2018 saw the Middle East launch of two new Quester models designed for the heavy construction industry – the Quester 6x4R-40 Tons and 8x4R- 46 T with hub reduction, which puts the brand as the unique Japanese manufacturer offering a complete heavy-duty range as UD Trucks is benefitting from being part of the Volvo Group and having access to its technologies.
The UAE market has been very tough over the past twelve months; however, UD Trucks once again performed well and saw its market share increase. Qatar and Bahrain remain very strong markets for UD Trucks as the brand enjoys a significant market share, which it continued to strengthen further in 2018. In Qatar, UD trucks is dominating the Japanese segment and, more specifically, the construction business. In Bahrain, the brand continues to hold the number one position in the market, says the company.
Saudi Arabia has experienced another tough year, with the total market continuing to drop. However, UD Trucks managed to keep a good level of sales while improving its market share in some key segments such as waste management and construction. Saudi Arabia remains a key focus for the brand, which has put in place aggressive plans to further grow and support its customers in the Kingdom.
Both Lebanon and Jordan were reactivated in 2018 as the brand transitioned from the legacy trucks to the introduction of new models in both the heavy and medium duty sectors. UD Trucks has high ambitions in these two markets as it leverages on the strong brand reputation built over recent years.
The brand also enjoyed increased market share in two of its key East African markets – Ethiopia and Sudan. In Ethiopia, the challenge remains related to hard currency availability, yet despite these tough conditions the brand performed very well, especially in the last quarter of 2018. The brand has also registered good sales in Sudan, since it officially launched its new models in February 2018, both in logistics for medium duty, and for mining and construction for the heavy duty.
2019 is set to be an important year for the brand as it investigates entering new regional markets with significant potential such as Tunisia and Kenya, and many other in West and North Africa.
Supporting its customers, UD Trucks’ regional offices in Dubai includes a parts distribution centre, which delivers over 12,000 different spare parts to UD Trucks partners across the MEENA region. Thanks to its strategic location in the UAE, UD Trucks importers enjoy short lead times, as well as lower transport and inventory costs to better serve customers in the region.
“This region is very strategic for UD Trucks and we are reinforcing our team and creating a customer-centric organisation to serve the best interests of our customers and partners. Given our modern full product range, our strong partners in the region, and our commitment and dedication to serve our customers, added to our long Japanese heritage, we have all the tools to succeed and we can only see a bright future for UD Trucks and its customers in the region,” said Mourad Hedna, President of UD Trucks MEENA