In March, Chery South Africa inaugurated a new parts warehouse in Parkhaven, Boksburg in Gauteng, a mere 14 months after opening the doors to its previous facility.
The new facility represents a doubling of storage space and available parts in this short time.
It will hold stock of R70 million at all times and can hold as much as R100 million in stock if required. This represents over 4 500 different part lines and a significant investment by the company.
“In 2022, Chery’s first full year of sales, the company welcomed 13 142 new customers to the brand. This is a new record for any new entrant into the South African market, which makes Chery the seventh most popular brand in the country. We hope to further improve on this ranking in 2023,” says Tony Liu, Executive Deputy General Manager of Chery South Africa.
To ensure that Chery maintains high levels of after-sales support, the brand moved quickly to find a new warehouse that could support its sales growth and prepare it for further expansion to other countries in Southern Africa.
“Our choice of the warehouse in Boksburg gives us easy access to all main arteries into and out of Gauteng. It will allow us to dispatch parts to every dealership every day and to receive parts and components for storage throughout the day and night,” says Liu.
The new warehouse not only represents a major increase in size, but also in complexity. The new facility uses state-of-the-art electronic identification systems to easily find, pick and dispatch stock.
“We are aiming for an industry-leading fill rate of 98%, which will ensure that customers do not wait longer than normal to have their vehicles serviced or repaired,” says Floris du Toit Head of Aftersales Services at Chery South Africa. It is worth noting that Chery is already at a fill rate of 97.95%.
Du Toit notes that the fill rate also applies to repair parts for vehicles damaged in an accident. Chery South Africa already holds more than adequate body panels and other vehicle replacement parts that can be ordered 24/7 by any of its 117 nationally approved panel shops in South Africa.
A class-leading fill rate will support Chery’s best-in-class mechanical warranty of 1 million kilometres or 10 years. According to Liu, the warranty support also applies to Chery’s ever-growing range of accessories.
Chery has steadily expanded its range of lifestyle and functional accessories, including electrically retractable side steps on the Tiggo 8, a range of tow bars for all vehicles and additional cargo and styling solutions for the Tiggo range.
These accessories will be stocked at the new warehouse and delivered, with a comprehensive warranty, to all dealers in the Chery network.
“We hope to instil the same level of confidence in our range of Chery accessories as we do in our products. As such, we encourage our customers to buy and fit their accessories directly from their nearest dealer to make sure that their vehicles remain within warranty,” says Liu.
These benefits will also apply to customers of Chery’s new fleet-sales division.
“Chery has seen a significant increase in sales to large fleet operators. Many of these fleet companies have strict requirements for the amount of time that a vehicle is allowed to be booked in for services or repairs. Our new warehouse will ensure that we not only meet, but exceed these strict requirements,” says Du Toit.
Aside from offering significantly more warehouse space and easy access for delivery vehicles, the new warehouse also has space available for future expansion. Chery is also investigating smaller regional distribution centres that should further improve parts distribution by placing the high-volume service parts as close as possible to customers.
Chery South Africa is currently planning to create a dealer and staff training facility at the warehouse. This facility will focus on training dealer sales and service staff to support the new range of Chery and OMODA vehicles and offer the best customer service.