Despite a booming construction sector and a transport sector in rapid expansion, finding a reliable supplier of heavy-duty trucks in Rwanda has for a long time been like looking for a needle in a haystack, whereas importing new or second-hand trucks from abroad is a risky venture since maintenance and spare parts might be in short supply.
Yet that has changed since the arrival on the Rwandan market of Asia Machinery Investments Ltd, which owns the Sinotruk Rwanda Sales & Services Centre in the Gishushu area in Kigali. The company is the only authorized distributor of Sinotruk’s Howo series of heavy-duty trucks, machinery and spare parts in Rwanda and the region.
A daughter company of the China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Corp. Ltd. (CNHTC), Sinotruk (Hong Kong) Ltd is one of the largest truck manufacturers in China, headquartered in Jinan, the capital city of Shandong province. CNHTC was the first domestic manufacturer of heavy duty trucks, building its first one in 1960. With the Howo series, Sinotruk offers a wide variety of vehicles including dump trucks, tractor trucks, cement mixers, military and sprinkler trucks, as well as a light truck, all of which can be obtained at the Sinotruk Rwanda Sales & Services Centre (some types have to be pro-ordered).
Not only that, the centre also offers excellent after-sales service, including maintenance and repair, with a guarantee that spare parts are available.
“We comfortably handle almost all problems including panel beating, engine service, and tire repairs,” assures Robert Rwamukaga, the supervisor at the Sinotruk garage.
And customers are guaranteed to be satisfied, as the experience at Sinotruk Rwanda Sales & Services Centre is unlike anything you will find at other truck-repair facilities in the country, as the supervisor himself can vouch for.
“In the past I used to repair other makes of trucks, and often they would be out of service for months because we had to wait for spare parts to be brought from abroad; that was really frustrating for the owners,” Rwamukaga says. “But with Sinotruk things are different: we have all the required spare parts, if necessary we can even re-assemble an entire engine.”
The centre also offers expert maintenance and servicing, which is vital for heavy-duty trucks given the nature of the work they are used for. They have a reliable partner in the China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec), which supplies them with high-quality engine oil that suits the requirements of trucks.
Thanks to the convenience of local sales and servicing of trucks, Asia Machinery Investments is doing brisk business in Rwanda, as its country manager Xing Jianzie attests. “We are gaining the confidence from the market, which has motivated us to expand our operations in Rwanda,” Xing explains. “We have started implementing our long-term plans which include acquiring land in the Special Economic Zone to construct a bigger service centre. And we have also opened a second spare part shop in Nyabugogo.”
Read this article and more in issue n° 76 of Hope Magazine.