Air compression is a necessary aspect of every industry, from mining to medical to hospitality. Until now, the South African market has had limited access to premium, cost competitive and high-quality air compression units and associated products. That is fast changing as Probe, South Africa’s largest leading importer and distributor of premium batteries and auto electrical parts, launches top international air compressor brands into the local market. Probe is in the progress of consolidating its product diversification strategy by developing strong robust business silos in the different segments: automotive, mining and industrial.
Probe’s CEO, Frank Rovelli, says that South African market conditions have enabled Probe to actively pursue this exciting opportunity. “While air compressors are used in a widening range of applications, from DIY domestic use right through to heavy industrial applications, there is currently a dearth in the supply of premium, high-quality air units, associated parts and specialist knowledge for both pre- and after-sales support. As a trusted brand with a solid network and fifty years of experience in this market, we’re taking that gap and it fits with our industrial division expansion strategy.”
Probe’s commitment to the air compressor market is expected to take the company to a R1 billion business by 2020. “Our aim is for Probe to be one of the top three compressor suppliers in South Africa,” says Rovelli. “Strong relationships with leading international manufacturers and suppliers will enable us to bring a variety of air compression products that provide high-quality air for any application to market. As a family-run business with a decades-long track record in having established and maintained partnerships with top international automotive brands, we are confident that our industrial business, which manages the air compressor segment, will build the same track record over time.”
Established in 1963, Probe provides distribution and aftermarket support for world-class batteries, alternators, starters and associated spares for a range of vehicles, including American, European and Asian vehicles, through a national dealer network. The expanding range includes engine cooling fans and viscous fan clutches, lamps and work lights. Air compression is the most recent addition to the company’s arsenal of premium, yet competitively priced products.
In particular, Probe has exclusive distribution rights for Stanley Fatmax, a product of FiniNuAir (FNA) largest manufacturer of piston compressors in the world. The Fatmax is an excellent and versatile product offering, used in business and industrial applications. Additionally, it performs well in a consumer DIY setting.
The FINI, another global leader in air compression that has been in operation for over 60 years, will also be supplied to the local market through Probe. The FINI is especially relevant for the mining and industrial markets, including powering industrial lights, where a steady flow of compressed air is required for long periods of time while being able to manage fluctuating surges which are particular in settings such as these.
In the transportation industry, Probe’s SCC air compressor can be extensively used for providing air for tyres, drills and pneumatic tools. Probe’s goal with the SCC air compressor is to distribute this to the entire automotive industry and into every fitment centre across South Africa.
Frank says, “Probe is committed to providing top quality combined with exceptional service for every power need. The addition of the air compressor aspect to our product range now enables us to provide the complete power and air package to our customers. Probe is aiming to take this market by storm. Keep watching this space.”