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AUTOXPRESS DISTRIBUTES VIPAL BRANDED TREADS ACROSS EAST AFRICA  AutoXpress International Ltd (AutoXpress), the importer, distributor, and retailer of tyres, auto parts, and accessories, serving retail and corporate customers in Kenya, is distributing Vipal’s rubber materials across the East African market to retail and corporate customers. The company’s business relationship with Vipal, one of the world’s largest rubber manufacturers, began in 2015. “Vipal is a well-known quality product, and we use it as our pre- mium rubber for our premium fleet customers,” said Sandeep Shah, the company’s Managing Director. “We have been wor- king with the global rubber manufacturer for the last 8 years with a positive working relationship. “There are many budget retreaders around, with the main com- petition focused on price. However, because of our Marangoni equipment we have superiority in our process. Our equipment includes shearography, automatic puncture detection, a CNC Buffer and an Automatic Builder,” he added. The family-owned business was founded by Gosar Raishi Shah in 1958, started operations trading as Nyanza Petroleum Dealers, operating in the tyre retail business. The company later rebran- ded itself in 2008 as AutoXpress and made forays into Rwanda. The renowned tyre distributor currently operates 59 retail and wholesale branches including well-equipped fitment centres across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. Selling around 1 million tyres per annum, it has investment by a private equity firm—AfricInvest Capital Partners (AfricInvest), one of the most experienced private equity investors in Africa. Sandeep points out that Kenya has a long retreading history consisting mainly of commercial light truck and TBR tyres with approximately 20 retreaders countrywide and a total market demand of between 15-20,000 units monthly, of which AutoX- press claims a 10% market share. “Although there are many bu- dget treads from India, Malysia and South Africa in Kenya, Vipal is our premium product priced above all these budget brands,” he said.   P.50 

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