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African Review visited Hanover for the 66th annual IAA Commercial Vehicle Show 2016
With world leading brands such as Volkswagen, Continental, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Hyundai and Michelin attending the event, all eyes were on the latest innovations in the HGV world.
There was an expansion of LNG technology ranged vehicles as LIQVIS and Volvo and others unveiled new products to drive the alternative fuel technology. In addition, urban safety was another topic discussed at the show, as ZF and WABCO look to increase the safety of HGVs, their drivers, other road users and pedestrian's safety.
At the show, many suppliers were very interested in the African markets. With known potential in the market, particularly for those brands that only operate in Europe currently, the interest is high. However, there are some drawbacks. For many, it is a lack of capacity to be able to supply to a region of that size and potential scale, particularly in single market small or medium sized businesses with few employees. The other drawback, for some, is the fact that the market has different needs to the European markets. But for most, Africa is where business wants and needs to be.
For MAN, one of the world leaders in HGVs, the unveiling of the CLA range is one that should excite the African market. They focused on two central areas to improve their range for the African market. The first is how to improve cost-effectiveness and the second is how to increase the efficiency across the fleet. Both are important in the African market. They have also introduced a new tyre size which is more readily available as well as making the chassis stronger to carry overweighing loads and improved the engines ability to use dirtier fuels in tougher conditions. Norbert Schwer, manager for MAN group in Africa and Middle East spoke to us on the exciting new assembly plant in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. "People want to work and have pride in their work. We are excited to keep expanding into Africa."
The IAA 2016 show covered many products, innovations and market insights which are of interest to the African market, and African Review shall cover many of these over the coming weeks, with exclusive access to interviews with dealers, product releases and new press material insights.