On the 19th of February Group 1 Taxi launched their partnership with SANTACO with Marcel Swanepoel, the Managing Director of Group 1 Nissan, presenting the NV350 to leading members of the taxi industry, government and the press.
We’ve already spoken about the return of Nissan to the South African taxi industry with its launch of the Nv350 Impendulo Taxi, so why does a taxi deal between Group 1 Taxi and SANTACO matter to the South African taxi industry?
According to Marcel, the Impendulo trumps other competitors over the following:
- A 15 000km service interval compared to the standard 10 000km
- The Impendulo’s 100 000km warranty which is 40 000kms more than the competitor’s
- The price tag is around R6 000 cheaper than the competitor
Marcel also highlighted what he called the four key selling points of the Impendulo:
- Exceptional fuel economy
- Confident and refreshing styling
- Smart convenient cockpit
- Low running costs
So what is the underlying selling point of the Impendulo for the taxi industry? Saving money. Despite what some people may think, the profit margins in the taxi industry are tight which results in taxi drivers driving the way they do in order to maximize their profits. While some taxi drivers are either paid a set amount per day, most have to hire the taxi from the taxi owner and any money that is made over the hire cost is their profits. For the owners the costs are also high with many needing to have multiple vehicles or routes to turn a decent profit. Group 1 Nissan is hoping to appeal directly to the owners by emphasising the savings on maintenance and repair. Taxi owners who buy their taxis bought through the deal with SANTACO will find that their servicing costs through the Kuilsriver branch of Group 1 will be:
- 37% cheaper service basket than their competitors – services
- Replacement parts cheaper by 12%
- Engine parts cheaper than 15%
- Cost per kilometer 13% cheaper than leading competitor
In total these savings should be around R60 000 in the long run and Group 1 is hoping that these savings will encourage the 90% of taxi drivers who service their vehicles themselves to have their vehicles repaired professionally, increasing the vehicle’s reliability and safety.
So what does this mean for the South African taxi industry? Hopefully these cheaper running and maintenance costs will translate into better quality services and vehicle maintenance as well as cheaper fares for the millions of people who use taxis daily.