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Volvo Trucks' contribution to Road Safety in Africa and Middle East: The Mobile Workshop System

Road safety is a very important issue in North Africa and the Middle East. Trucks and buses are involved in most of the severe accidents on Middle Eastern and North African roads, and especially in Egypt. Very old and worn-out vehicles as well as brand-new low-quality and low-budget trucks and buses from China are becoming more and more a threat in our region. Most of the fatal crashes with tourism buses in Egypt for example involve a Made-in-China bus.

And while most of the Chinese truck and bus manufacturer as well as their local importer hardly pay any attention to road safety as well as active and passive safety features in their products, the European truck and bus manufacturers are paying much more attention to this vital topic as well as to the importance of the after-sales and service for their products. The Swedish company Volvo Trucks is one of them.

That is why Volvo Trucks’ considers Africa and the Middle East as two of the most promising regions for the future. However, what is lacking is a well-developed service network. To help combat this, Aftersales & Retail Development within the Northern Africa & Middle East (NAME) area has therefore developed a mobile workshop system, which is already able to service the trucks that are sold in the region. The target being to supplement the limited service network in these markets until a more permanent solution is created.

"The greatest advantages of this system are that it is easy to build and it is mobile. It is easy for newly established importers to move their workshop to the place where it is most needed. At the same time, this self-sufficient system is ideal for the mining, gas and oil industries, for example, as they are frequently based in remote areas that are difficult to access," says Patrik Andr?©n, head of Aftersales & Retail Development within Northern Africa & Middle East.

The newly-developed workshop system is made up of different modules. It comprises everything from service and lubrication modules to inventory, stock, office and changing-room modules. The aim is to enable importers to adapt these modules to their various requirements. One of the main advantages of this mobile workshop is that it also complies with Volvo's guidelines.

"After all, our customers see Volvo out in the field every day. That's why it's decisive that our service network is professional. These mobile systems go hand-in-hand with Volvo's guidelines when it comes to design, quality and function. They are well designed and well planned in every detail and they have what is needed to do a good job on customers' products," adds Patrik.

It is however not enough simply to inform importers about this mobile workshop. They also need to be able "to touch and feel" it. For this reason, Aftersales & Retail Development Northern Africa & Middle East has produced an exhibition model in Gothenburg, which customers and other Volvo Group co-workers are welcome to visit and examine.

"We show how a workshop should be equipped - in terms of both construction and function - and visitors will also be able to study the different modules we have to offer. Volvo Merchandise is also on the spot to demonstrate our Volvo-branded work clothes," says Patrik Andr?©n.

Patrik Andr?©n and his team only began developing this mobile system in March, but one module has already been sold, so the expectations for the future are optimistic.

"The system is so simple, smooth and flexible and it can be operational within a week. I am convinced there will be an automatic demand, as there is a huge need on the developing markets," Patrik says.

So, what are the chances to see such Volvo Trucks Mobile Service Systems in Egypt?

Well, according to what we have seen so far from the Volvo Trucks importer in Egypt, probably we will not see any of such mobile systems soon.

That is why I hope Volvo Trucks would open a regional office in Egypt and among others implement such mobile systems in the 27 governorates of Egypt.

This would not only be a significant contribution to road safety in Egypt and North Africa, but would also open unprecedented business opportunities for Volvo Trucks.


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