Taking Aussie-tested 4WD parts into PNG
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In a country consisting almost entirely of remote locations and rugged,
mountainous terrain, a reliable vehicle is a requirement for getting around
– which is why Terrain Tamer 4WD decided it had something to offer the
Papua New Guinea (PNG) market.
The Don Kyatt Group, which
encompasses Terrain Tamer, started as a spare parts store in a single Melbourne
location 50 years ago and has grown to a global organisation that employs about
140 people across 14 branches both local and internationally and has a network
of stockists around the world.
General Manager Brent
Hutchinson said the essence of the company had not changed but the development
of the Terrain Tamer brand enabled the company to move from a service focus to
a product manufacturing business.
‘Our founder is still
managing director, and our product offering is still led by our core value of
attention to customer requirements,’ he said.
‘It’s really been the
vehicles that have evolved, from Bedfords and Leylands to Landcruisers and
Nissans – but, although the scale has moved to exporting, the key concept of
“if a part can be broken, what can we do to make it stronger?” is still what
Terrain Tamer has a range of
more than 40,000 spare parts that it provides to customers such as emergency
services, farmers, mining contractors and recreational 4WD enthusiasts in more
than 80 countries.
Creating the Terrain Tamer brand
enabled the company to build a distribution network of stockists for its
product and provided an opportunity to
Challenges of a tough market
Terrain Tamer has been providing products to customers in PNG for more than
20 years through a remote service, with parts ordered from its Australian
warehouses packed for shipping overseas.
Hutchinson said the mountainous island nation was a challenging environment
for vehicles, making it a perfect fit for Terrain Tamer and its range of
‘We sold parts to PNG customers for years but we knew that, to provide the
kind of quality experience and responsive service we aim for, we needed to
establish a presence in the country itself,’ he said.
‘So, after scoping out the potential of the market for the past couple of
years, we made the move to get a warehouse established in Port Moresby.’
The Port Moresby warehouse, opened in February 2018, adds a new location to
a global network that includes Terrain Tamer operations in New Zealand,
Fiji, Europe and Australia.
Despite the advantages of a presence in the capital, the terrain and
infrastructure provide challenges to the day-to-day operation of the
business, Hutchinson said.
‘Just because we are in Port Moresby doesn’t mean it’s easy to ship to all
areas of PNG,’ he said.
‘Transport is a big challenge – it’s not a challenge we find in too many
countries, but we are quickly learning how to be flexible with freight
companies and ship from Australia to these regions if needed.’
‘Understanding the physical challenges the 4WDs go through has been another
sharp learning curve, and one that will see us developing specific
solutions for these vehicles for the next 10 years!
The road to PNG and beyond
Austrade had previously helped the Don Kyatt Group with entry into the
European market, so the company was keen to seek out that same support to
break into PNG.
Hutchinson said Austrade had provided solid advice and guidance about the
PNG market and about accessing Australian Government assistance for market
‘Austrade was a great sounding board in discussions about operations in PNG
and highlighted a few considerations for sustained success to factor in
when opening,’ he said.
‘The fact that there is reasonable trade between our two countries was a
big help, too – cost of goods is very important in a country with a much
lower minimum wage than Australia, so we need to ship our products with as
little cost increase as possible to ensure it’s affordable to the average
PNG vehicle owner.’
The Don Kyatt Group has also made use of the Export Market Development
Grant (EMDG) scheme administered by Austrade to market its products in
other countries, including Thailand, Fiji and France, during its expansion
into international markets during the past few years.
PNG is the focus at present but the Don Kyatt Group has plans for future
expansion to take the Terrain Tamer brand to customers in other parts of
the world, Hutchinson said.
‘We are a slow and steady company that has been growing every year of our
existence for 50 years, so further expansion to countries that need us most
is certainly on our radar,’ he said.
Hutchinson said he gets a kick out of meeting customers in far-flung
corners of the world and hearing about their experiences.
‘When I get to travel to these incredible locations and meet a customer who
is happy with our range and appreciative of how we’ve strengthened his
vehicle so he can get his job done – well, that’s just magic!’
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