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ISSUE 65(FREE READ)

Powerstar relocates to newly renovated premises

Powerstar Zimbabwe has recently opened new premises at 24 Martin Drive in Msasa, Harare. Previously they operated from Industrial Exchange Group’s (IEG) premises at 5 Martin Drive. It’s conveniently located close their bonded warehouse just a little way further up the road at the corner of Martin Drive and Harrow Road. As part of IEG Powerstar occupied smaller premises but the division soon outgrew the space available. The new premises are spacious, light, contemporary and have been tailored to perfectly suit their needs.

IEG is the umbrella company for a number of subsidiaries including Loadmax (abnormal freight solutions), Machinery Exchange, SPE (Spare Parts Exchange), Mr Radiator and, of course, Powerstar. This means that the group has vast experience and a network of contacts within the supply chain for industrial machinery and heavy duty trucks.

Powerstar Zimbabwe was established in 2010 and has the sole dealership for Powerstar trucks and the Powerstar FT Series. Together they provide a wide range of truck, trailer and bus options with a full aftersales service and backup across Zimbabwe. Their extensive, fully stocked Parts Sales Shop, which is conveniently incorporated at their new premises, provides genuine guaranteed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts for every need. Their highly trained and experienced workshop staff are able to provide full maintenance and servicing for all Powerstar vehicles from 3 tonne trucks to heavy haulage units, as well as assisting with technical queries.

Powerstar’s range includes the FT Series (a partnership between Powerstar and Foton) for medium and heavy trucks including tippers, dropsides, water and fuel bowsers, drill rigs, chassis cabs and horses, crane trucks, honey suckers, refrigerated trucks and box bodies. They offer the VX range which includes many of the same options as the FT range and includes ready mix trucks and bitumen distributors. They also offer the V3 range of long haul trucks configured to a 6×4 horse.

Powerstar can also supply the Shacman F3000, H3000 and X3000 range of trucks, as well as Asiastar buses and a wide range of 3 axle trailers and tankers manufactured by Henred Fruehauf. Their parts sales division supplies OEM spares for bus truck and trailer parts for Powerstar, Shacman, Foton, Faw,
Sinotruk, Henred, Asiastar and Yutong.

When Powerstar took over the new premises the site had been vacant for a while and had fallen into a state of disrepair. Following the vision and direction of Geoff Reilly, one of the founders of the Powerstar business, the premises were completely renovated, refurbished and updated to function better, as well as enhancing Powerstar’s corporate image. Work on the premises started in June 2020 and the new workshop and showroom was officially opened in early 2021.

The scope of the upgrade was very broad with Powerstar’s own artisans and builders undertaking most of the work, or sub-contracting where needed. The front façade had decayed and needed to be revamped with some of the vertical slats or louvres needing to be repaired or replaced. The slats have been painted in graded shades of grey, white and maroon in keeping with their corporate colours. The street front has been landscaped – still preserving most of the more established trees. A portico over the front door was installed with a large Powerstar logo above and as a result the branding is clearly visible from the street. New aluminium and glass doors were installed at the entrance to modernise and update the façade. The result is a modern looking, clean and welcoming entrance. Clearview fencing separates the front façade from the street and provides secure guarded parking for customers.

The electrics and plumbing throughout the complex were rationalised and brought up to code.

Powerstar’s management favours an open plan layout so much of the interior layout was changed with walls demolished to create a better spatial flow. The front doors lead to an open entrance foyer – which displays Powerstar’s various awards over the years including Top FT Sales Dealership of the year – 2021, Best FT Dealer in Southern Africa – 2020 and Top Powerstar Truck Dealer – 2019. To the right, through glass doors, is the reception and admin section, while on the left is a meeting room for staff and customers. The existing parquet floors were sanded and resealed, enhancing their original elegance and preserving some of the unique personality of the building.

An existing wall was knocked out almost completely to open the entrance to the showroom, Parts Sales and the coffee shop. Three wide stairs lead down from the entrance to the showroom with modern, industrial looking steel and cable balustrades. On the inside of the showroom the remaining section of the dividing wall has been painted a warm, deep red with a crisp white Powerstar logo above. The painted wall is unplastered brick work in keeping with the industrial aesthetic. The showroom has a very high roof and can easily accommodate three vehicles on display which can be driven in through new roller shutter doors. New translucent roof sheets were installed to augment the natural lighting provided by a high row of fixed windows. It’s a light, bright space that almost makes the vehicles look like displays in a sculpture gallery.

To the right is the long spares sales counter with storage behind, set under a new lean to roof – increasing the usable service and storage space available. The parts sales division is separated from the showroom by a low balustrade in front of which is displayed a number of quirky and fun sculptures created from junk metal bits and pieces. It adds a light-hearted and interesting element to an industrial showroom and echoes the gallery feel.

To the left is the coffee shop and restaurant – The Truck Stop Café – currently managed by Leroy Wallace, the son of Kerry Wallace from the acclaimed Shop Café, formerly of Doon Estate. It focuses on healthy and nutritious, freshly prepared meals as well as a variety of salads, vegetarian options, cakes and pastries. They also make the best coffee in town! The restaurant was designed by the Wallaces and Powerstar management with input provided by interior designer Brigette Lotter and metal worker Lindy Rowlands – formerly of ArtMart at Doon. There are crisp black and white floor tiles, exposed brick work on the counter and silver galvanised steel wall cladding on one section as well as on the bulkhead above. There is bar style seating inside and also outdoor seating on the verandah deck. A little community is getting established, much to the delight of Msasa workers and visitors. It’s a great place for business meetings and a Friday afternoon wind down.

Beyond the main showroom is the workshop for light vehicle repairs and servicing provided for a number of companies with bigger fleets of vehicles. Beyond the small vehicle workshop is the wash bay which has an ingenious water supply option. There is a pit to service the vehicles however because of the high water table in the area it soon began to fill up with water from the surrounding substrate. Instead of seeing it as a problem a pump was installed and the water is now recycled and used in the wash bay – a great green and eco-friendly innovation!

Set in the back corner of the property is the workshop for bigger vehicles. It’s a warehouse structure of steel and Chromadek and has been modified to suit Powerstar’s requirements. There’s a translucent gable wall at one end and new skylights in the roof and as a result the workshop has ample natural light. The roof was raised to accommodate larger vehicles and new, larger roller doors were installed for easy access. A tyre bay, welding shop and storeroom have been installed.

Also at the back of the property is the staff canteen where lunch is provided daily, plus there are showers and a changing room for employees. Powerstar believes in taking care of their workforce.

To contact Powerstar:
VISIT: 24 Martin Road, Msasa, Harare
TELEPHONE
+263 (0)242 446 737
+263 (0)787 319 451
+263 (0) 242 446 673
EMAIL
trucks@powerstar.co.zw

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