MAN Mobilises Powerful Truck Sales Team
With its 2011 year-end financial report quoting an increase in revenue of 12% to a new record of €16.5 billion, the MAN Group is expecting moderate but steady growth across its global operating sectors during 2012.
The Group’s 43% year-on-year increase in operating profit to €1.5 billion will enable MAN Truck & Bus AG, the commercial vehicle division of the group, to continue its global expansion efforts in key regions around the world with South Africa earmarked as a strategic southern-hemisphere market.
According to Bruce Dickson, Deputy CEO, MAN Truck & Bus SA, “Apart from the BRIC nations, Brazil, Russia, India and China, South Africa is an important emerging market for multinational organisations and for MAN, developing its operations in this country positions the company strongly for product penetration into Africa, the continent offering the most growth potential in the global truck market.”
In recent years, Munich-based MAN Truck & Bus AG has adopted a rigorous policy of empowering its national leadership teams around the world with decision-making authority at the point of sale which facilitates greater efficiency in product and service delivery to customers.
“The local trucking industry gets more competitive every year and there is an increase in demand from fleet operators for greater product support from truck suppliers. While premium-class trucks differ little in overall quality, there is much room for brand differentiation when it comes to speed-to-market - the ability of a truck supplier to respond swiftly to customer demands,” adds Dickson.
Closing the 2011 financial year with positive market share growth, MAN Truck & Bus SA has streamlined its truck sales operation to further increase its customer proximity, enabling senior decision-makers within the organisation to directly address customer requirements, ensuring lowest possible truck lifecycle cost.
“Total cost-of-ownership is now the primary purchasing consideration for most fleet operators. MAN is able to offer market-beating trucking solutions by supplying technology-driven vehicles that are robust and fuel efficient. Furthermore, MAN trucks have extended service intervals backed by market-leading warranties and lower spares pricing. Vehicle customisation, driver training and around-the-clock roadside assist services from MAN are also helping differentiate the brand from competitors. Most importantly, all MAN personnel are skilled and committed to ensuring maximum vehicle uptime for all customers,” says Dickson.
With an understanding that truck transport is essentially a ‘people’s business’, Dickson has, over the last 18 months, built a team of highly-skilled truck sales people to assist him in his endeavours to continuously improve customer satisfaction and market share.
“MAN has a unique corporate culture. It is dynamic, innovative and open, offering excellent career prospects for both truck marketers and technical personnel,” Dickson explains. “In recent months, MAN’s South African truck sales team has been bolstered by the addition of several highly experienced people, all of whom have risen through the ranks of leading truck OEMs in this country. Each team member has a comprehensive understanding of what drives commercial truck transport in South Africa and has the commitment and interpersonal skills to offer quality service to customers and meet the objectives of MAN’s global marketing strategy.”
Dickson’s recently streamlined national truck sales operation now comprises two Centres, namely; Centre North (including Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West Province) and Centre South (including KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State and Northern Cape provinces).
Both Sales Centres are headed by MAN Truck & Bus Management Board Members; Mike McDonald at Centre North and recently appointed Brenden Duthie at Centre South. MAN TopUsed also falls under Dickson’s portfolio and is headed by Grant Sheppard.
With offices in both Centres, Dickson is further assisted by Isando-based MAN National Truck Sales Manager, Mark Gavin; MAN Truck Product Manager, Livingstone Mulaudzi and MAN Truck & Bus SA Marketing Communications Manager, Patience Dumisani.
A significant boost to MAN’s local truck sales team is Dickson’s February 2012 appointment as a Vice President on the MAN Truck & Bus AG board in Germany. While this new title will not detract from his duties as Deputy CEO in South Africa, it will give MAN’s South African truck sales team board-level representation at the organisation’s Munich head office.
While Dickson is duly pleased with his appointment as Vice President, he is quick to pass credit to his South African colleagues.
“The senior MAN board in Germany has recognised South Africa as a hotbed of truck marketing talent and I’m privileged to work alongside people who are committed to forming long-term relationships with our customers, rather than simply nothing up deals. Our MAN, VW and TopUsed trucks have built a solid reputation in the market for their proven reliability and I’m proud to say that the team that backs them is equally equipped,” Dickson concludes.