The US-based winch manufacturer Warn says South Africa is one of two countries crucial for the development and testing of its winch products.
The South African terrain offers harsh conditions and extreme use of 4×4 vehicles make it an ideal testing environment for the strength and durability of Warn winches.
US-based Warn international managing director Randolph Norris, who was in South Africa, said that much of the company’s product development has been based on input from off-road drivers in SA.
“South Africa and Australia are key markets for design input and development,” he said.
Norris stressed that the 63 year old company manufactures its winches in the US and will not outsource production to another country.
“Warn products are US-built, which has been the case for over six decades and we employ over 700 people dedicated to the Warn brand. Quality, reliability and innovation continue to be the cornerstones of product development and manufacturing,” he said.
Norris cited an example of the development of the high-performance Warn 9.5XP winch, overseas design staff met with South African winch users. The product was developed around input from local users based on what they expect from a high-performance high-end winch.
“One year later we launched the product. The 9.5XP has the largest motor in the industry, is the most powerful and the fastest.”
Norris said Warn will conduct a major review of its products this year. “The next generation will comprise further innovative technology, also based on input from the South African market. This, combined with our engineering capability, will ensure our ongoing market leadership.”
He said that Control Instruments-Automotive, the sole distributor of Warn in South Africa, has an extensive distribution network. “We are proud to be associated with the company and we see a large potential emerging market, 25 to 40 year-olds.” Warn is also investigating the creation of an Afrikaans landing site and has a local Facebook presence. (www.facebook.com/warnsa)
Warn manufactures more than 600 products and accessories for automotive, powersports, industrial and commercial users. The company distributes its products worldwide through direct and indirect sales in 65 countries on six continents.