Powerstar – the turnaround specialist
The turnaround of Powerstar South Africa has become quite a talking point in South African industry – and for good reason: it has increased vehicle sales by more than 300 percent in two years.
Sales and networking director, Mark Beukes, says that one of the key success factors has been the company’s ability to do things its way. “We kept the elements that worked and got rid of those that did not. We are not afraid to use our instincts to make decisions and to get things done,” he says matter-of-factly. “We are guided by our vast combined experience in the trucking industry and our belief that the reason for being in business is to satisfy our customers’ needs, while creating a workplace environment that our team is happy to be in each day.”
Powerstar CEO Bob Wang says that another crucial contributing factor is how the company relates to customers. “Over the years we have taken care to listen to what our customers need and we have designed our trucks accordingly,” he says. “The end result is that our trucks are tough and durable, yet easy to operate and service. Our company remains committed, through extensive research and development, to continuously refine and adjust its designs to meet our customers’ ever-changing needs.”
He adds that the excellence of Powerstar’s engineering and research and development is an important factor in the success of the company’s operation in South Africa. “During 2012, we expanded our team of engineering and technical experts to be able to deliver high-end consultation with respect to early technical trouble-shooting and solutions. This has paid off significantly with our reliability levels – which have always been excellent – improving continuously,” Wang says.
Meanwhile, Powerstar’s display of trucks at the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) in October 2013 was evidence of the outstanding physical product that underpinned the turnaround. Also very impressive is the extremely competitive pricing of these powerful and durable vehicles, and the effort that has been put into making Powerstar trucks ideally suited to South African conditions.
Defining excellence: the powerful VX and VR ranges
A dedicated team of Powerstar’s research and design engineers originally fast-tracked the superior design and superb technical developments of the new ranges specifically for the southern African market. Their excellent craftsmanship resulted in the VX range and the state-of-the art, long-haul, heavy-duty V3.
The vigorous VX range features a host of updated features including a trendy and improved cab design for extra driver comfort. Introduced in 2012, the VX range comprises the 1627 4×2, 1729 4×4, 2628 6×4 short and long wheelbase, 2635A 6×6, 2642S 6×4, 3335 6×4 short and long wheelbase and the 4035 8×4. Using the renowned, powerful and compact Weichai engine, the new VX’s torque output and workhorse capabilities remain excellent.
One of the defining features of the long-haul, heavy-duty V3 is its superior cab comfort – where spaciousness is maximised to enhance visibility, while the unique instrument panel promotes safety and increased productivity. The exquisitely sculptured design lines are on par with European trends, making this a beautiful as well as a productive and reliable machine. The V3 2646 truck tractor, powered by a Weichai Euro-3 intercooled engine with a maximum geared road speed of 111 km/h, was introduced at JIMS 2013.
Weichai: a global driving force
With a footprint spanning more than 30 countries, Weichai is the largest high-speed, power diesel engine manufacturer in the world. It has an annual production capacity of 80 million units with engines ranging from 30 kW (40 hp) to 7 457 kW (10 000 hp).
Its manufacturing capability is diverse, ranging from small-bore engines for light trucks, excavators, forklifts and marine applications to powerful Weichai series engines for bus, tractor, engineering and marine applications. To remain at the forefront of technological competitiveness, Weichai employs more than 800 advanced research and development engineers.
Beukes says that Powerstar is looking forward to an exciting 2014 – including further reinforcing its growing brand image in the southern African and African markets with its ground-breaking new products. “We will drive home our advantage of producing trucks that are ideally suited to South African conditions and we will dedicate ourselves to improving our quality and service. We believe in continuously improving in every sphere,” he concludes.