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SA players dominate, grow fleet management


The number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in South Africa reached an estimated 1,1-million in Q4-2016. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12,6%, this number is expected to reach 1,9-million by 2021.
According to new research from IoT analyst Berg Insight, the market is dominated by a group of aftermarket telematics players including Cartrack, MiX Telematics, Ctrack, Altech Netstar and Tracker which are all headquartered in South Africa and have installed bases of more than 100 000 fleet management units each on the domestic market.
Notably, these top five players together represent as much as two thirds of the total number of active fleet management systems in use in the country today.
“Foreign telematics players have generally not managed to achieve any top-ranking market shares on the South African fleet management market so far,” says Rickard Andersson, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
TomTom Telematics, Pointer Telocation and Geotab are all examples of international providers that are active in the country. “Most other foreign vendors have more limited presence and many renowned international players have not yet entered South Africa at all,” Andersson points out.
He adds that the remote location and the relatively high telematics penetration on the market – combined with the presence of an abundance of local solution providers including an exclusive group of dominant domestic players – can act as barriers to entry for international fleet management providers eyeing the South African market.
The new edition of Berg Insight’s report on Fleet Management in South Africa for the first time also includes an outlook on the overall African market.
Africa is clearly a highly diverse geographic region from a fleet management perspective. The continent can in general be divided into three sub-regions – South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) and Northern Africa.
The South African fleet telematics market is far ahead of the rest of the continent in terms of adoption, whereas sub-Saharan Africa is the least developed region if excluding South Africa.
Northern Africa is comparably advanced and well ahead of sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to fleet telematics penetration, though still quite a bit behind South Africa.
The African fleet management market beyond South Africa is described by many industry representatives as challenging – though certainly also promising – for several reasons. The recent weak economic environment and foreign exchange rate fluctuations in combination with the unstable political climate makes the market a challenging business environment overall.
There are, however, promising prospects for players adapting to the local market dynamics as the Rest of Africa market has considerably more untapped opportunity than what South Africa can offer at this stage.