Locally based company Billson Trucks Port Elizabeth announced yesterday that it will invest a total of R100 million in expanding its business and build a modern state of the art facility at the Deal Party entrance to supply and service Volvo and UD Trucks in the Port Elizabeth area. This could potentially reinvigorate the traditional heartbeat of industry in the Bay.
Mr Patrick Billson, owner of the company established in 1986 in Kempston Road, said the new development is envisaged to have a major impact as the gateway to Deal Party and Burman Road.
“I believe that we have neglected Deal Party to a certain extent in favour of Coega. Coega is great and has obviously been a great catalyst for our business but Deal Party has really been the heart of our original industrial area. I would really like to see it revitalized and cleaned up.
“With the acquisition of Volvo Trucks we are bringing business back into Port Elizabeth as I am a firm believer in keeping it local, supporting local companies and suppliers to boost our local industries, to create and sustain jobs,” Billson said.
The new building is designed to be ecologically friendly, more comfortable for employees as well as customers to enable a more efficient offering to customers. The dealership will be solar powered with insulated walling systems and have the capacity to harvest rainwater.
The objective being to have the most efficient green, eco-friendly dealership with the lowest possible carbon footprint in South Africa.
Construction is envisaged to take six months and that hundreds of jobs will be created.
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Dr Danny Jordaan congratulated Billson for his vision and commitment to the city.
“From an architectural and environmental standpoint, we must congratulate you. We must also congratulate you for the further R100 million commitment to the Metro. Like you, I was also born here and somehow this Metro binds us together.
“What we also want to do is to strengthen the overall industrial and automotive sector in this metro and what you are doing is in line with what we would like to achieve. This metro needs a growing economy, further investments and to create jobs.
“The development of Coega as an industrial zone does not imply that we are ignoring Deal Party as an industrial zone. There is no need to allow that to happen. Deal Party made a huge contribution to business in PE in the past and existing and new business must be encouraged to contribute in the same way you did. You must also link with Coega so that we can speak in one voice.
“Let us have a shared and common vision of what we want to achieve in the Metro. As we work in our own specific industries or sectors we have the same vision and focus.
“It is good to see locally developed initiatives get the support and become national and even international players,” Mayor Jordaan said.
Started in 1986 the commercial truck dealership grew exponentially over the years to become the leading supplier of new trucks, service, parts and allied services. Billson trucks are the largest used truck dealership in the Eastern and Western Cape.
“We have proudly held the UD Trucks franchise since 2002 and now with the hugely exciting acquisition of the Volvo Trucks Dealership in Port Elizabeth will auger well for growth of our business and justify the investment and commitment made to Port Elizabeth, Deal Party and the transport industry,” Billson added.