BATTERY manufacturer Chloride Zimbabwe says its market share has risen to 69% after the government banned the importation of batteries as part of measures to protect the local industry.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Chloride Zimbabwe is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ART Corporation.
The company’s head of marketing, Panganai Kufakunesu, told NewsDay that their market share grew from 54% in 2011 to the current 69%.
“Our market share in 2011 was at 54% and now it has grown to above 69%, and we are quite happy about that. This is due to the fact that we improved the product supply as well as the support we get from government. We used to have 11 distribution branches in 2014 and now we have over 25 branches countrywide. This has assisted us to improve the market share,” Kufakunesu said.
In 2016, the government gazetted Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 which restricted the importation of batteries, among other goods manufactured locally.
“Our plant capacity to produce batteries is up. We are now producing batteries that we had not been producing before. The outlook of our batteries also changed,” he said.
Kufakunesu said they were going to launch a much-sought-after maintenance-free battery this year to meet local demand.
“We are also now exporting about 30% of our products. We currently export to Malawi and Zambia and we are (now) working on Mozambique and Botswana,” he said.
The company invested $3 million in battery-making equipment in 2016 and has since broadened its product range to include other brands such as Exide Premium, Deltec and Su-Kam.
It also produces solar, railway locomotive and forklift batteries, among others.