Globally, the economic and business climate has undergone significant change and has faced many challenges over the past number of years. LIXIL Africa has not been immune to these challenges but has faced them head-on and used them as opportunities for growth, to identify gaps in its offerings, to improve service levels, internal operations, and to enhance its product offerings to its customers both within South Africa and in sub-Saharan Africa.
As the proud home of Cobra, GROHE, Vaal and Apex Valves, LIXIL Africa has chosen to adapt and transform to ensure that it is providing the very best sanitaryware fittings and fixtures design, innovation and technology to the African market. LIXIL Africa made the decision to cease the manufacture of Cobra and Vaal products in South Africa and to instead source from the LIXIL network globally .
Seneca Lutchmana, Leader at LIXIL Africa, states that, “Cobra factories have been a part of the South African landscape for over 60 years and their closure marked the end of an era. After extensive market analysis, insights, and research, we realised that continuing to manufacture our products locally did not enable us to compete in an evolving industry”.
This move has meant that Cobra and Vaal have undergone a restructure locally in South Africa where two new LIXIL Africa distribution centres were set up in both Durban and Cape Town, resulting in local job creation for roles that did not previously exist in this space.
Seneca went on to say that “we want to reassure our customers and our consumers, that this closure is in no way indicative of LIXIL Africa exiting the South African market. In fact, this move has enabled us to bring the latest global designs, advanced technology, and innovation to the market. LIXIL Africa has been, and will continue to be, the proud home of Cobra, GROHE, Vaal and Apex Valves.”
In leu of these refreshing changes taking place at LIXIL Africa, Cobra revitalised their brand positioning to the new “Here For You” campaign. A campaign and positioning that takes the Cobra brand into the homes as well as the hearts of customers. A campaign focusing on the moments where product and end-user interacts – the most important times where using a brand such as Cobra can alter the very essence of your everyday moments.
Corrie Stride, Leader of Marketing at LIXIL Africa claims that with the changes, “we will be in a better position to continue to serve and offer our customers, merchants and consumers increased value, better designs and more product innovation whilst at the same time staying true to the quality and reliability that South Africans have come to know.”
The local LIXIL Africa offering moves beyond product offerings to an improved after-sales service, plumber, customer and community training, enhanced sourcing, logistics and warehousing as well as improved customer service. Transforming in line with the global LIXIL organisation, LIXIL Africa is moving towards embracing growth, learning and true transformation.
LIXIL Africa plans to continue its growth in markets outside South Africa with its already well-established networks in the SADC region and its operation in Nairobi, Kenya which supports its customers in East Africa.
LIXIL Africa looks forward to continuing to serve the African market for many years to come.