The number of active fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in South Africa reached an estimated 1.3 million in Q4-2017. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14%, this number is expected to reach 2.5 million by 2022, according to a new research report from the IoT analyst firm Berg Insight.
South Africa is a relatively mature telematics market and the penetration is comparably high from an international perspective. Far from all deployments are however full-scale advanced FM solutions. A notable share of the installed fleet telematics systems on the South African market is represented by comparably low-end tracking systems, e.g. light FM solutions, including SVR systems extended with basic FM features.
The South African fleet management market is clearly dominated by five domestic players with broad telematics portfolios, which together account for as much as two-thirds of the total number of fleet management systems in use in the country.
“Berg Insight ranks Cartrack and MiX Telematics as the largest providers of fleet management solutions in South Africa, both having estimated installed bases of more than 200,000 active units in the country”, said Rickard Andersson, Principal Analyst, Berg Insight.
He adds that the second runner-up is Tracker which in addition to its in-house developed solutions also markets fleet management systems powered by TomTom Telematics.
“The remaining top-5 players are Netstar and Ctrack which both have installed bases exceeding 100,000 units in South Africa”, continued Andersson. Additional examples of domestic aftermarket players include Digit Vehicle Tracking (Digicell), GPS Tracking Solutions (Eqstra Fleet Management/enX Group), Autotrak and PFK Electronics. In addition to TomTom Telematics, other renowned international providers active on the market include Gurtam, Pointer Telocation and Geotab.
“Foreign telematics players have however generally not managed to achieve any top-ranking market shares on the South African fleet management market so far. “Commercial vehicle OEMs including Scania, Daimler, MAN and Volvo Group have moreover all introduced fleet telematics solutions in South Africa, though the adoption levels remain relatively modest so far”, concluded Andersson.
Berg Insight’s new report on Fleet Management in South Africa 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 subregions – South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) and Northern Africa.
The two latter subregions together have an installed base on par with South Africa. The South African fleet telematics market is thus 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 by many industry representatives described as challenging – though certainly also promising – for several reasons. The weak economic conditions and foreign exchange rate fluctuations in combination with the unstable political climate make the Rest of Africa 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.