Growing Zimbabwe-based transport entity, Impala Car Hire has opened a new branch in Lusaka, Zambia.
The development, according to chief executive Thompson Dondo, was part of the company’s target to expand its footprint across the SADC region. He said Impala Car Hire was seeking to establish a vibrant car hire service in Southern Africa with their next target being Windhoek, Namibia.
“We want to give people from this region our services and we have set up a branch in Central Lusaka in Zambia. Since we started early January, business has been positive while the response has been encouraging,” he said.
The Zambian operation started with a fleet of 25 cars. “We will be adding more vehicles according to the market response. Our hope is to spread wings in Zambia and get into several other cities,” he said.
Impala has three branches in South Africa and Dondo is optimistic that the company will open in several other cities in the neighbouring country. “In South Africa, we opened three branches with plans to add more very soon,” he said.
In South Africa, individuals make the largest part of their clientele.
“The market in South Africa is dominated by individuals and that makes business better,” he said.
He said the Zimbabwean operations continued to face challenges although it continued to strive.
“Business has not been well for us in Zimbabwe because we need foreign currency to buy new vehicles. We cannot afford to go for a while without a new fleet of cars and that has been one of our major setbacks,” he said.
Dondo also expressed concern that insurance companies in Zimbabwe were under-valuing some of their vehicles.
Impala Car Hire has four branches in Zimbabwe – two in Harare, one in Bulawayo and another in Victoria Falls.