UD Trucks enjoyed a successful 2020 across the Middle East despite an ongoing “challenging business environment” attributed to the pandemic crisis.
During a media briefing last week in Dubai, the Japanese commercial vehicle brand said it had improved its market share in the majority of its regional markets, “while also registering increased sales in many of the countries.”
Total sales across the year rose by six percent versus 2019, in a market that experienced an overall decrease, said the Volvo Trucks-owned firm.
While UD Trucks described 2020 as a transitional year in the Saudi market, the late-2019 switch to Zahid Tractor in Saudi Arabia helped the Quester and Croner manufacturer record a doubling of sales in the Kingdom.
In statement UD Trucks said that there was a focus on raising customer service standards and support to the highest levels in 2020, “reflecting UD Trucks’ ambitions and Zahid Tractor’s long-standing reputation as a customer-centric organisation. The new partnership was marked by a series of celebratory launch events in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh”.
Sales also grew by 14 percent in Qatar. The market had been a major focus for UD Trucks prior to the imposing of trade restrictions on the country in 2017; suggesting the brand is well-positioned with the easing of relations with its GCC partners.
UD Trucks also revealed that the brand maintained stable sales in other key regional markets, including the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Ethiopia.
On the services side, UD Trucks “shifted its focus to take measures” during the pandemic outbreak with warranty terms extended for customers whose contracts expired within the lockdown period. This alleviated any concerns they may have had regarding vehicle maintenance and repair needs during these challenging times, said the firm.
It added that its positive performance was built on the company’s continued, comprehensive and consistent strategy for growth, “which is based on customer focus and satisfaction, a strong partnership with its regional partners and employees’ engagement.”
“2020 was a difficult year across all market segments with many challenges and uncertainties. Thanks to our customers’ trust and our partners and employees’ engagement, the solid performances we recorded have given us a lot of confidence and motivation to continue our sustainable growth journey,” said Mourad Hedna, president, UD Trucks MEENA.
“I would like to thank all my team at UD Trucks MEENA and all our partners in the region for their efforts, dedication and hard work in prioritising our customers’ needs and making 2020 another successful year, despite all the complications.”
With the transport and automotive sectors in the region compensating for disruption in the market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by accelerating investment into digitalisation, UD Trucks revealed it had implemented its own “digital approach to stay connected and keep its partners informed of the latest news and announcements.”
It added: “Several systems were made available to partners, allowing unlimited access to E-Learnings and online module and virtual training sessions. Remote commercial and technical training sessions were delivered to over 450 participants around the region. Two virtual conference with MEENA partners took place, with strong engagement from all participants, helping to strengthen the UD Trucks family spirit.”
UD Trucks is focusing on the logistics sector in 2021 and is introducing its “Better Life” long term strategy to demonstrate the brand’s commitment to provide a better life for people and the planet: “The company will aim to have the lowest impact on the environment, be a leader in customer satisfaction, and provide customers with best-in-class trucks and services.”
Hedna continued: “In 2021, our focus will be on continuing to deliver our core business objectives by ensuring that the customer feels supported and satisfied at all times. We will continue to work with our local partners to ensure the right partnership mindset and the required flexibility to adapt to each market’s needs.
“Simultaneously, as a company with a long-term focus, it is essential that we provide visibility to our key stakeholders, including our customers, our partners, and our employees, of our long-term strategy and ambition beyond 2021 and the pandemic. That is why we will start implementing our “Better Life” strategy, which will only continue to strengthen our presence and contribution to the region”.