To our valued clients and friends,
It’s hard to believe we are halfway through 2022, but then a quick look back at the last 6 months reminds you the year has been pretty eventful both locally and globally. Keeping up with the news and trending topics this year has been a frantic experience, all of which has had an impact on all of us in some way. Despite the recent release of yet another set of horrific crime stats, what is really encouraging is the resilience of South Africans to just get on with it and make the best of what we have. That rings true for us here at Armormax, where our clients don’t want to leave our beautiful country and its many opportunities but would rather face reality and protect themselves against the threats we all face.
In fact, just last week we consulted with a couple who had to decide between investing in their safety and security or leaving permanently for the UK. Because of whom this particular individual is in South African commerce, it would have been a great loss to us had they decided to leave their home in SA. Thankfully our proposal around their vehicles, and security measures through our partners was well received and implemented. We are proud that we offer a solution that makes this a reality more often, and we keep the greatest and most influential business brains here at home to grow our economy and build our nation.
Just as we mention above, we are not immune to global and domestic economic pressures. Because all our ballistic materials are imported, our business is highly exposed to global trends and exchange rate variances. In the last 6 months we have had a 17% to 25% increase in the cost of our ballistic materials, not to mention the knock-on effect of the fuel price escalations on airfreight and our local supply chain. For this reason, we have little choice but to increase our pricing from 1 July this year, on an average of 8% across all our builds. We are thus still absorbing much of the pricing pressure ourselves as we have done in the past.
Just a note or two on this- we are often asked why we don’t use the cheaper materials available to keep our pricing the same. This is not a compromise we are willing to entertain. Our philosophy is to use only the best of what is available, and that is a quality decision not a pricing decision. At the same time, there are a few shortcuts we could take in our armouring processes and material uses that would still pass the certification standards, but we are insistent on having our own standard that is unmatched in South Africa, and in many cases internationally too. Just as an example, we approached a German armouring company to quote on a B4 build that use the same suppliers and materials that we do. Effectively, their quote was 4 times as expensive as ours, and that does not include any taxes or shipping costs. For the same thing… Food for thought.
We have been watching the recent violent crime developments in Kwa Zulu Natal and determined there would be a strong demand for our solution in certain areas of the province. We explored several possibilities of how we could offer our solution to the market and have partnered with certain motor dealerships and coastal motor retail groups to introduce Armormax to those most at risk. We recently spent a week in the province engaging with and training dealer staff to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skill to serve our potential clients. From this, two new development projects have also been committed to, details of which will be released in the coming months.
Armormax has been using Optima Ballistic Glass as our exclusive supplier for many years now. We are immensely proud of the relationship we have formed with the South American company where we are often involved in the development of new ballistic glass solutions. Notably, Armormax is the only armouring company in Africa that Optima will supply to, based on a shared vision and philosophy that only the best quality will do.
Optima have over the years proven themselves to be the leaders in ballistic glass manufacturing, specialising in the automotive sector. Their advantage lies in their commitment to constant development and improvement which results in the greatest clarity, ballistic performance, and longevity possible. As their name suggests, Optima basically means state of the art. Consult with us on your next armoured build at our factory, and we will gladly explain in depth why their ballistic glass is so imperative to the quality product we deliver.
Our first trio of armoured Mercedes-Benz V-Class models have been handed over to their respective owners- one of them being a B4/B6 hybrid as per the customer’s request. Being a Mercedes-Benz Approved Van Partner means that our builds have no effect on the warranty and maintenance plan of these vehicles, providing even greater peace of mind to our customers. To view the video of the completed product, click here.
If you follow us on social media, you would have seen us talk about our new demonstration Toyota Land Cruiser 300. We asked our followers to give it a nickname, and after so many good suggestions were sent in, we decided the most fitting name should suit our values, such as protecting the circle of life… And so, Mufasa is the name of the beast you see above. Going one step further, we are documenting the build of this car (one of several LC 300’s currently in build) on our social media pages to give our followers a sense of what goes into building an armoured car and seeing the transformation that takes place under the skin. Follow the story by liking our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Our Approved Vehicle Sales program is doing very well. We will soon be welcoming some more vehicles that will go through our stringent quality check and refurbishment process before being offered to a growing pre-owned market. We must note though that we are often aware of vehicles that will become available for sale in the near future, so if there is a particular vehicle you may be interested in, please contact us to either source your vehicle of choice or add you to our wishlist when the car of your dreams becomes available. Click here to view all the vehicles available for sale currently.