By offering a full suite of products and services which is underpinned by a commitment to quality, DAR Automotive has made a name for itself as a reliable partner for OEMs and service and repair companies in South Africa
Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Josh Mann
The automotive industry is big business in South Africa.
Contributing $38.1 billion to the country’s GDP in 2018, the sector accounts for 6.8 percent of national income and 14.3 percent of exports.
As the largest manufacturing sector in the South African economy, vehicle and component production accounted for nearly 30 percent of manufacturing output in 2018, and the growth trend is set to continue.
According to the latest figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, the value of the automotive industry is set to increase to $39.2 billion in 2019 and $39.35 billion in 2020, when the amount of vehicles produced is set to pass 612,000.
It is one of the most mature and well-established sectors operating in the country, in no small part because of the extensive presence of parts and components suppliers which ensure manufacturing and repair operations run smoothly.
Take DAR Automotive, for example.
Established in 1997, the company services the automotive sector across South Africa through its network of 10 warehouses, another two being based in Botswana and Namibia. Its mission is a simple one – to supply quality components and competitive prices to the OEM, service and repair industries.
A Level 1 BBBEE firm, DAR is under the directorship of Deon Roy and Filum Ho and headquartered in Port Elizabeth.
Its modus operandi is all about quality, as stated emphatically on its website: “Quality, through the sourcing and procurement of world-class automotive engineering and industrial components for all makes of vehicles.
“Quality of service, commitment and efficiency to the South African OEM, service and repair industries. Quality underscored by the NRCS (SABS), the European Conformity (CE) and the American Department of Transportation.
“And finally, quality to you, our valued customer – through tough negotiations to keep our prices competitive and our warranties true.”
This emphasis on quality is backed up by a promise on time.
Its fleet solutions, operated via a professional call centre, sources and delivers competitively priced parts, components and oils both locally and cross-border, promising a turnaround time for customers of between 24 and 48 hours.
DAR Automotive also supplies OEMs across South Africa. Thanks to the right to repair act, the company can now offer a comprehensive range of service, maintenance and repair parts – referencing OE part numbers – for all makes of vehicles.
It sources directly from Tier 1 suppliers around the world, cutting lead times and guaranteeing quality at a lower cost than traditional parts companies.
For example, in the area of oils and fluids, DAR works closely with multinational heavyweight Wolf Lubricants.
Producing leading car and heavy-duty oils, transmission, brakes, levelling and steering fluids, and greases and industry oils, Wolf can be trusted to stay ahead of the industry curve.
In April 2019, it unveiled its new range of hybrid lubricants, a product range which will serve a fast-growing segment of the automotive industry. Frost & Sullivan predict that by 2025, 15 million hybrid electric vehicles will be sold, accounting for 16.4 percent of the total passenger vehicle market.
As well as manufacturing and maintenance operations, DAR Automotive also suppliers the body repair industry.
It is backed by a multitude of leading insurance providers to provide a comprehensive range of auto spares and vehicle body parts, and can also offer its own refinishing service that it claims to be on par with the best in the world.
The company’s highly skilled engineers and craftsmen promise to restore damaged vehicles to their former glory, using the finest refinishing products such as fillers, hardeners, aerosols and primers.
Such a wide-ranging suite of services, all underpinned by a commitment to quality, look set to propel DAR Automotive into a future set against a positive industry backdrop that is going against the global grain.
In 2018, global vehicle production declined by 1.1 percent to reach 95.6 million vehicles, down from the 96.7 million units produced in 2017. In South Africa, the 612,000 vehicles forecast for 2020 represents a small but albeit positive step forwards on 2018, which saw just over 610,800 units made.
One of the country’s true bright industrial sparks, the automotive sector will provide ample opportunity for DAR to excel in future years.