Simba Corporation and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd shakes the Pick-up market in Kenya

Rapidly expanding, Simba Corporation is disrupting the motor vehicle industry by providing unmatched products and customized solutions to the Kenyan Market. Through its subsidiaries, the group has established itself as a dealer of renowned brands including Renault, Mitsubishi, Fuso, Mahindra and BMW among others.

Xylon Motors, a subsidiary of Simba Corporation is the Mahindra franchise for Kenya. It provides full sales, service and parts for all Mahindra Pickups and Passenger vehicles in the country.

The Edge interviewed Mr. Siva Kumar, Xylon Motors Sales Manager, and Anthony Kibe, Head of Leasing, who shared insights on the newly launched Big Bolero Pickup and its available financing solutions.

The Big Bolero Pick-up

India’s renowned SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M Ltd.) recently through Xylon Motors launched the Big Bolero Pick-up in Kenya. The Mahindra Bolero Maxi Truck Plus, dubbed the Big Bolero, is set to disrupt the pick-up segment by offering unrivaled payload capacity of 1.5 tons, stylish and comfortable cabin.

The Bolero Range of pickups introduced to the Kenyan market in 2012 has since gained popularity due to the matchless fuel efficiency of 13km per litre. “If you are looking for a pick-up for your transportation needs- a thoroughbred workhorse, the Bolero model is your best bet,” says Mr. Kumar. The pickups are sturdy and their maintenance cost is considerably low.

After conducting a market research, Mahindra realized there was a gap in the market for a superior pickup, capitalized on the need and designed exactly that. “This is the only pick-up of its kind and capacity in the market. Big Bolero Pickup that is competitively priced is designed to cater for the current and evolving needs of businessmen, traders, and all its customers in entirety.”

The cargo body measures 9 feet which is the longest in the category of pickups in the market. The extra length enables traders to load bigger items. Besides the large canter-sized tires for supporting heavier loads, it also features a flat cargo surface that gives it more loading space.

The engine is basic and simplified giving one the confidence to go out in rough terrain. “Bolero Pickups are always the backup vehicles for drillers or constructors who operate on off-road terrain,” mentions Mr. Kumar.

The Big Bolero provides superior comfort through its spacious ergonomically designed big cabin, sliding and reclining seats and power steering as a standard feature across all variants. The machine comes with new exteriors and premium interiors incorporating a new instrument panel and theme color.

In fact, most traders now prefer the Big Bolero to canters especially when doing various deliveries. At the end of the day, having several Bolero pick-ups is more efficient that having one canter.

The pick-ups are customized to meet the needs of clients such as transporting bread or milk among others. They are now a favorite with traders because of its efficiency compared to canters, observes Mr. Kumar.

Indeed, the launch of the Big Bolero Pickup is a veritable step towards offering more value to customers.

Financing solutions

Xylon Motors, through Simba Corporation offers financing options to their customers through hire purchase and leasing. “Hire purchase is suited for individuals who want to use the vehicle and pay for it in installments over an agreed period of time and eventually own it,” says Mr. Kibe. It is similar to what banks offer when one takes a car loan but at a better discount and flexible terms.  This is commendable for traders who cannot afford to pay the full amount of the vehicle at once.

The leasing option on the other hand is only available to corporate and fleet clients.  It is a solution for companies that require motor vehicles but do not want to actually own them. Mr. Kibe explains that leased vehicles come as a full package with comprehensive insurance and a fleet management system. In addition, Simba Corporation bears the maintenance costs since the company retains ownership of the vehicles.

For this all inclusive package, companies are required to pay a monthly fee for the service that is calculated based on the value of the vehicle, bodybuilding needs, and projected mileage.

Mileage is usually fixed as this is the basis of wear and tear and it is used to compute maintenance cost. The leasing contract has terms and conditions that a user must abide by to ensure that negligence, misuse of the vehicles and reckless driving is avoided, contrary to which the cost is borne by the lessee.

The solution is available to companies which need at least three vehicles tailor -made to meet their needs. The lease contract lasts three to four years for passenger cars and up to five years for commercial vehicles. At the end of the contract, the company is required to return the depreciated vehicles and may choose to obtain new ones but under negotiated terms.

Simba Corporation prides itself as pioneers of vehicle leasing in the Kenyan market. The leasing option is fully in-house, making it flexible and competitive.

Having been insured, the leasing package offers another car for 14 days in case of an accident. Nonetheless, in the event that it takes longer than that, the company provides vehicles through their car rental subsidiary, Avis, at considerably discounted rates. Customers are therefore assured of zero business disruption.

To be eligible for the services, Simba Corp has to consider the customers ability to pay the monthly fee as a rolling cost. Interested customers are required to present certificate of incorporation, KRA PIN and tax clearance certificate. A credit Report from an accredited credit reference bureau must also be presented to ascertain the company’s credit worthiness.