SEW-EURODRIVE is experiencing significant growth into Southern Africa, boosted by the introduction of latest technology such as its IE3-compliant DRN series of asynchronous motors. The OEM has doubled its exports into this region within three years.
The OEM is represented in 12 countries in Southern Africa, with Angola, Zimbabwe, and Zambia representing the most significant opportunities for future expansion, notes Marcio Sicchiero, head of exports at SEW-EURODRIVE.
He explains that the OEM has divided the continent into different sales regions in order to retain better control over internal pricing, and to improve customer service and aftermarket support. Industries represented include food and beverage, tobacco, cement, and mining, with the later accounting for the largest orders and biggest values.
Sicchiero comments that he has managed to double export volumes into Southern Africa over the last three years. “This has been on the back of extremely tough times recently, especially due to the slump in commodity prices, which has had a major impact on the mining industry.”
While Greenfield mining projects have largely been stalled due to the financial crisis, a lot of mining companies have looked to redesign their mineral-processing plants, or introduce added efficiencies. “This is where SEW-EURODRIVE’s extensive product range plays a major role, as energy efficiency and environmental awareness are key drivers for us,” Sicchiero emphasises.
However, he adds that the rout in commodity prices is likely to have bottomed out by now. “We are likely to see an increase in the short term, whereafter prices will level out at a more realistic level, indicating that the market will have returned to normal.”
The emphasis on cost-cutting has also meant added interest in refurbishment and repair as an alternative to extensive capital investment in new equipment. “Our customer service and aftermarket support, coupled with the quality of our products, in addition to factors such as our industry-best lead times, gives us a distinct advantage in the export market,” Sicchiero concludes.