By Theodore Opara
The Executive Director, Lanre Shitu Motors, Mr. Taiwo Shittu has disclosed that the solid after-sales service support and their ability to reduce the down time for Mack truck customers are the secrets behind the Mack truck preference in Nigeria.
Mr. Taiwo who spoke to the Motoring Press recently in his office stated that it will be impossible for any brand to march the performance of Mack in Nigeria because of the importance they have placed on after-sales service.
“We realised that for any brand to do well, you need to have a solid after-sales service which involve availability of spare parts, manpower, tools/equipment which reduce the down time for the customer,” he said.
Continuing, the executive director said, “I don’t see any company that is better than us. It is Mack and others, judging by the number of trucks on Nigerian roads. Four out of ten trucks on Nigerian road is a Mack.
The executive director who conducted the journalists around their workshop, training centre and spare parts store disclosed that they stock parts worth several millions of naira at any given time.
On their biggest challenge, Mr. Taiwo identified drivers attitude and road condition as the two major factors but noted that they have been able to overcome them to an extent.
“The driver, sometimes mix diesel with kerosene or other substances to make it burn slowly not minding the negative consequence on the engine.”
But has been able to develop water filter separator to reduce the effect of this problem. This technology, he said is standard on the new Mack trucks while it can also be fitted to older ones. This means that the diesel goes into the filter just before entering into the engine.
He described the new technology as very effective and an edge over other truck manufacturers, saying that they also advise their customers to install the filter to avoid damage to the engine of the truck. This is because the customer could spend between N400,000 to N1 million to change the fuel pump of the truck when there is a damage as a result of an abuse.
In addition to making available excellent after-sales service, Taiwo disclosed that they also offer free training to drivers of Mack truck as well as free maintenance, diagnosis and services. These measures according to him, were taken because “we have seen drivers crash trucks worth over N18 million due to recklessness and carelessness.”
Other measure taken to prolong the lifespan of Mack trucks include reducing the speed limit, even if the driver is accelerating the truck, it will not move beyond certain speed limit.
“If you check it, you will notice that the accident level of Mack trucks have dropped radically. It is less than 20 per cent. We have over 80 per cent accident-free journey with Mack trucks.
With all these development, the executive director explained that the company has surpassed its annual target for 2011, in if the second quarter of the year.
To sustain its position as the market leader in the truck business in Nigeria, Taiwo hinted that their new facility in Abuja will soon be commissioned.
The multi-billion naira project, according to him is over 90 per cent completed and has been described as the best in Africa.“The facility will open before the end of the year. Mack International said they don’t have a facility of its kind in Africa. Lanre Shittu Motors, apart from Mack, deals in Yutong brand, Nissan, Kia, among other auto brands.