On Thursday, the new head of the Vehicles and Finance assets (VAF), Simphiwe Nghona, was very categorical when he stated Standard bank’s efforts to recover lost market among the South African car buyers. He also stated that they intended to initiate activity in the sub-Saharan Africa in the quest of reacquiring this lost ground.
For a long time, Standard bank has been the main provider of vehicle financing services in South Africa with WesBank posing as their main competitors.
In recent developments, however, Standard bank has been seen to lose focus on the customer satisfaction which has seen them slip from their dominance to a reserved fourth position which they are definitely not proud of. The slipup has seen them lag behind their former main competitor Wesbank and close followers Nedbank and Absa. Unfortunately, the bank has been left enjoying only a 12% share of the South African vehicle market.
Following their loss of focus, the bank has ended up having insignificant representation in the floors of vehicle leadership which is a dangerous play. In addition, they have not acquired any joint financial ventures with any major motor companies an area where their main competitor has majored on.
In light of this, the head made a comment stating that they were now short of options in the local market with very limited joint ventures remaining in SA. As a result, he pointed out that they have hence started resulting to partnerships from other places outside SA.
In recent developments and attempts on this, VAF had managed to strike deals with Ford Credit in Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland. He was also optimistic that they would manage to sign up more companies with their renewed efforts.
Currently, VAF has operations in only fourteen countries which are tracking the parents of Standard bank all across Africa.
According to Nghona, the firm is planning on expanding its operations to other nations in the coming years. He joined VAF 19 years after it was begun while they were still leading WesBank in the market.
He also exposed ongoing talks with the ride-hailing taxi service provider in East Africa based in Nairobi Kenya in attempt to sign another partnership with them.
The firm claimed to have been receiving over 2,000 driver applications each month in Kenya alone. This huge number constituted of people who would require financial assistance to buy cars making this a gold mine for VAF.
South Africa, however, would remain the biggest piece of the cake referring to their prior performances in the country.
Standard bank is, however, a major player in the financial market and this qualifies them as a fit competitor and they are hence confident they will regain their lost glory in SA. They recognize the need to invest in the market to regain this.