid axles and the Airlight II air suspensions.
Cilliers explains: “The rigid axles are rugged, have an extremely high load capacity and are competitively light. The air suspensions are lightweight, but we’ve brought the heaviest version of them here to South Africa, in order to compensate for the local road conditions. Our products are tried and tested. They have been on the market for ten years with slight upgrades (all for the better) here and there. Most importantly, they have been adapted to suit South African conditions.”
He adds that BPW is selective about which new products it brings in to South Africa, as ours is a market that is traditionally resistant to change.
“This year’s Truck Test is of huge interest to us, because it targets the extra-heavy commercial vehicle segment of the market, which is where we sell most of our products. We know that the 16 trailers that have been fitted with BPW axles and suspensions will be sold after the event. We intend to keep track of who buys each trailer, and cultivate relationships with those transporters, in order to provide them with the best after-sales support possible.
“We strive to be system partners with trailer builders, as well as being mobility partners with our end users. That is why our company slogan is ‘We think transport’,” Cilliers concludes.
One thing is for sure, BPW is here to stay. The company has managed to steadily grow its market share over the past 15 years, even during the economic crisis. Clearly, it intends to continue doing so – the company’s new interactive website is just one example of how it is staying ahead of the game.