Marcopolo: At the top of its game
2010 was a big year for bus-body manufacturing kingpin Marcopolo. It was a year of numerous large tenders being put out to companies at the top of their game. And Marcopolo proved over and over to be such a company
“Growth over the course of the past 15 months was pleasing, with 971 units sold,” says Marcopolo commercial manager Marco Guedes. This substantial increase was due to several tenders which Marcopolo competed for, and won. “We won the lion’s share of vehicles for the Autopax tender – supplying 460 out of the total 570,” Guedes proudly explains. “We also successfully tendered for the BRT projects throughout South Africa. We supplied 143 vehicles for Rea Vaya – the BRT system in Johannesburg, 43 vehicles for My Citi in Cape Town and 25 vehicles to the Nelson Mandela Bay BRT network.”
These tenders are understandably important to Marcopolo, but they have a large impact on every South African, too. The Autopax vehicles were responsible for transporting thousands of visitors and locals during the Soccer World Cup. The BRT systems which were timeously implemented in order to alleviate traffic bottlenecks during the SWC, will now play a significant role in South Africa’s transport network in years to come.
So what makes Marcopolo the best when it comes to meeting the safety requirements of South Africa’s public transport? “We won because of our reputation for quality, aftersales service and the factory being in South Africa,” explains Guedes. “We are the best in producing large numbers quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.”
Marcopolo guarantees this balance of quality and cost effectiveness when sourcing its material. “Many components can be sourced locally and this helps to keep costs down, but the quality remains at international standards,” says Guedes. “Our large international network means that we don’t have to source components from one particular place. Sometimes it works out to be more cost effective to import items from Brazil, for example, it just depends on how the global market balances at the time. Material can be sourced anywhere in order to keep costs as low as possible for clients, but we ensure that quality is kept standard.”
In terms of aftersales service, Marcopolo stands out from competitor companies. “Marcopolo gets its reputation for excellence because of the outstanding service we continue to provide after a product is sold, ensuring customers are always kept safe and are provided with the highest quality in the long term,” explains Guedes.
After such a momentous year in 2010, Marcopolo is going in to 2011 feeling strong albeit conservative. “2011 may be relatively quieter than 2010 but we have already sold close to 100 units in the first three months of this year,” says Guedes. “We are in the process of launching several new vehicle models in 2011 and should be reaping the benefits of the large investments made in improvements to the factory, paint shops, fabrication area and the complete knock-down area that we have made over the past few years.”
Guedes is obviously extremely confident in his product and his recent promotion from sales executive to commercial manager is well earned. This follows former commercial manager JP Ledur’s promotion to general manager. With a reputation for outstanding products and a strong new team, 2011 is looking to be a promising year for Marcopolo.