AGCO chooses K+N for PDC
Logistics provider Kuehne + Nagel has signed a contract with agricultural machinery maker AGCO to manage its new aftermarket parts distribution centre (PDC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The centre, which started operations in December, supplies parts within South Africa as well as to several neighbouring countries in Africa and has a storage capacity for 40,000 parts.

Kuehne + Nagel will receive and handle inventory, including picking and packing as well as return handling of spare parts and the handling of dangerous goods. The logistics provider will also provides sea freight and air freight inbound services of parts originating from Turkey, France, Brazil and India.

“We are delighted that AGCO has awarded its inbound supply chain and warehouse operations in South Africa to us,” said Peter Adams, senior vice president of Kuehne + Nagel Contract Logistics South Africa. “A dedicated team will ensure the successful implementation and operation of this project.”

The company said the new warehouse business was an important milestone in entering into a long-term relationship with AGCO under a signed master level agreement for warehousing. It also strengthens Kuehne + Nagel’s market position in the segment of logistics solutions to the agricultural sector.

AGCO said it is committed to investing $100m in Africa over the coming years and most recently started Massey Ferguson tractor production at a joint venture plant in Algeria in December.

“Together with our Algerian partners, we are pleased to produce Massey Ferguson tractors locally in Africa. This is a significant step in our long term growth strategy for the African continent,” stated Martin Richenhagen, AGCO’s chairman, president and CEO. “AGCO is committed to grow its presence within Africa by investing in local manufacturing, distribution infrastructure and new training sites.

DHL to deliver fleet cars for Vindis
DHL has been awarded a contract to manage fleet deliveries for the Vindis Group network of dealerships. It is the first time that the company has supported a dealer group’s delivery requirements.

The logistics provider’s event management division, Inside Track, will manage more than 4,000 vehicle movements per year, including new vehicles and demonstration cars, delivering them from the dealers compound at Alconbury in the UK to national locations, mainly in the eastern region of England. The Vindis Group has a network of Audi, Bentley, Skoda, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle retail units throughout the south of the UK.

DHL said it aims to reduce costs and improve consistency of service for Vindis, which previously managed its fleet programme through a different number of service providers, resulting in varying levels of performance. It said that it expects the service to be of interest other dealer groups throughout the country because of the cost and carbon emission savings it has identified.

As part of the solution, Inside Track will deploy the latest PDA technology will be deployed to provide vehicle recipients with increased levels of delivery visibility and satisfaction. Introduced in 2010, the handheld units enable a vehicle’s positional status to be tracked in real time, removing the need for excessive paperwork and ensuring a smoother handover.

 “The professional handover of vehicles to our customers is a crucial part of our fleet operations,” said Colin Hutton, fleet director at The Vindis Group. “Delivery is a key customer touch point and it is imperative that any partner we choose has a thorough understanding of all of the vehicles operated by the Vindis Group. We have selected DHL’s Inside Track to ensure that every single customer receives the same high level of service we demand.”

SAIC to double exports of Maxus
Chinese vehicle maker SAIC is planning to increase exports of commercial vehicles in 2013 to offset sluggish demand in the domestic market.

The company said it plans to double the number of Maxus models dispatched overseas and intends to sell between 3,500 and 4,000 units this year.

According to SAIC’s general manager Lan Qingsong within the next five years around 20% of overall output will be exported, with Europe the main target market. Sales are also planned in the US, Asia and Oceania.

"In order to tap the European market, Shanghai Diesel Engine, engine supplier to Maxus, is stepping up the development of a new engine that can meet the emission standards of Europe," Lan told the Chinese press.

SAIC only began selling overseas in August 2012, when Maxus vehicles were made available in Australia under the LDV branding.

At present, it makes around 200,000 commercial vehicles annually, although expects to boost this to 500,000 units by the end of 2015.

In a linked move, the joint venture, SAIC-Iveco Hongyan Commercial Vehicle, has announced its intention to export more than 1,000 units between 2011-2015.

Ontime Automotive merges divisions
Bidvest subsidiary, Ontime Automotive, has announced that its Specialist Transport and Prestige Distribution divisions have been merged to create a single business: Ontime Global Automotive Transport Services.

The finished vehicle logistics provider said the move will deliver greater consistency, enhanced decision-making and faster response times.

Chris Gardner, who has been appointed director of Global Automotive Transport Services, said the company was “well positioned to deliver comprehensive logistics services across the entire spectrum of automotive distribution”.

Additional changes to the new structure see Alan Stuart taking on the role of Operations Resource Manager, responsible for the management of the fleet, audit and training, warehousing and vehicle repatriations.

Ontime’s worldwide service includes new car dealer deliveries, motor event and prototype vehicle movement, classic car and corporate deliveries as well as private and prestige vehicle home deliveries.

Naza to distribute Citroën in Malaysia
PSA Peugeot Citroën has made Naza Euro Motors its official distributor for the Citroën brand in Malaysia, effective from the beginning of January this year. Naza Euro Motors is part of the Naza Group, a private conglomerate with interests in a range of industries including automotive.

Naza is planning to launch a sales, spare parts and service (3S) outlet in the Klang Valley by the end of February, with further centres planned in the northern and southern regions in the coming months according to the company. It has also launched a dedicated call-centre for existing and new Citroën customers

“We believe there is sufficient demand for the brand’s products in Malaysia and with the right strategy we are confident of realizing Citroën’s full potential in this market,” said SM Nasimuddin, joint group executive chairman of the Naza Group of Companies.

He added that Naza Euro Motor will be introducing several new and exciting Citroën models to the market while an official website will be launched in February.