'Cost key in transport'

HARARE - Cost has become a major factor and consideration in Zimbabwe’s business, including the transport sector, a top motoring industry player has said.

Farai Matsika, the Croco Holdings (Croco) group chief executive, also said at the launch of the Higer franchise that government’s look-east policy had brought fortuitous benefits in that consumers could enjoy cheaper travel through affordable and durable coaches from China.

“In the absence of some European and other (big) brands due to pricing (and other logistical issues), Asian alternatives are taking their place and which is why we have come up with a strategy of ensuring the Higer operation or supply chain is structured in Zimbabwe,” he said, adding a fully-fledged service centre would be opened at their Dulys’ Truck workshop in Harare before end-March.

“Previously, some of these brands have come under scrutiny because they did not have a dependable back-up service, warranties and local support,” Matsika said, adding plans were underway to establish a Higer dedicated or standalone facility outside their Workington plant.

With the coaches retailing between $120 000 and $212 000 for a semi-luxury, and fully-loaded bus, the Croco boss suggested that this could translate into cheaper fares for travellers as operators would have had lesser costs and unit repayment terms.

The Monday unveiling saw the motoring group add another brand to its growing range of Ford, Mazda, Toyota and UD vehicles.

In the meantime, the Moses Chingwena-owned group has put together a higher-purchase and financing facility with Stanley Matiza’s African Century Leasing for the benefit of transport operators.


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