More competitive pricing is on the way for the South African automotive abrasives market thanks to Dask Distributors launching a new manufacturing partnership with leading international materials provider Saint-Gobain.
Abrasives are used extensively in the automotive and engineering sectors. And until recently, the vast majority of abrasives were manufactured offshore and imported as a completed product — resulting in higher costs in South Africa.
But Dask Distributors has invested in state-of-the-art abrasives manufacturing machinery from Italian equipment maker Biko. The equipment will allow Dask to produce abrasives locally with the highest level of accuracy.
Saint-Gobain will be providing the raw materials for this production, sourced from its global network which spans from Asia to the Americas and Europe. In turn, Dask Distributors will be converting these raw materials into finished products and supplying them back to Saint-Gobain so that they can be distributed to their customers.
Dask Distributor’s manufacturing unit will also be converting other raw materials into end-products that can be supplied to all the major vehicle manufacturers in South Africa, as well as other industrial and automotive customers in the refinishing market.
This initiative will support the government’s localisation drive to bring manufacturing back to our shores, as well as creating several local jobs at a time when every work opportunity counts amid the COVID-19 crisis. There’s a competitive benefit to using local supply chains as government has several initiatives in place that enable rebates for manufacturers.
Trent Bomberg, Managing Director for Dask Distributors, says: “In this tough economic climate, it makes sense to be able to give our customers the products that they need at the most competitive prices. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have been looking for more locally made and competitively priced consumables, and through this partnership and we are able to do exactly that.”
General manager for Saint-Gobain South Africa, Tommie Smit, adds: “Saint-Gobain is one of the biggest manufacturers of abrasives in the world and is the only international supplier of the three major types of abrasives. Through this partnership, we believe we will deliver the highest productivity and cost performance ratio at significantly reduced supply lead-times.”
Renai Moothilal, executive director of the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM), has congratulated Dask Distributors on the new venture. “This was exactly the kind of outcome we expected as the local sector moves into a new phase of automotive manufacturing, underpinned by the SA Automotive Masterplan 2035,” he says.
SAAM 2035 has the objective of moving the country towards a 60% localisation level.
From distribution to manufacturing
Through this partnership, Dask Distributors will also seek to distribute abrasive products into the SADC region, thereby driving down costs for the automotive and engineering sectors in neighbouring countries. The move to manufacture these products in South Africa comes as Dask Distributors continues to evolve from being a distributor to that of a manufacturer as well.
“As a distributor, the company has established itself in South Africa as a high-quality provider with over 3000 products, ranging from non-paint products, tapes, masking, cleaning, chemicals, abrasives and many more. The move to set up a manufacturing arm means the company fits into the company’s focus on becoming a high-quality end-to-end provider,” adds Mr Bomberg.
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