By Theodore Opara
VISITING Chief Executive Officer of SMT Europe, authorised dealer for Volvo construction equipment, Volvo trucks and Volvo Penta, Mr. Jerome Barioz has described Nigeria as a very important market to Volvo.
Mr. Barioz, who was in Nigeria with a high powered Volvo team from Europe said, although Volvo has presence in most African countries, it still sees Nigeria as a very important market to Volvo.
“We have very strong presence in many African countries including Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote D’voire, Liberia, Togo to name but a few but Nigeria is very important to us and we would like to increase our business here,” Barioz stated.
SMT Europe has a partnership with ATC Nigeria which is also authorised dealer for Volvo produts in Nigeria. It pledged it support to ATC during the recent visit to Nigeria and commended the efforts of the ATC Nigeria so far.
Said he, “Our partners are trying to understand us the more. We opened a new centre in Abuja and it is a huge investment in Nigeria and the most advanced.”
Volvo according to him is spreading its network in Nigeria with presence in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja while at the same time training and retraining technicians on the latest technology from Volvo.
Barioz explained that the company attaches much emphasis on training to help their customers have better understanding of the products.
He observed that opportunities abound in Nigeria for Volvo, pointing out that Nigeria market will develop fast as Volvo has the right products and right backup to lead the market.
Speaking on his areas of strength, the SMT boss said the service they offer, their trained staff, efficiency of products and low fuel consumption of their products stand them out. Continuing, he said, our trucks are very versatile and strong and the customers can attest to this. Once you try a Volvo product, you would never go back, he said.
He however identified the caterpillar brand as their strongest competitor. “Our strongest competitor is caterpillar product but our customers would tell you we are very good that is why we are the leader in many countries, including China and Brazil.
Also speaking during the press briefing, the Marketing Manager, ATC Nigeria, Mr. Ade Ojuoka said that they have been able to take Volvo products to the next level in Nigeria.
“We started business about three years ago. Prior to that time, you hardly could see a Volvo construction equipment or truck in Nigeria but today Volvo products have continue to increase by the day.
According to him, they have been able to provide mobile workshops to meet their clients in their premesis as well as trained local technicians to fix the products.
He described Volvo products as premium products that are designed to last for many years.
“It is an investment and we will always be with you. You buy our product because you have made an investment.
He commended SMT for being supportive to ATC adding that they have solution for all construction and logistics businesses.
The visit by SMT and Volvo according to the Marketing Manager, would give them better understanding of the Nigerian market.
He predicted a very bright future for Volvo products in Nigeria because of the need for reliable construction equipment.