Largest dealership upgrades and extends its facility

NMI Commercial Vehicles Durban has upgraded and expanded its facility in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

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This is now most arguably one of the largest truck dealerships of its kind in the country, retailing around 100 trucks (new and used) a month and servicing in excess of 50 Trucks a day.

The upgrade includes the latest Daimler Trucks CI and an extension of the facility itself, which is located on a 50 000 m2 premises. The extension incorporates, among others, an additional 900 m2 that includes another 350 m2 added to the parts warehouse, a bigger showroom, customer experience areas, a Truckers Lounge, more offices and new reception areas.

“The upgrade and extensions were necessitated by the growth demand in our region. We render a complete solution from selling to after-sales, along the very busy (N2) and on the N3, one of the major truck routes in South Africa,” says Robbie van der Merwe (Dealer Principal).

Robbie van der Merwe, Dealer Principal.

“NMI has satellite dealerships in Harrismith, Shelly Beach focusing on after-sales and a full medium sized dealership in Pietermaritzburg. The importance of getting trucks back on the road as quickly as possible, cannot be overemphasised. Therefore, we have extended servicing hours from 07:00 to 20:00, and we render 24h assistance as well,” he tells Dealerfloor.

“Although a showroom is traditionally not a key point in the commercial business world, we want customers to visit us in our modern dealership equipped with a Bistro and vehicles on display.

Robbie says a further extension of the servicing bays is on the cards with the focus on electric trucks. “We will see the first EV trucks next year, and their service bays have different requirements to that of the diesel trucks. Although electric trucks are a reality, I don’t foresee a drastic reset with current fleets switching over to electric trucks at this stage.”

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He tells Dealerfloor some of the different requirements, centres on a larger servicing area per truck to allow for equipment to remove the battery while a traditional pit underneath is not an essential aspect when servicing an EV truck.

Robbie, who has been in the truck trade with NMI for 35 years, says the dealership has won numerous Dealer of the Year awards over the years, and a dedicated team is at hand in all the divisions of the dealership.

“As an official Truck Store, we do not sell only new trucks, but also used ones. The brands we represent include Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Buses, FUSO Trucks and Mercedes-Benz Vans (Sprinter & Vito),” he says.

And what does the future hold? “We have to follow international trends, and electric vehicles and trucks, either pure EVs, hybrids or with another form of propulsion, are the future. But for commercial vehicles, the diesel engine will still be with us for some time to come,” Robbie concludes.

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