SA’S beleaguered manufacturing sector is short on good-news stories but there are exceptions. Military equipment group Paramount has proved that with the right technology and business model, SA manufacturers can hold their own against the best in the world.Paramount’s Mbombe 6X6 armoured combat vehicles are rolling off the production line. They are part of an order for 50 vehicles for the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF), won in the face of fierce international competition.“Jordan is acquiring one of the world’s most technologically advanced armoured vehicles,” says Ivor Ichikowitz, Paramount founder and executive chairman. “JAF found the Mbombe to be in a league of its own in key areas such as mobility, ballistics protection and cost effectiveness.”While Ichikowitz does not disclose the price of the Mbombe, he says: “It is 25%-30% cheaper than equivalent US and European vehicles.”Another factor in Paramount’s success in Jordan and other countries to which it exports is what Ichikowitz ter...

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