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  People News

Commercial Vehicle Engineer’s People pages give you unrivalled coverage of the latest news on road transport and commercial vehicle engineering job changes, and the stories behind them. Tell us your news by calling Denise on +44 (0)1428 605605, e-mail: denise@cvengineer.com or tweet us @CVEngineer1.

 
 

PEOPLE NEWS SEPTEMBER 2017

THINK OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ENGINEER FIRST. WE USUALLY ARE.

Here's the headline news on road transport people and job changes. For the latest full stories subscribe or log in to the current edition.
For the latest job vacancies, click on JOBS.

 

SEPTEMBER 2017

Iveco is on the hunt for a new UK truck division director following the departure three months ago of Nick Pemberton. He is now retail sales director at Guest Motors, a West Bromwich-based dealer group claiming, through its Guest Truck & Van and Sherwood Truck & Van divisions, to be Iveco’s biggest in the UK. There are also several Fiat Professional van dealer sites in the Guest group. Mr Pemberton is based at the Sherwood Truck & Van site at South Normanton, Derbyshire, close to the Sheffield, South Yorkshire region where his career began back in 1973 as an apprentice technician.
After several years working as a technician, Mr Pemberton moved into sales in 1982 at a local Mercedes dealer, where he was a commercial vehicle sales executive. Next he spent seven years as group sales manager at what then was the Lex Commercials Daf Trucks dealer group, based in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. He moved to Renault Trucks UK in 1997 as dealer development manager, later becoming dealer principal at a group of Renault Trucks-owned sites in London and the south-east. Mr Pemberton remained with Renault Trucks in the UK until 2011, initially as sales director at its JDS Trucks dealer operation and then as a regional sales manager at its BRS, rental and contract hire division. He joined Iveco as key account fleet sales manager at the end of 2011, with promotion to truck business line director coming in October 2015, following a senior management reshuffle at the CNH Industrial subsidiary by the then newly appointed managing director Stuart Webster. Mr Pemberton’s successor as Iveco UK truck business line director will report to Mr Webster and work alongside Emmet Wrafter, appointed light commercial vehicle business line director six months ago following Ian Lumsden’s move to Tesco (Commercial Vehicle Engineer November 2016).
In his new job at Guest and Sherwood Truck & Van, Mr Pemberton reports to managing director Robert Spittle.

 

David Graziosi has been appointed to the top job at Allison Transmission, the US-based independent multinational which claims to be the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic gearboxes for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Mr Graziosi, 51, will take over as Allison chief executive on 1 June next year, following the retirement in May of Lawrence Dewey (Commercial Vehicle Engineer January).
Confirmation by the board of directors of Allison Transmission Holdings Incorporated that Mr Graziosi is being promoted from his current job of chief financial officer and president comes as no surprise. He joined the company as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer in November 2007 shortly after it had been sold by General Motors to the Carlyle group and Onex Corporation (becoming independent later through an initial public offering (ipo) on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2012). Mr Graziosi was appointed president in January 2016 and his wide-ranging responsibilities now include Allison’s global operations, purchasing and supplier quality, legal, corporate affairs, and information systems as well as financial matters. His background is in financial management, starting with an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree in finance from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Before joining Allison Mr Graziosi had been vice president and chief financial officer at Covalence, a multinational manufacturer of polyethylene-based films, adhesives and coated products. He has also worked in similar jobs for other big US-based chemical firms.
Mr Graziosi’s successor as chief financial officer has yet to be appointed. Both internal and external candidates will be considered, says the company.
More information at www.allisontransmission.com.

Boughton Engineering’s group sales and marketing director Steve Price has wasted no time in finding a new southern area sales manager following the departure last month of Rob Brandon. After just over six years at Boughton, he has moved back into truck sales, this time at the Heathrow site of the big Mercedes-Benz and Fuso Canter dealer group operated by Wiltshire-based Rygor.
Mr Brandon’s successor at Boughton, taking over a sales patch stretching from East Anglia in the east to Cornwall in the south-west, is Stuart Wheatley. He is no stranger to the sort of hook-loader and skip-loader equipment in which Boughton specialises, having previously worked in sales at Transloader Services, a Luton, Bedfordshire-based supplier and repairer of truck-mounted cranes and other hydraulic equipment. Mr Wheatley also has extensive experience of operating and driving trucks in the waste-management sector. After leaving his family’s car and commercial vehicle sales business he was a truck owner-operator for several years before joining Transloader last November.
At Rygor, Mr Brandon is now selling the complete range of Mercedes and Fuso Canter trucks but says that his background means it is inevitable that he will tend to specialise in the municipal and waste sectors. Before joining Boughton in July 2011, Mr Brandon had spent more than 14 years in Mercedes truck sales at another dealer, S&B Commercials.
More information at www.boughtonengineering.com

 

AUGUST 2017

 

Road transport operators and their suppliers with something to shout about in noise reduction are being urged to enter the latest round of the annual awards scheme run by the Noise Abatement Society. This is the Brighton, East Sussex-based group which has been campaigning since 1959 against what its founder John Connell described as "the forgotten pollutant". Nowadays the organisation runs what is claimed to be the UK's only helpline offering free advice on noise and how to lessen it.
The John Connell Awards scheme was started in 2001 to recognise individuals and organisations judged to have been "outstanding in their efforts to both reduce the impact of noise nuisance and pioneer practical and innovative solutions to noise pollution." The "quiet logistics" category of the scheme (sponsored by the Freight Transport Association) was won last year by the Pret A Manger fast-food chain for its hefty investment in noise-reducing equipment on delivery vehicles, operating mainly in London. This year entries from the transport and logistics sector are being sought in two other categories as well: "silent approach" (sponsored by Brigade Electronics) and "innovation" (sponsored by the Institute of Acoustics).
There is no entry fee. The deadline for entries is Friday 22 September.
This year's award-winners will be revealed at a House of Commons presentation on 31 October.
More information at www.noiseabatementsociety.com

 

 

Information kits designed to make fork-lift operation safer are being distributed free of charge next month (September) by a big Chesterfield, Derbyshire-based training firm. Mentor FLT Training managing director Stuart Taylor is encouraging fork-lift truck operators of all kinds to use the “show your hand” kits to lessen, in particular, the risk of serious accidents involving forklifts and pedestrians.
Collisions continue to be the leading cause of workplace transport accidents, he says, pointing to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showing that pedestrians account for 57 per cent of fork-lift accident injuries.
The lack of any standardised guidance on interaction between fork-lift drivers and pedestrians is a big part of the problem, in Mr Taylor’s view.
The kits being distributed by Mentor include posters and videos. They become available from 1 September as part of the month-long “Safetember” campaign run by the Berkshire-based Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA). “But forklift safety isn’t just for Safetember,” says Mr Taylor. “We’re hoping that the impact of the show-your-hand kits will be long-lasting. It is a clear, universal and easy-to-enforce message – making it an ideal tool for any site to adopt.“
More information at www.mentortraining.co.uk.

 

The Europe, Middle East and North Africa marketing operation behind Alcoa aluminium truck and bus wheels has a new boss this month. He is Felix Sellmann, promoted to marketing manager for a two-year period from 4 August while Orsola Ujvary is on maternity leave.
Mr Sellmann joined what was then Alcoa Inc in April 2012 as wheels sales manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Late last year Alcoa Inc’s bauxite, alumina and aluminium divisions were spun off into a separate publicly-traded company called Alcoa Corporation. The remaining part of Alcoa Inc, including its aluminium rolling, casting, and wheels and associated “transportation products” division, was renamed Arconic.
Mr Sellmann is now Arconic’s marketing manager for Europe. The company says that it expects soon to appoint someone to take on his former responsibilities for sales in northern Germany, to work alongside David Himmel, hired last year as sales manager when Mr Sellmann’s patch was expanded to include Israel.
Before joining Alcoa five years ago, Mr Sellmann worked for a Daf Trucks dealer in Dortmund, Germany. Before that he worked for Brillux, a paint and varnish manufacturer based in Münster, Germany.
Ms Ujvary has been Alcoa truck and bus wheels European marketing manager for just over two years. Before that she worked for US-based car-making giant General Motors in her native Hungary, latterly as business development manager in its Chevrolet Europe division.
Alcoa forged aluminium truck and bus wheels, sold under brand names including Dura-Bright, Dura-Flange and Workhorse, are claimed to be “up to 47 per cent lighter and five times stronger than steel wheels”. They are also considerably more costly.
More information at www.arconic.com.

 

A one-day Edinburgh conference in October on “innovation and safety in road transport engineering” will include the Scottish Government’s minister for transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf, among its speakers. The conference, to be held at the Scottish Rugby Union’s BT Murrayfield stadium in western Edinburgh on Wednesday 18 October, is being organised by the Scottish arm of the IRTE division (formerly the Institute of Road Transport Engineers) of the Society of Operations Engineer (SOE), a London-based engineering institute. Ian Smith, technical manager at Gray and Adams, a big truck and trailer bodybuilding group based in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, is chairing the Scottish group organising the event.
“We are at a decisive point for road transport in Scotland with many high-priority issues to discuss,” he says. “This conference is a meeting point for anyone interested in the future of road transport and indeed commerce in the region. We are thrilled to welcome keynote speaker Humza Yousaf MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament), who is obviously integral to the policy that will affect the decision-making of all transport operators in Scotland and beyond.”
More information at https://irtecscottishconvention.eventbrite.co.uk.

 

 

JULY 2017

A new business development director starts work this month at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), the UK’s biggest road safety charity. He is Tony Greenidge, formerly sales and marketing director at Fleet Operations, a long-established, independent, fleet management and consultancy firm based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. Mr Greenidge joined Fleet Operations as a commercial manager/account director in September 2014. Before that his extensive experience in motor industry and financial services sales included spells at Inchcape Fleet Solutions, Hitachi Capital and the Arval vehicle-leasing division of the BNP Paribas banking group. Mr Greenidge also set up and ran his own sales training and consultancy business between 2007 and 2009.
At the Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire-based IAM (with training divisions such as IAM Drive & Survive trading under the IAM RoadSmart name since April 2016) he reports to chief executive Sarah Sillars. Though his job title is different, at IAM Mr Greenidge in effect is replacing commercial director Lesley Upham. She leaves the charity this month after two years in the post. Ms Upham joined IAM in July 2015 after a 20-year career at Thatcham Research.
More information at www.iamroadsmart.com.

 

 

JUNE 2017

In Scania’s big south-west region UK operation, stretching from Bicester in Buckinghamshire to Land’s End in Cornwall, Nigel Jones has been promoted from regional sales director to regional executive director. He fills the vacancy created by the surprise departure four months ago of Dave Cussans. He joined Scania as south-west region executive director in January 2010 following a long (20 years) and distinguished career with MAN Truck & Bus UK. Mr Cussans was director of operations based at the company’s UK head office in Swindon, Wiltshire until resigning in mid 2009.
His reasons now for leaving Scania after seven successful years in charge of the fast-growing south-west region are unclear.
Mr Jones has been the region’s sales director since January 2008. Before that he worked for Keltruck, a big Scania dealer group based in the midlands, initially as sales administration manager and then for more than eight years as account manager. Previously he studied automotive engineering at Evesham College before working for Leaseway, a now defunct Leeds-based rental and contract hire company, as contract services manager.
At Scania’s south-west region Mr Jones now heads an operation with 350 staff, twelve dealer sites and two additional workshops based at customer premises (“vehicle maintenance units” in the jargon).

 

Bob Gowans, one of the UK’s most highly regarded heavy commercial vehicle product engineers, is back at Mercedes-Benz UK after two years working for a leading heavy-haulage trailer-maker. Mr Gowans, 35, had been Mercedes-Benz UK heavy truck product manager for four years when he moved to Hampshire-based Andover Trailers as commercial manager in April 2015. Last month he returned to the Milton Keynes base of the Mercedes truck sales and marketing operation in the UK following a radical management restructure under managing director Mike Belk. Mr Belk became boss of the Mercedes-Benz Trucks business unit in the UK in May 2015.
Following the retirement of sales engineering director Nick Blake and the departure two months ago of truck marketing manager Lisa Caveny, Ross Paterson has become head of product and marketing. As product and sales technical manager, Mr Gowans now reports to him. There are four product managers and a homologation engineer now reporting to Mr Gowans. He describes the opportunity to fill this new role as “a great one that was too good to turn down.”
Before joining Mercedes initially at the end of 2010, Mr Gowans had worked for Paccar’s Leyland Trucks as a lead engineer in its sales engineering and homologation department. He is a chartered engineer (CEng) and a member of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) who joined Leyland Trucks early in 2007.
Another Mercedes-Benz truck marketing vacancy in the UK was filled last month by Jamie Fretwell, media relations and communication manager at the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) for the past three years. He now heads the UK Mercedes truck division’s public relations and internal communications operation, taking over from Simon Wood. He has moved into van sales at Rygor, a big Mercedes commercial vehicle dealer group based in Wiltshire.

 

Senior management changes at both the UK’s two biggest road transport trade associations come into effect next month. At the 16,000-member Freight Transport Association (FTA), based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Elizabeth de Jong starts her new job as policy director on 3 July. She fills the vacancy created by the departure in February of Karen Dee.

Meanwhile over at the 6,000-member Road Haulage Association (RHA), based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, marketing and communications director Rod McKenzie is preparing to take on additional responsibilities from next month as director of policy and public affairs. Promoted to policy director and now reporting to Mr McKenzie is Duncan Buchanan, whose main responsibilities will be the “day-to-day detail of RHA policy”. These RHA management job changes result from next month’s early retirement, at the age of 61, of Jack Semple. He has been RHA policy director for the past 11 years.

Mr Semple’s predecessor for six years in that post was Karen Dee. She then moved to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) where she was head of infrastructure before joining FTA as policy director in 2011. Four months ago she moved to the Airport Operators Association as chief executive.

Ms de Jong joins FTA from Rail Delivery Group (RDG), an organisation set up in 2011 to encourage better co-operation between Network Rail, the government and train operating companies. She has been RDG director of policy since April 2015.

Before that she worked at the government’s Department for Transport (DfT), latterly heading the team responsible for the contract specification of the East Coast railway franchise. This is the train operation which the DfT was forced to take into public ownership after it was abandoned by National Express. The operation is now run by the Virgin group. Ms de Jong first joined the DfT in 2009 as franchise manager for rail commercial contracts. She has an MSc (Master of Science) degree in transport studies from Cranfield University.

She is “an expert in delivering success in highly complex, high-profile industries,” according to FTA chief executive David Wells.

More information at www.fta.co.uk

 

At the RHA, Jack Semple’s impending retirement means promotion for Duncan Buchanan. He joined the association in August 2016 as one of two new deputy policy directors. For ten years before that Mr Buchanan had worked at the DfT, latterly on road haulage licensing and regulation. Now he has been promoted to RHA policy director. Colin Snape continues as deputy policy director.

Before joining RHA in 2006, Mr Semple had spent 25 years in road transport journalism, after moving to London from his native Glasgow. Titles on which he established a reputation as a respected editor and industrious researcher and writer include Motor Transport, Commercial Motor and Truck. He also spent three years in public relations and marketing, between 1992 and 1995, at WS Atkins, a big engineering group.

Now Mr Semple says that he is looking forward to a “sabbatical for a year or so, before maybe looking at other opportunities.

More information at www.rha.uk.net.

 

 

MAY 2017

Richard Turfitt is to be Britain's new senior traffic commissioner, taking over from Beverley Bell at the beginning of next month. The appointment follows Mrs Bell’s decision not to apply for a second five-year term as senior commissioner. She is also retiring as traffic commissioner for the north-west area. Mrs Bell became Britain’s first female traffic commissioner when she was appointed in 2000. Then aged 40, she was also the youngest. She became senior traffic commissioner five years ago.
Mr Turfitt has been traffic commissioner for eastern England since 2008. He continues in this role as well as   leading the traffic commissioner team. Like Mrs Bell, he is a lawyer by training. He left private practice to work as a government prosecutor on behalf of the Departments of Social Security and Health, the Treasury and the Prison Service. In 1999 he moved to the Health and Safety Executive, helping to establish its Litigation and Enforcement Advisory team.

 

Retlan Manufacturing, the parent group of trailer manufacturer SDC is to have a new chief executive. On 1 July Enda Cushnahan succeeds Mark Cuskeran, leaving Retlan after 10 years as its helm. Mr Cushnahan is an accountant by training who has been with Retlan/SDC since 1978, ultimately becoming finance director and then more recently chief operating officer.
SDC was established in 1978 in Toomebridge, Northern Ireland and continues to be based there. The trailer-maker was bought in 1998 by Retlan, which itself was bought in June last year by the acquisitive giant Chinese trailer manufacturer, CIMC (China International Marine Containers). Retlan has around 900 employees, most in Northern Ireland but some at a smaller SDC plant in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. CIMC is a huge Chinese trading conglomerate, established in 1980 to make shipping containers. Since then it has expanded relentlessly and now encompasses over 300 companies worldwide, with around 60,000 employees in total. Its trailer business is part of the CIMC Vehicles subsidiary, set up in 2002.

 

The UK arm of Fraikin, a big commercial vehicle contract hire and fleet services company, has a new fleet operations director. He is Keith Atkins, previously technical and compliance manager at waste management company Biffa. He is based at Fraikin’s UK head office in Coventry, Warwickshire and has overall responsibility for the company’s vehicle compliance. Former operations director Mark Newnes left last year to take over a similar job at Oldham, Greater Manchester-based vehicle accident repairer C&C Vehicle Services.
But Mr Atkins is not exactly a direct replacement for Mr Newnes. Fraikin UK’s senior management team has been restructured since Ed Cowell joined as chief executive last summer from tool and plant hire company Speedy Services, where he had been sales and marketing director.

 

 

 

APRIL 2017

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche has wasted no time in filling the vacancy at the head of the group’s mammoth truck and bus division created by the shock resignation two months ago of Wolfgang Bernhard. With effect from 1 March, Martin Daum has been promoted from president and chief executive at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) to Daimler management board member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses worldwide. His successor as DTNA boss, with effect from 1 April, is Roger Nielsen, promoted from chief operating officer.

 

Ian Roberts has left HMF (UK), where he has been managing director for nearly six years, to become the first engineering and production director at Bevan Group, an expanding truck bodybuilder based in Wednesbury, West Midlands.
HMF (UK) is the Peterborough, Cambridgeshire-based UK arm of a big Danish manufacturer of truck-mounted cranes. Before joining the company, Mr Roberts spent five years as general manager at Massey Truck Engineering, a Sheffield, South Yorkshire bodybuilder specialising in tippers and hydraulic equipment. Before that he served in the Royal Engineers.
A chance to return to production engineering is what Mr Roberts sees as the main attraction of his new post. “HMF manufactures great products, but does so in Denmark,” he says. “Its UK business is essentially a sales, distribution and after-sales operation. I’m an engineer at heart and realised that I missed the construction side. It was the opportunity to get back into production with Bevan that really appealed. This is an exciting new adventure for me, and a challenge that I’m relishing. Bevan Group has grown out of all recognition over the last ten years and is now a force to be reckoned with. The company has exciting plans for further expansion and I’m looking forward to playing my part in taking it to the next level.”

 

A series of Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training courses related to truck and bus tyres and wheels and approved by JAUPT (Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training), the Milton Keynes body responsible for regulating Driver CPC courses and training centres, has been introduced by tyre-maker Michelin, in association with Junction 17 Defensive Driver Training, based in Sandbach, Cheshire. The four half-day courses in the Michelin scheme can be held at Michelin’s own Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire training centres or on-site at vehicle operator premises. The four main subject areas covered by the courses are tyre identification, wear and damage patterns, wheel security and tyre maintenance.
“We’re conscious that some CPC courses aren’t very engaging,” says Michelin training centre manager Carl Williams, whose 22 years in the tyre business make him exceptionally well-qualified to comment on this subject. “That’s why we’ve developed interactive, hands-on sessions that will get people out of their seats. When you combine that approach with the unparalleled knowledge of the tutors, we believe we have developed a product that will be of real benefit to drivers and managers. Walk-around checks are often seen as another tick-box exercise. There needs to be an industry-wide shift in perceptions. You’d be surprised by how many drivers carry out the daily checks without fully understanding what they’re looking for or the implications of poor tyre upkeep. After completing our training, drivers will have gained skills that can be applied in their professional lives. And operators will have improved peace of mind that their tyres won’t cause an O-licence breach.”
More information at http: //training.michelin.co.uk.

 

 

MARCH 2017

Ray Ashworth is to retire within a few months as managing director of Daf Trucks, the UK's top-selling truck manufacturer. His successor is Robin Easton, who has returned to his native UK from India where he has headed Paccar's sales and marketing operation, based in Pune, for nearly three years. Mr Ashworth, 63, has been Daf Trucks Ltd managing director since early 2009. Before that he was commercial operations director. His long and distinguished truck industry career began with an engineering apprenticeship at Leyland Motors. Mr Easton, 50, started working for Paccar, the US-based Daf Trucks parent group, in 2004. For seven years until he moved to India in mid-2014 he was Paccar's treasurer and head of investor relations, based at the group's Washington state head office.

 

The light commercial vehicle division of Iveco’s Basildon, Essex-based UK and Irish Republic sales and marketing operation has a new director from this month. He is Emmet Wrafter, who fills the vacancy created four months ago by the departure of Ian Lumsden. Mr Lumsden, 49, is now head of fleet and equipment at the huge home delivery operation of Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket chain (Commercial Vehicle Engineer November 2016).
Mr Wrafter, 38, joins Iveco as light business line director (responsible for the Daily range) from the Slough, Berkshire-based UK division of LeasePlan, a Dutch corporation claiming to be “the world’s largest fleet management company.” He has been a LeasePlan UK director, in charge of “tactical sales and stock”, for the past year. For nearly five years before that Mr Wrafter worked for Ford, initially in commercial vehicle marketing at Ford of Europe, and latterly as dealership zone manager. Before moving to Essex to join Ford in 2011, he ran his own multi-franchise car and van dealership, Wrafter Motors, in his native Ireland. But like many Irish dealerships, this company was hit hard by the post-2008 financial crisis and crashed in December 2010. Mr Wrafter is no stranger to the heavy truck sector. His father ran a haulage firm in the Irish Republic for more than 30 years.

Grahame Neagus is the new head of light commercial vehicle sales at Volvo Group’s Renault Trucks UK division. Mr Neagus is now responsible for managing Renault Master van and chassis-cab sales through Renault Truck dealers in the UK and Irish Republic. He takes over that job from Richard Chamberlain who last month became head of sales in the UK at the Fiat Professional light commercial vehicle division of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group.
Mr Chamberlain joined Renault Trucks UK as lcv brand manager in September 2014. Before that his jobs had included sales management at car dealer and rental operations for companies such as General Motors, Saab (now defunct) and Mercedes-Benz.
His appointment to the new position of head of sales at Fiat Professional follows the appointment last July of Alejandro Noriega as UK country manager, to whom Mr Chamberlain now reports.
At Renault Trucks UK, reporting to commercial director Nigel Butler, Mr Neagus says that his main aim is “developing and implementing a robust and successful lcv strategy for the Renault Master product range for the UK and Irish Republic that will deliver significant growth in both volume and profitability over the coming years.”
His previous jobs include six years at Lloyds TSB Autolease, three as head of the lcv consultancy arm at Lex Autolease, and one as lcv director at Prohire, based in Stoke-on-Trent.
Now Mr Neagus works from the Renault Trucks UK main office in Warwick.

 

Competition in the telematics and fleet management systems sector of the UK commercial vehicle markets seems set to be ratcheted up several notches following sweeping senior management changes at Isotrak. Last month Jim Sumner became the Milton Keynes-based company’s executive chairman and wasted no time in appointing Tony English, a former MiX Telematics Europe managing director, as chief executive.
Isotrak is one of the UK‘s longest-established telematics suppliers, with a history dating back to the 1990s when it started life as a division of the National Freight Consortium (NFC). Since then Isotrak has been through some periods of rapid expansion, not least into van fleet management systems, under the ownership of various private equity companies. But lately it has seemed to be lagging behind newer entrants to this sector, notably Microlise and MiX Telematics. In 2013 Lyceum Capital bought Isotrak from another private equity firm, Saints Chamonix, promising to accelerate expansion in the UK and North America. Lyceum directors Daniel Adler and Humphrey Baker joined the Isotrak board to work alongside executive chairman Gavin Whichello and managing director Greville Coe.
Now Mr Whichello is no longer with the company. Jim Sumner is the new executive chairman, former sales and marketing director and former chief executive Greville Coe has become a “strategic adviser”, and Tony English is the new chief executive. Non-executive directors at Isotrak now include Lyceum’s Daniel Adler and Mark Rogerson as well as former chairman John Hawkins.
“We see enormous potential in the team here,” said Mr Sumner last month. “Our primary focus is to provide customers with the premium levels of service and expertise which make a real difference to their success.” Blue-chip fleet operator names on the Isotrak client list in the past have included Asda, Eddie Stobart, Robert Wiseman Dairies and Sainsbury’s.
Mr Sumner brings considerable top-level management experience in both the truck and bus sectors as well as deep understanding of the demands of private equity ownership. He is a former managing director of Leyland Trucks, the Paccar-owned Lancashire-based manufacturer of Daf trucks, and a former chief executive of Optare, the Lancashire-based bus builder now owned by Ashok Leyland of India. In 2013 Mr Sumner led a private equity firm-backed management buy-out at James Briggs, an Oldham-based supplier of aerosols and chemicals, many used in commercial vehicle workshops. Between February 2014 and October last year, Mr Sumner was chairman of the Andrew Page vehicle parts distribution group. It was sold last October to US-based LKQ Corporation, owner of the Euro Car Parts operation in the UK.
Tony English is known by many seasoned truck fleet managers and engineers in the UK from his time at Tranman Solutions, a pioneering Bristol-based fleet management software company bought in 1999 by Lex Service, which morphed into RAC and then was acquired by Aviva (Norwich Union as it then was). More recently, between 2008 and 2015, Mr English worked at MiX Telematics, one of the biggest independent vehicle telematics suppliers in the UK. South Africa-based MiX Telematics grew substantially in Europe in 2007 with the acquisition of much of the Siemens CDO vehicle tracking and fleet management business, including Datatrak. Mr English was MiX Telematics European sales director for two years and then managing director for a little over five years.
More information at www.isotrak.co.uk.

 

 

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT) is to have a new president from May. He is Robin Proctor, supply chain director at the Travis Perkins builders merchants group. Mr Proctor’s long and distinguished career in logistics and transport includes senior posts at big retailers including Sainsbury’s, Iceland, Booker and Wickes. He is a Cranfield University visiting Fellow and a member of the Cranfield supply chain advisory board. As CILT president from 12 May, he will succeed Will Whitehorn, a Stagecoach Group non-executive director. Mr Whitehorn has been CILT president for the past year.

More information at www.ciltuk.org.uk. 

 

The Brussels-based Natural & Bio Gas Vehicle Association, NGVA Europe, has a new secretary general from this month. He is Andrea Gerini, former head of a powertrain development division of the Fiat group’s research and development centre, Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF).
At NGVA Europe Mr Gerini fills the vacancy resulting from Matthias Maedge’s move to the Brussels office of the Geneva-based International Road Transport Union (IRU).
More information at www.ngva.eu

 

FEBRUARY 2017

Turmoil this month at the top of the Daimler group’s giant truck and bus division follows the shock resignation of Wolfgang Bernhard. He has headed Daimler Trucks & Buses since April 2013 and has been a Daimler management board member for seven years. Mr Bernhard’s current employment contract runs until February 2018 but at a supervisory board meeting early this month he announced that he did not want this contract to be extended and was leaving the company with immediate effect “for personal reasons.”
“We regret this resolution, but we have a number of outstanding managers to succeed,” said supervisory board chairman Manfred Bischoff. “We thank Wolfgang Bernhard for his committed work and respect his personal decision.”
Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche, who already heads the group’s Mercedes-Benz Cars division, has taken on additional responsibility for running the truck and bus division until Mr Bernhard’s successor is appointed.
There is speculation that he decided it was time to leave Daimler (again) when it became clear that he was no longer in the running to succeed Mr Zetsche whose employment contract was extended by three years last year at the same time as Ola Källenius was promoted to head of Daimler research and development. Mr Källenius, a 47-year-old Swede, had his contract extended this month until the end of 2022 and is now seen as Dieter Zetsche’s heir apparent.
Mr Bernhard, 56, first worked for Daimler as a management consultant in 1990. He joined the company as an employee in 1992 as a project manager, working on cost-cutting and productivity improvements at car assembly plants. He left Daimler to work for rival Volkswagen and then again as a consultant in the mid 1990s but returned to Daimler in 2009 as worldwide head of the Mercedes-Benz vans division.
His predecessor as Daimler Trucks & Buses boss, Andreas Renschler, now heads its arch-rival VW Truck & Bus, encompassing MAN and Scania.
Mr Källenius joined what was then Daimler-Benz as a management trainee in 1993. His increasingly senior jobs since then include managing director of Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines (based in the UK), and global sales and marketing chief for Mercedes cars.
As for the highly ambitious Mr Bernhard’s next move, already there is speculation that he has his eye on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, where Sergio Marchionne is due to retire in 2019.

 

Daf Trucks president Preston Feight has been elected chairman of the commercial vehicle board of directors at ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), a big Brussels-based European association of vehicle manufacturers. Its commercial vehicle division has been chaired for the past twelve months by Volvo Group chief executive Martin Lundstedt (Commercial Vehicle Engineer January 2016).
Mr Feight, 48, has been Daf Trucks president, based at the Paccar group company’s Eindhoven head office in the Netherlands, since last April when he took over from Harrie Schippers. He has been promoted to Paccar senior vice president and is now based at the group’s head office in the US.
Mr Feight was general manager at Paccar’s Kenworth truck division in the US before moving to Daf. He has a BSc (Bachelor of Science) degree in mechanical engineering from Northern Arizona University and a masters degree in engineering management from the University of Colorado. He worked for Allied Signal Aerospace and Ford Motor Company before joining Paccar 18 years ago. Mr Feight was Kenworth chief engineer for four years until 2012, then assistant general manager, sales and marketing for three years before being promoted to general manager in January 2015.
Topics high on his agenda as ACEA commercial vehicle board chairman for the next twelve months include European Commission plans for the introduction of legislation on the measurement and certification of carbon dioxide emissions from trucks and buses. The commission is also expected to publish proposals on road infrastructure charging and on commercial vehicle safety, according to ACEA. UK government plans, if there are any, on exactly how such proposals will affect manufacturers and operators in this country when the UK leaves the European Union remain a mystery.
“Our industry’s top priorities this year will be continuing the drive to reduce CO2 emissions from road freight transport, further improving safety, and deploying the latest smart mobility technologies,” says Mr Feight. “2017 will be a challenging and busy year, with a lot in the legislative pipeline for the commercial vehicle sector.”
Two months ago Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche was re-elected ACEA president for a second year, saying that he expected emissions testing and “autonomous” vehicle development to be among ACEA’s top priorities in 2017. “Our industry fully supports the need for improved emissions testing,” he said. “However, we ask policy-makers to reconsider the proposed timeline giving us only a few months to comply. If there is one defining principle of our industry, it’s this: we are used to tackling technical challenges, provided reasonable lead-times are observed. The increasing ability of cars to exchange data with the outside world holds great potential to revolutionise the driving experience. With the right policy framework, we will seize these opportunities for our customers, here in Europe and around the globe.”
ACEA represents 15 Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers. They are BMW Group, Daf Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Group, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group.
More information at www.acea.be.

 

 

JANUARY 2017

Lawrence Dewey has decided to retire as chairman and chief executive of Allison Transmission, a leading manufacturer of a wide range of fully automatic commercial vehicle gearboxes, at the end of May 2018. The company’s board of directors says that both internal and external candidates will be considered before his successor is appointed.
Mr Dewey, 60, has been chief executive of the Indianapolis-based company since 2007 and is credited with having steered it skilfully from a perilous position as a division of an ailing General Motors to ownership by a private equity partnership between the Carlyle group and Onex Corporation and then to its current status as an independent public company, floated on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012 (Commercial Vehicle Engineer September 2016).
Mr Dewey’s motor industry career began in 1974 as a student at what then was the General Motors Institute, now Kettering University, in his native US. A series of promotions at GM then took him successively into its diesel engine division and then to the Rochester Products division, where carburettors and exhaust emissions control equipment were manufactured.
Mr Dewey joined Allison Transmission in February 1989. Posts he has occupied since then include production manager, aftermarket products manager, regional sales manager, managing director of Allison Transmission Europe, and director of sales and service marketing worldwide.
Despite increasing competition from big rivals such as ZF and Voith, Allison continues to claim to be the top-selling supplier of fully automatic commercial vehicle transmissions worldwide by a country mile, with an overall market share of around 60 per cent. An all-new manufacturing plant and “customer experience centre” was opened in Szentgotthárd, Hungary in 2011. 

 

Goldhofer, one of Europe’s biggest manufacturers of heavy-haulage trailers, is looking for a new chief executive following last month’s surprise departure of Stefan Fuchs. He had been a Goldhofer management board member for 17 years, chief executive since 2003. The company, based in Memmingen, Germany, is temporarily being headed by two other management board members, Hubert Schaller and Franz Bilmayer, until Mr Fuchs’s successor is appointed. The reasons for his sudden departure are unclear.
Goldhofer has a reputation as an innovator in trailer engineering. Its STZ-MPA low-loader trailer won the chassis category of the bi-ennial, pan-European Trailer Innovation awards in 2014, impressing judges with its MacPherson-strut suspension, a first on trailers of this type. Last year the Goldhofer Addrive SPMT(self-propelled modular transporter) came third in the chassis category of the 2017 Trailer Innovation awards (Commercial Vehicle Engineer October 2016). “Classic self-propelled heavy-duty modules are not suitable for fast travel over long distances,” points out Holger Stahnke, Goldhofer’s head of development and design. The Addrive SPMTcan be towed at speeds up to 80km/h.

 


FTA Ireland (FTAI), a Dublin-based, private limited company with close ties to the UK’s Freight Transport Association, has a new boss this month. He is Aidan Flynn, promoted from general manager of FTA Ireland’s business services division to fill the more senior general manager vacancy created by last September’s departure of Neil McDonnell. He is now chief executive at Dublin-based ISME (Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association).
Mr Flynn, 43, started working for FTA Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, in June 2011. For three years before that he had been managing director of his own company specialisng in driver training and road transport consultancy.
High on Mr Flynn’s to-do list for 2017 is the introduction in Ireland of VanSafe, an accreditation scheme for light commercial vehicles that follows in the footsteps of the FTA’s Van Excellence scheme in the UK. This is widely regarded as a well-established success though it ran into controversy five years ago after accrediting the Sainsbury’s home-delivery van operation in the UK even though serious failings in the supermarket’s approach to road safety management had been exposed in Commercial Vehicle Engineer.

 

DECEMBER 2016

After little more than two years in the job, Simon Elliott has quit as managing director of MAN Truck & Bus UK. His reasons for leaving the Swindon-based company, a Volkswagen group subsidiary, are unclear but it seems highly unlikely that he is moving directly to any rival truck, van or car manufacturer as it has been agreed that he remains at the head of the MAN truck and bus sales and marketing operation in the UK until the end of next month. Mr Elliott’s successor is to be Thomas Hemmerich, currently managing director of the MAN Truck & Bus sales and marketing operation in Austria. Unlike Mr Elliott, whose background is in car and van sales and who had no experience of the truck and bus businesses before joining MAN, Mr Hemmerich has a solid track record in this sector. He has worked for MAN since 2003, following ten years at ABB, a multinational engineering and technology group, where he was latterly managing director of a division manufacturing high-voltage cables and related products. Mr Hemmerich’s subsequent jobs at MAN include managing director of its German sales and marketing operation and senior vice president in charge of sales in Africa. He was the Munich-based senior vice president responsible for global truck and bus sales management for four years before moving to the Austrian sales and marketing operation, based in Vienna, in January 2015.
Mr Elliott’s short stint as MAN Truck & Bus UK managing director began in early September 2014 after Des Evans had been forced by ill health to stand down.
Mr Elliott previously was managing director of Volkswagen Ireland, responsible for sales and marketing of all VW group cars (Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat) and light commercial vehicles in the Irish Republic.
He was Volkswagen’s light commercial vehicles director in the UK for almost three years before moving to Ireland in July 2011.
At MAN Truck & Bus UK Mr Elliott had scarcely any time to settle into the new job before being faced with some challenging problems. Sales director Sandy Millar had quit in the summer of 2014 to go to Scania (Great Britain) as regional executive director for Scotland. And complaints from operators about persistent costly failures of Euro 5 MAN truck engines were beginning to reach epidemic proportions. Though Mr Elliott has been praised by some for the way he faced up to such problems (including poaching Ian Mitchell from Volvo Group as sales director), it is clear that his general approach to truck sales and marketing, seemingly based on car and van sales experience, did not go down well with all those reporting to him. There has been an exodus of senior staff from the company’s Swindon head office in the past two years, including long-serving aftersales director Vince Welsh, head of UK network development Andy Turner, and Ralf Schueler. He joined MAN Truck & Bus UK as marketing director in February 2016 but resigned within three months.
Mr Elliott says that he still plans to introduce a new CRM (customer relationship management) system at MAN Truck & Bus UK before leaving the company at the end of January.

 

Nathan Wilson is the new UK market development manager at Allison Transmission, a big global supplier of automatic gearboxes for commercial vehicles. Mr Wilson fills the vacancy at Allison’s, Ampthill, Bedfordshire sales office created by the departure in October of Gary Vasey. After working for Allison for nearly five years, he has joined Mitchell Powersystems as industrial engines product sales manager. Mitchell Powersystems is part of the £220-million-turnover, Glasgow-based Turner group of companies, specialising in the supply and servicing of equipment such as engines and transmissions. Allison gearboxes are among the products supplied and serviced by Nottinghamshire-based Mitchell Powersystems. So too are diesel engines from FPT (formerly Fiat Powertrain), JCB and Volvo Penta. Two months ago the fast-expanding company concluded a deal under which it becomes distributor in Scotland for small diesel engines, with power outputs less than 56kW (75hp), made by Kubota of Japan.
Mr Vasey joined Allison in January 2012 from Truckeast, a big Scania dealer group, where he had been area sales manager. But he is no stranger to Mitchell Powersystems, having been its aftermarket development manager between 2003 and 2005.
Nathan Wilson joins Allison from Essex Motor Company, a big Romford-based car dealer group, where he was aftersales director. He previously spent nearly 14 years as aftersales development manager at Hyundai’s car sales and marketing operation in the UK. His previous jobs include national account manager at EvoBus (the Daimler group’s UK bus and coach division) and commercial vehicles key account manager at Mercedes-Benz UK.
At Allison Transmission Mr Wilson’s main responsibilities now include maintenance and development of relationships with vehicle manufacturers and operators.

 

Ambitious expansion plans at a West Country haulier include opening several independent service and repair workshops across southern England and a recruitment drive for up to 25 more workshop staff. Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire-based Arthur Spriggs & Sons has hired Perry Reeves, former dealer principal at the Rossetts Commercials group of Mercedes commercial vehicle dealers, to head its diversification into the commercial vehicle aftermarket. The new dealer principal at Rossetts is Mike Evans, who left Cardiff-based Euro Commercials, another Mercedes truck and van dealer, early this year. The Arthur Spriggs workshop at Tewkesbury has just been given “authorised repairer” status by Mercedes-Benz UK. “I was hugely impressed by the drive and ambition of managing director Chris Spriggs and by the size and potential of the Tewkesbury site,” says Mr Reeves. “So I did not hesitate when this opportunity arose. The established facilities rival those of any commercial vehicle dealership and our plan is quite simply to create one of the finest workshops in the country.” The Arthur Spriggs haulage operation, including a fleet of mainly Mercedes trucks, is being transferred to a separate nearby site. There are plans to open new workshops in East and West Sussex. “Our message to hauliers is: we’re on your side, we understand your business and can provide the help you need,” says Mr Reeves. “Come and talk to us.”

 

Few industry sectors can match the generosity of road transport in supporting deserving charities. This has been much in evidence lately, from a wide range of vehicle operators, associations and their suppliers.
Last month at the final transport manager conference this year in the annual series run by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), international development charity Transaid was presented with a cheque for £70,000, raised by FTA members over the past three years through the association’s annual membership renewal scheme.
“We are delighted that FTA and its members continue to support Transaid’s work to such a significant extent,” says newly elected Transaid trustee board chair Jo Godsmark. “These funds, together with support from the wider transport industry, are vital in allowing Transaid to invest in research into new transport solutions, such as our original work on the bicycle ambulances, and have allowed us to establish a series of effective hgv driver trainer programmes to combat the escalating problem of road deaths in Africa.”
One of the most enthusiastic and imaginative teams in the latest Transaid “cycle challenge” fund-raising event, involving a gruelling 300-mile ride in South Africa in March 2017, comes from Volvo Group UK subsidiary Renault Trucks UK. The team comprises commercial director Nigel Butler, network truck and light commercial vehicle director Peter Murray, and transport solutions manager Tony Owen. The trio began training for the event months ago but last month decided to drum up more support from Volvo Group colleagues and any other willing sponsors by staging a turbo-trainer challenge at the company’s Warwick head office. The collective target for the trio was 100 miles in 90 minutes on the static turbo trainer. They were successful, and are attracting attention and publicity aplenty. “The countdown has begun, and with four months to go we wanted to launch our official campaign with the support of our colleagues,” says Nigel Butler. “There’s been a real buzz around the event and we’ve helped spread the word about Transaid, a very worthwhile cause and why we’re undertaking such a big personal commitment. Maybe we’ve also inspired a few more of the Renault Trucks team to get on their bikes.”
To support Transaid by sponsoring the Renault Trucks UK Cycle South Africa team go to
http://justgiving.com/companyteams/Renault-Trucks
More information at www.transaid.org, www.fta.co.uk.

 

 

NOVEMBER 2016

The vast UK home-delivery fleet of giant retailer Tesco is to have a new boss from next month. He is Ian Lumsden, currently light business line director at Iveco’s UK and Irish Republic sales and marketing operation. Mr Lumsden, 49, has been appointed head of fleet and equipment at Tesco.com where he will take over from Cleo Darler, with responsibilities including all legal requirements related to the maintenance and repair of around 5,000 home-delivery vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes gvw based at around 350 Tesco stores.
Ms Darler has been head of fleet and equipment in Tesco’s customer fulfilment division, based at its Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire head office, since August 2014 when she was promoted from fleet operations manager to succeed Dino Papas. He had moved to head of logistics at Tesco Hospitality, a division which then included Giraffe restaurants (subsequently sold off) and a small chain of Harris and Hoole coffee shops (sold this year to Caffé Nero). Mr Papas left Tesco in July 2015 and is now fast-track delivery operations manager at Argos, part of the huge Home Retail Group business which was taken over by supermarket Sainsbury’s in a £1 billion deal four months ago.
Mr Lumsden has headed sales and marketing of Iveco light commercial vehicles (the Daily range) in the UK since November 2015, following a management restructure by managing director Stuart Webster, then newly appointed.
The departure of sales director Stuart Beeton (now head of vans at MAN Truck & Bus UK) had prompted Mr Webster to separate light commercial vehicles more clearly from medium and heavy trucks (Eurocargo, Stralis and Trakker) by appointing Nick Pemberton as truck business line director and moving Mr Lumsden from UK marketing director to light business line director.

The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) has begun its latest annual search for the top tanker driver in the UK and Irish Republic. FPS member companies are being invited to nominate drivers for the 2017 award. The closing date for entries is 28 February 2017, with shortlisted finalists then due to be interviewed by the judging panel in March. The winner will be announced in April, ahead of the 2017 FPS Expo show in Liverpool on 10 and 11 May. Ian Ross, an NWF Fuels driver based at Nantwich, Cheshire is the current FPS driver of the year.
“Safety is the highest priority in the oil distribution industry, and the aim of the competition is to demonstrate industry-leading standards of customer care, skill and professionalism,” says FPS marketing and events manager Dawn Shakespeare.

Nomination forms for the competition can be found at www.fpsonline.co.uk/events.

 

Transaid, the high-profile charity focused on transport in developing countries, has a new chairman. She is Jo Godsmark, a director at Labyrinth Logistics Consulting and a Transaid trustee board member since 2014. Suttons Group chairman Graeme McFaull has chaired the charity for the past six years. “It was very important we put a strong successor plan in place,” he says. “Jo has been on the board for a couple of years and received unanimous support in her nomination. I am delighted that she will be taking the organisation onwards and upwards.”
Ms Godsmark moved into transport and logistics after leaving the University of Cambridge in 1990 with a masters degree in manufacturing engineering. She worked for the Mars food group in the Czech Republic before returning to the UK, first as the group’s head of logistics services procurement and then as European distribution buying manager. Ms Godsmark set up her own consultancy business, Supply Chain Design Company, in 2006. Two years later, this merged with Labyrinth, headed by Ruth Waring. Ms Godsmark has been a Labyrinth director since then.
“Like many of us, my relationship with Transaid started by making a donation at an industry dinner,” she says. “Since then I’ve taken part in the Cycle Tanzania challenge in 2015, where I experienced at first hand what it feels like to be a vulnerable road-user. I also got to see the impact of Transaid’s professional driver training programme with the National Institute of Transport in Dar es Salaam. I was incredibly moved by what I saw and it reinforced why Transaid has grown a special place in my heart.”
More information at www.transaid.org.

The latest in the usual end-of-year flurries of transport and logistics awards presentations began last month in London with The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT). This body now claims a membership of around 33,000 in 31 countries. The annual CILT awards scheme categories includes student of the year, young manager of the year, journalist of the year and “development of people”. The Sir Robert Lawrence award, named after a highly-regarded National Freight Corporation chairman of the early 1980s, has been presented annually by the institute (originally the Institute of Logistics and Distribution Management) since 1986 for an “outstanding and sustained contribution to the profession of logistics and transport”. This year’s winner is Alan Braithwaite, a professor at Cranfield University School of Management and executive chairman at LCP Consulting, a Berkhamsted-based consultancy firm he established in 1985.
Among the other CILT award-winners this year are Joshua Start of Wilson James, a security, logistics and business services firm, “young manager of the year”; Lisa Sweeney of Atlantic Container Line, “student of the year”; Paul Clifton of the BBC’s South Today programme, “journalist of the year”; Reading Buses, “development of people”; and Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, “information management”.
More information at www.ciltuk.org.uk.

 

OCTOBER 2016

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), the UK government’s “executive agency” responsible for ensuring new vehicles meet international safety and environmental standards, is to have a new chief executive from next month. She is Pia Wilkes, at present a senior manager at Horiba Mira (formerly the Motor Industry Research Association) in its test engineering, homologation and certification division.
Ms Wilkes is no stranger to the public sector, and to the VCA in particular. She was a board member at the agency, responsible for business development, between 2004 and 2007 before becoming a deputy director in the urban congestion division of the Department for Transport (DfT) and then strategy and customer director at what then was the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), now part of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Ms Wilkes’ career in vehicle engineering began at Lotus Engineering’s Norwich base where she started as a type approval engineer in 1996 before being promoted to proposals and business development engineer. She left Lotus Engineering to become business development manager at TWR Automotive, part of the high-performance car manufacturing TWR group which crashed into receivership in 2003. She was head of business development at Prodrive, an Oxfordshire-based motorsport and engineering company, for two years until the end of 2004.
After six months as a partner in a Birmingham-based executive recruitment firm, Ms Wilkes joined Mira Ltd (bought last year by Horiba of Japan) in 2012 as test engineering manager.
At the VCA she takes over as boss from Paul Higgs, acting chief executive since the departure of Paul Markwick in May 2015. Mr Markwick is now a director at the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), a public/private body set up six years ago with backing from four universities. He had been VCA chief executive for twelve years, during a time when the agency was drawn into the controversy over Volkswagen’s scandalous car emissions test cheating. Some environmental lobby groups, including Greenpeace, pointed to conflicts of interest at testing agencies like the VCA when they depended on test fee income paid by vehicle manufacturers.
“The government’s testing regime failed the public,” said a Greenpeace spokesman last year. “Our evidence suggests it’s not actually in the VCA’s interests to catch out the car-makers. Their business model – and it has become a business – is to attract manufacturers to test their cars with them. It’s a conflict of interest.”
The influential House of Commons Transport Committee last year called on the government to ensure that the UK has “a robust regulator who can keep ahead of developments in technology.” The Transport Committee evidently had serious doubts about the VCA’s position and performance. “That regulator does not exist today,” it said. “The VCA must make scrutinising manufacturers for non-compliance and questionable practices its first priority.”
The government must be hoping to draw a line under all the recent VCA controversy with Ms Wilkes’ appointment. “Pia will provide excellent leadership for the agency, and her industry experience, strong commercial background and engineering expertise will help drive the VCA through busy times ahead,” says DfT permanent secretary Philip Rutnam.

 

MAN’s efforts to break into the burgeoning UK van market, courtesy of its VW parent group, are being stepped up with the appointment of its first van product marketing manager here, based at MAN Truck & Bus UK’s Swindon, Wiltshire head office. He is Nick Handy, a highly-regarded engineer who has worked for the company for ten years, latterly as truck commercial bodybuilder manager.
In his new job as van product marketing manager Mr Handy reports to Stuart Beeton, the former Iveco UK sales director who joined MAN Truck & Bus UK as south west regional sales manager last November but became head of its vans operation in May, as the company was gearing up to start selling the all-new Volkswagen Crafter light commercial vehicles range, on show for the first time in Hannover last month. The Crafter, built in Poland, is badged as an MAN TGE when sold by MAN dealers.
Mr Handy joined MAN at Swindon in April 2006 as an applications engineer. He had previously been a project engineer at TH White, a Devizes-based firm then specialising in truck-mounted cranes.
At MAN Mr Handy was promoted to sales engineering manager two years ago, managing a team with responsibilities in the UK including homologation under European Union type approval regulations; new truck technical advice; and bodybuilder support. He has been commercial bodybuilding manager since April.
Mr Beeton was Iveco UK sales director from June 2007 until June last year when he quit shortly after Bob Lowden had resigned as the company’s managing director after only six months in the job.
“Nick’s role will focus on all aspects of the MAN TGE line-up to ensure it is ideally suited for our customers in the UK market,” says Mr Beeton. “In addition he will be developing our Vans to Go bodybuilder programme while supporting the sales network with product knowledge, training and technical expertise.”

 

Volkswagen’s UK commercial vehicles division is to have a new head of marketing from December, following this month’s departure of Kirsten Stagg.
She is Sarah Cox, at present communications manager at the Audi car division of Volkswagen Group UK. Ms Stagg is moving to another VW UK division, Skoda.
She has been VW’s commercial vehicle marketing boss in the UK since March 2014. Before that she was VW’s UK national communications manager. Ms Stagg’s first job with the group began in January 2010, running its social media operation.
Ms Cox started her first motor industry job, as sales and marketing manager for Mini cars at the Elms BMW dealer in Bedford, in 1999. Five years later she joined the VW group as an Audi area sales manager. She became Audi retail marketing manager in 2009 and was promoted to Audi national communications manager in January last year.

 

The van and light commercial vehicle arm of ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), the European vehicle manufacturers association, has a new chairman. He is Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Volker Mornhinweg. ACEA’s “light commercial vehicle general managers’ committee” was set up last year with Klaus-Dieter Schürmann, chief financial officer at the Volkswagen group’s Skoda car division, as chairman. The committee’s main role, according to ACEA, is to “set the strategic direction on policies affecting light commercial vehicles, notably including vans.” Its nine members are Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Iveco, Opel Group, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe and Volkswagen Group.
Mr Mornhinweg, 56, has been executive vice president of Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Vans business unit since April 2010. His long career with Daimler began as an apprentice machine fitter at its Sindelfingen plant in his native Germany in 1980. He graduated in engineering at Esslingen Technical College and then worked as a manufacturing process engineer. In 2000 he became responsible for planning at the entire global network of Mercedes assembly plants. His posts since then have included two years in charge of the group’s executive management development and over four years running the Mercedes AMG high performance car division.
More information at www.acea.be.

Neil Park is the new managing director of the big Volvo truck and bus dealer operation in Scotland and northern England. He has been promoted from regional aftersales director to fill the vacancy at the top of Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland created by the promotion four months ago of Martin Merrick to an executive management team post based at Volvo Group’s global head office in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Mr Park’s first job in road transport was as an apprentice technician at James Wilson Transport of Muirkirk, East Ayrshire. From there he moved to another Ayrshire haulier, John Maitland & Sons of Trabboch. Mr Park joined Volvo in 1993 as a technician. Within nine years he was retail development manager for Volvo’s truck and bus operation in Scotland, having meanwhile been successively service reception engineer, workshop controller and service manager at dealer sites in Edinburgh, Barrhead and Cardonald.

 

Carl Hanson has left building company Balfour Beatty’s fleet services division, where he has been head of national operations for the past five years, to become fleet director at Wincanton, one of the UK’s biggest logistics operators. There are around 3,600 commercial vehicles in the Wincanton fleet.
The fleet director post is said to be a new one, reporting to managing director Chris Fenton. “The experience and knowledge Carl brings with him will be of particular value as we continue to focus on innovation and helping our customers achieve even greater efficiencies,” he says.
Dave Rowlands, Wincanton’s technical service services director for the past 11 years, now reports to the fleet director.
Mr Hanson, 38, joined Balfour Beatty in 2007 as commercial manager of its civil and construction plant services division. Then he became plant services business manager in 2010, fleet services director in March 2014 and head of national operations in October 2011. Mr Hanson has a background in finance and accountancy and was commercial manager at Jarvis Infrastructure Services before working for Balfour Beatty.
The Wincanton group has around 18,000 employees including about 4,000 drivers, based at 200 locations in the UK and Irish Republic.
More information at www.wincanton.co.uk.

Carl Nash, a technician based at the Intercounty Truck & Van commercial vehicle dealer site in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, has been crowned “truck technician of the year” in the awards scheme run annually by Mercedes-Benz UK. Mr Nash, 40, came out on top ahead of five other technicians in a series of practical tests in last month’s finals of the competition at the company’s Wentworth Park site near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The six finalists had been whittled down by written tests from an initial entry of around 100. The winner’s prize includes a trip to the US, with visits to the Daimler diesel engine factory (formerly Detroit Diesel) in Detroit, a research and development centre in Portland, Oregon, and a Freightliner dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mr Nash has worked for Intercounty Truck & Van for ten years.

 

High-flying apprentices from the MAN Truck & Bus UK dealer network gathered at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull, West Midlands last month for the company’s latest annual apprentice awards ceremony. Award-winners included Daniel Stuart from MAN Swindon, first year mechanical apprentice; Harry James from HRVS Leicester, second year mechanical apprentice; and Dean Carter Pilgrim from Cordwallis Heathrow, third year mechanical apprentice.
“We have had 43 apprentices complete their training this year, and our new intake is a record number for us at 50 (collectively at MAN-owned and privately-owned dealers),” says head of UK service Paul O’Cain. “Apprenticeships are important for our future and all our trainees will be developing and extending their skills working across the range of MAN vehicles.”
More information at www.truck.man.eu/uk/en

 

Peter Johnson has been elected as the first president of Ben, a long-established motor industry charity (originally The Motor and Cycle Trades Benevolent Fund) providing support services and care centres. Mr Johnson is non-executive chairman of Marshall Motor Group, a big Cambridge-based car and commercial vehicle dealer group, and Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) chairman.
Until now Ben has been headed by a board of trustees chairman who also acted as president. This post is held at present by former Volkswagen and Leyland Trucks executive, Robin Woolcock. He continues as board of trustees chairman.
“I’m committed to working with Ben’s board and senior leadership team to help the organisation achieve its future potential by making sure Ben’s services are relevant to the needs of the people working in the industry and really add value,” says Mr Johnson. “Ben’s services are vital to the industry. The tailored, holistic care and support services that the organisation provides focus on the four main pillars of health and wellbeing: financial, physical, mental and social.”
More information at www.ben.org.uk.

 

SEPTEMBER 2016

The fast-growing European arm of BYD, a giant Chinese manufacturer of electric buses and the lithium ferrophosphate (lft) lithium-ion batteries used to power them, moves into a new London office this month and has appointed its first “country manager” in the UK. He is Frank Thorpe, a prominent figure in the UK bus and coach industry. Mr Thorpe, 50, joins BYD from the GKN engineering group’s Hybrid Power division where he was head of bus systems. This operation was set up two years ago when GKN bought Williams Hybrid Power for £8 million from the Oxfordshire-based Williams Grand Prix Holdings group, best known for its Formula 1 racing team.
Mr Thorpe had joined Williams Hybrid Power early in 2012 as head of bus systems following news that bus operating group Go-Ahead and Williams had been collaborating on development of hybrid drivelines including a flywheel-based energy storage system (similar to those used in F1) capable of being retro-fitted to buses in service. Before moving to Williams Mr Thorpe had spent six years as business development manager at Go-Ahead’s London bus operation, reporting to Phil Margrave, the group’s highly-regarded engineering director. He died in April last year.
Before joining Go-Ahead Mr Thorpe had been joint managing director (with his brother Jim) at the West London-based Thorpe-family-owned bus firm started by his father (originally as a coach operation). By the time the business was sold in 2004 to Metroline, part of the huge Singapore-based Comfort DelGro group, it ran around 100 buses.
BYD now claims to be the world’s biggest manufacturer of battery-powered buses. Last October it unveiled in London what is claimed to be the first pure-electric double-deck bus, following the official clinching of a partnership agreement with Alexander Dennis (ADL), the UK’s biggest bus builder. There are now five battery-powered BYD double-deckers with ADL bodywork operating in west London and based at the Wlllesden depot of Metroline, part of the huge multinational Comfort DelGro group of Singapore. Each bus is said to be capable of covering up to 180 miles on a single charge.

 

Three companies in the commercial vehicle industry, Leyland Trucks, Penny Hydraulics and ZF Lemförder UK, are among those shortlisted this year for The Manufacturer MX awards, a high-profile annual awards scheme run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in association with The Manufacturer magazine. The winners in the scheme’s 13 categories this year will be revealed at a Birmingham ceremony on 2 November.
ZF Lemförder UK, a Birmingham-based division of the giant ZF group that makes commercial vehicle steering and suspension components, is among six companies shortlisted in the MX Awards “world class manufacturing category”. It is up against Caterpillar NI, Coty Manufacturing UK, Dura Automotive, Hayward Tyler Group, and Siemens.
Paccar group subsidiary Leyland Trucks and Chesterfield, Derbyshire-based Penny Hydraulics, a designer and manufacturer of a wide range of lifting equipment, are both shortlisted in the “partnership with education” category. They are up against GE Aviation, Siemens, The Autins Group, and The MTC - Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre.
For more information on the 2016 MX Awards go to www.themanufacturermxawards.com.

 

Ill health has forced Mike Williams to retire early from the chief executive’s post at Milton Keynes-based Dawsongroup, one of the UK’s biggest commercial vehicle rental, leasing and contract hire companies. The new Dawsongroup chief executive is Steve Miller, promoted from group managing after seven years in that job and 30 years working for the company headed by chairman Peter Dawson.
Messrs Dawson and Williams have worked together for 40 years. “Mike’s energy commitment and commercial ability have been instrumental to the development of the business we have today,” says Mr Dawson.
Mr Williams had been planning to retire at the end of next year. “This new situation has been forced on me by the need to deal with a health matter that, I am told, should be managed successfully,” he explains. “The time this may take means my retirement plan is not going to work, so it is with real regret and a sense of unfinished business that I must now complete my time with Peter and the team.”
The rest of the Dawson group board of directors, including finance director Tony Coleman, company secretary Lucinda Kent and non-executive director Ian Jones (the former Mercedes-Benz UK commercial vehicles division boss) is unchanged following Mr Miller’s appointment. “You don’t spend 30 years working with Peter Dawson, Mike Williams and the others without learning an awful lot,” he says. “That doesn’t mean my new role will be simply to deliver more of the same. Change is an inevitable part of commercial life but it can also bring fresh opportunities and directions. There are things we do outstandingly well as a business and others we can do better. Certainly we need to be more people-focused, both internally and externally. Assets are simply our operational fuel. It’s our people that will drive this business further and faster than our competitors.”

 

 

AUGUST 2016

Ed Cowell starts a new job this month as boss of one of the UK’s biggest commercial vehicle contract hire, rental and fleet management companies. Coventry-based Fraikin Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fraikin group of France, runs around 3,500 trucks and about 1,000 light commercial vehicles in the UK. Hugh Cole was managing director of the UK operation until late last year when he resigned for “personal reasons”. Mr Cowell is his successor, though with a slightly different job title - chief executive. News broke last month that the Fraikin group’s owners, CVC Capital Partners and Eurazeo, had accepted a takeover bid from another big French rental and contract hire firm, Petit Forestier. The natural assumption is that the latest senior management change in the UK is somehow related to this impending ownership change, expected to be finalised within the next six months. But Fraikin is at pains to point out that Mr Cowell’s appointment, and that of a new Fraikin Ltd chief finance officer, Bryn Thomas, was made long before the Petit Forestier deal was clinched.
Mr Cowell, 46, worked for Speedy Services, a Staffordshire-based tools, plant and equipment hire company, before moving to Fraikin. He was Speedy’s group sales and marketing director for two years. Before that he spent more than six years working for G4S (formerly Group 4 Securicor) a British multinational security services company, latterly as global sales director.
The first 19 years of Mr Cowell’s career were spent as an infantry officer in the British Army.
At Fraikin he reports to group chief executive Pierre Louis Colin, based in Paris.
Fraikin Ltd’s chief finance officer Emmanuelle Kergoat left last year after six years in the post to return to the group office in Paris. Her replacement at Coventry since February is Bryn Thomas. He joined Fraikin from the PSA Peugeot Citroën group where he had worked for 15 years. Mr Thomas, 49, was business management and franchising director for PSA’s Peugeot division in the UK between 2005 and 2006 and latterly commercial finance director for the recently restructured, Coventry-based PSA Peugeot Citroën UK sales and marketing operation.
The Fraikin group, originally set up in France as a family firm in 1944, now operates around 57,000 vehicles throughout Europe. The company has been owned jointly by two big private equity firms, CVC Capital Partners and Eurazeo, since 2007 when they bought it from Iveco. What then was the Fiat group’s commercial vehicles division had owned Fraikin since 1999. Iveco is now part of the CNH Industrial group, spun off from Fiat’s car-making operations.

 

The CNH Industrial group’s highly-regarded engine research division, FTP Motorenforschung, is looking for a new chief following last month’s departure of Dirk Bergmann. For the past three years Mr Bergmann has been general manager at the head of a workforce of 220 (mainly engineers and scientists) at the Iveco parent group’s research centre in Arbon, Switzerland. Now he has moved to the FEV group, based in Aachen, Germany, as head of its European commercial engines business unit. FEV is a multinational engineering services provider, specialising in design, analysis and prototyping of powertrains and transmissions. The FEV group has around 4,000 employees worldwide, based at four technical centres. For the past two years its European commercial engines business unit has been headed by vice president Peter Heuser. He remains in charge of FEV’s global commercial engines business and Mr Bergmann now reports to him.
Mr Bergmann is a prominent figure in the internal combustion engineering field. He graduated in production engineering in 1994 at the University of Bremen in his native Germany before going on to gain a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree in mechanical engineering. Mr Bergmann’s first job in the diesel engine industry was as a research and development engineer at MTU of Friedrichshafen. By 2005 he was a senior manager in the diesel engine manufacturer’s exhaust aftertreatment division and two years later became new technologies director. In 2011, when MTU had been renamed Tognum and was jointly owned by Daimler and Rolls-Royce, Mr Bergmann was appointed corporate liaison director. He has been a member of the governing general assembly at Euromot, the European Association of Internal Combustion Engine Manufacturers, since 2011. Tognum is now wholly owned by Rolls-Royce and has been renamed Rolls-Royce Power Systems. Mr Bergmann left Tognum to join FTP Motorenforschung in 2012.

 

Beverley Bell’s term as Britain’s senior traffic commissioner has been extended until next spring but will not go beyond that. Mrs Bell announced this month that she will not be seeking re-appointment to the senior traffic commissioner post and that she will also step down early next year as traffic commissioner for the north-west area.
Mrs Bell, 56, has been senior traffic commissioner since June 2012 and traffic commissioner for north-western England since 2000. She was previously a partner in a Worcester firm of solicitors specialising in criminal and transport law and was rumoured to be in the running to become Freight Transport Association chief executive when the post became vacant eight years ago and Theo de Pencier was appointed. He has now retired and has been replaced as FTA boss by David Wells.
As traffic commissioner Mrs Bell has won wide acclaim for her grasp of the realities of road transport operations, a self-deprecating sense of humour, and a capable, down-to-earth approach to the job. As senior traffic commissioner (stc) she heads a group of seven commissioners covering eight traffic areas in England, Scotland and Wales. The West Midlands commissioner heads the Welsh traffic area as well, though this is about to change. Mrs Bell’s performance in the stc job has been widely praised, not least for her stance on the highly questionable practices of insolvency practitioners and the “pre-pack” administrations and phoenix companies they spawn.
Mrs Bell was president of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, CILT (UK), between May 2015 and this May. Last month she took over from former FirstGroup boss Sir Moir Lockhead as patron of the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE), a much smaller London-based organisation with IRTE (formerly the Institute of Road Transport Engineers) as its biggest division.

 

Marion Beaver started a new job this month as technical officer at the British Compressed Air Society (BCAS), a London-based trade body. Ms Beaver fills the vacancy created by the surprise departure three months ago of Dean Abbott. He had joined BCAS early in 2015 to begin a twelve-month handover of technical officer responsibilities from Greg Bordiak, who retired at the start of this year after a 28-year career at the organisation.
For the past three years Ms Beaver has run her own Oxford-based consultancy, M Beaver Associates, specialising in energy management. She is no stranger to BCAS however, having worked there as commercial officer between 2003 and 2007. Before that she had been an energy consultant at Harwell, Oxfordshire-based AEA Technology. Her career began as an engineer working on materials research for optical fibre telecommunication cables at Nortel Networks.
Ms Beaver now reports to Vanda Jones, appointed BCAS executive director at the beginning of this year following the retirement of Chris Dee after 14 years in the post.

 

Rolf Lutz, commercial vehicle technology boss at the ZF Friedrichshafen group and one of the most influential figures globally in truck driveline engineering, is to retire at the end of next month.
Mr Lutz, 64, has been a ZF group management board member since 2008, heading the commercial vehicle technology division for the past five years. His responsibilities now also include corporate quality, the group’s operation in South America, and management of the entire group’s global real estate.
ZF’s senior management team is to be restructured from 1 October following Mr Lutz’s retirement. Wilhelm Rehm, already responsible for corporate materials management and industrial technology, will additionally be the new head of the commercial vehicle business. Franz Kleiner, currently heading ZF’s active and passive safety technology division, will take on additional responsibility for corporate quality. Peter Lake, a former TRW executive who has been on the ZF group board of management since last year’s TRW takeover, is to take on responsibility for the South American division.
Mr Lutz, trained as a mechanical engineer, has worked for ZF for 36 years, initially in testing, sales and technical application departments. Between 1999 and 2002 he was a group vice president, based in the US. His attention has been focused on commercial vehicle technology, initially as head of ZF’s truck driveline technology business unit, for the past 14 years.

 

The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division of giant tyre-making group Bridgestone is to have a new boss from next month. He is Paolo Ferrari, joining the Japanese tyre-maker from rival Pirelli, where latterly he has been chief executive of its Latin American operation, based in Brazil. Mr Ferrari, an Italian national, worked in senior jobs at several big Italian media and telecommunications companies before joining Pirelli as chief executive of its North American division in January 2012.
At Bridgestone’s European division, based in Zaventem, Belgium, he replaces Franco Annunziato who became chairman and chief executive at the tyre-maker’s China and Asia-Pacific division eight months ago.

 

A senior management reshuffle at Wrights Group, a big bus and coach manufacturer based in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, means new responsibilities this month for Damian McGarry and John McLeister.
The group’s Customcare aftersales division is now headed by Mr McGarry, who has worked for Wrights since 1986 and has been development and manufacturing director for the past ten years and latterly head of Wrightbus International as well. Ian Downie, who joined Wrights two years ago as managing director of both sales and the Customcare division, from now on will focus solely on sales and marketing in the UK and continental Europe. Mr Downie was Volvo Bus product director before joining Wrights Group in July 2014.
Taking Mr McGarry’s place as Wrightbus International boss is John McLeister. He now heads a growing international operation with manufacturing sites in Malaysia and India, and offices in Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chennai and Kuala Lumpur as well as the UK.
Mr McLeister has worked for Wrights for more than 25 years and has been a regional director of its international division for the past year. His previous posts at the bus-building group include operations director of its Metallix division (manufacturing metal components and sub-assemblies), and operations director of its Nu-track subsidiary (designing and manufacturing specialist vehicles such as wheelchair-accessible minibuses and schoolbus conversions).

 

Abbey Logistics, one of the UK's biggest road transport operators specialising in bulk powder and liquid, is under new ownership this month following a management buy-out led by chief executive Steve Granite with the backing of NorthEdge Capital, a private equity firm.
Mr Granite has worked for the Liverpool-based transport company since joining what was then called Abbey Road Tanks in 1995 as a trainee accountant after leaving school at the age of 15. He became a qualified management accountant in 2000, was appointed Abbey Road Tanks finance director four years later, and then Abbey Logistics Group chief executive in 2009, at the age of 29. The group, set up by two brothers, Steve Lucy and his brother Mark, about 25 years ago, now has around 450 employees at nine UK sites and operates 350 tractive units and 570 tanker trailers. Turnover in the current financial year is expected to be around £55 million. Commercial director David Coulson has been with the company since 1996 and stays in that job following the management buy-out. Ian Kelly from NorthEdge Capital has now joined the Abbey Logistics board of directors.
Mr Granite is credited with being the architect of the highly regarded Think Logistics scheme, designed to encourage youngsters between the ages of 16 and 19 to seriously consider careers in transport and logistics. Last year this scheme won the backing of Daf Trucks, the UK's top-selling truck-maker, in a three-year sponsorship deal. "I've been deeply impressed with Think Logistics and how it has been engaging directly with young people at schools and colleges," said Daf Trucks Ltd managing director Ray Ashworth last May. "With Steve Granite's infectious passion for trucks and transport and with his unwavering determination to attract a new generation to what is such a dynamic industry, we have an irresistible combination with genuine potential to open the eyes of young people to a range of job opportunities they may not have considered previously."

 

Wales is to have its own first full-time traffic commissioner with the result that three other traffic commissioner jobs will change over the next two months. Nick Jones at present is traffic commissioner for both Wales and the West Midlands. Now the Welsh Government has appointed Mr Jones full-time traffic commissioner for Wales, starting on 1 October. Following this, senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell has reshuffled Sarah Bell (no relation), Nick Denton and Kevin Rooney. From 31 October Mr Denton moves from London and the south east to West Midlands; his place in London is taken by Miss Bell, currently south west England traffic commissioner; and Kevin Rooney moves from north east England to western England, based in Bristol, where he used to work for VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) now DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).
Beverley Bell announced this month that she is to step down both as senior traffic commissioner and north-west area traffic commissioner from next spring. The upshot of all this is that the Department for Transport is now in the process of appointing two new traffic commissioners, for north-western and north-eastern England.

 

 

JULY 2016

James Emberson has taken charge of Isuzu truck marketing in the UK following the sudden surprise resignation last month of Isuzu Truck (UK) marketing director Keith Child. Mr Emberson joined the Hatfield, Hertfordshire-based company as marketing manager, reporting to Mr Child, in January. His earlier career had been mainly with advertising and marketing agencies such as King & Tuke and Storm Creative.
Mr Child, 53, worked for Isuzu Truck (UK) for 16 years. He joined the company as marketing director, reporting to the then managing director Nikki King, in September 2000. For 18 years before that Mr Child had worked for Daf Trucks and Leyland Daf in the UK, initially as parts support adviser and latterly (from 1992 to 2000) as sales promotions and advertising manager, based at the Daf Trucks UK head office in Thame, Oxfordshire.
Isuzu Truck (UK) was established in 1996 by the RAC group (formerly Lex Service) with Nikki King as managing director. RAC owned 85 per cent of the company shares with the remaining 15 per cent held by Isuzu Motors and Itochu, a Japanese trading house. In 2004 Mr Child was part of a management buy-out team led by Ms King which acquired the company in a £32 million deal, with Isuzu Motors retaining its 15 per cent shareholding. In 2007 the Isuzu Truck (UK) head office moved from rented premises in Ware, Hertfordshire to its current site in Hatfield, owned by the management buy-out team. Three years ago Ms King and her fellow shareholders sold their stake in the £24-million-annual-turnover, 54-employee company for an undisclosed sum but retained ownership of the Hatfield site, renting it since then to Isuzu Motors. She then retired later that year at the age of 65, succeeded as managing director by Pete Murphy.
In a statement about Mr Child’s departure he says: “We thank Keith for his considerable contribution to the success of Isuzu Truck (UK) over the past 16 years and wish him the very best for the future.”

There will be a new UK truck sales director at Scania (Great Britain) from next month. He is Andrew Jamieson, at present operations and risk director at the Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire-based company. Mr Jamieson is filling the vacancy created by Martin Hay’s promotion to head of global truck sales at Scania’s head office in Södertälje, Sweden. Mr Hay has been Scania’s UK truck sales director since April 2009.
Mr Jamieson was managing director at Keltruck, a big, independent Scania dealer group based in the West Midlands, for seven years until rejoining Scania (Great Britain) last September in the newly created operations and risk director post, with contract hire, rental and used vehicle operations as his main responsibilities.
He originally worked for Scania as marketing and rental manager before moving in 2005 to Derek Jones Commercials, then an East Midlands-based independent Scania dealer group, as aftersales director. Derek Jones Commercials and another dealer group, Ro-Truck of East Anglia, merged to form TruckEast in January 2006. When TruckEast was bought by former Keltruck directors led by John Biggin in April 2007, Mr Jamieson moved to Keltruck as aftersales director, reporting to Chris Kelly, the company’s founder and chairman. He was promoted to managing director a year later.
One of the first big challenges facing Mr Jamieson in his new job is the introduction of a long-awaited new Scania truck cab, due to be unveiled in long-haul guise next month.

 

Two months into his new as Schmitz Cargobull (UK) managing director and Alan Hunt declares himself “hugely impressed at a positive and forward-looking company.” Mr Hunt, 50, fills the vacancy at the head of Schmitz Cargobull’s UK and Irish Republic sales and marketing operation created last November by the departure of Paul Avery. He is now managing director at rival trailer-maker Montracon.
Mr Hunt previously worked for Finning UK, a big Staffordshire-based distributor of Caterpilllar earth-moving equipment, engines and machines, latterly as head of the commercial marine oil and gas division. He joined Finning 16 years ago as an industrial engine sales engineer. Before that he was a regional sales engineer at DeLaval, a supplier of dairy farm equipment such as milking machinery.

 

JUNE 2016

Volvo Group UK is in the process of recruiting a new regional managing director for its big Volvo Truck and Bus Centre North & Scotland division following Martin Merrick’s promotion last month to an executive management team post based in Volvo Group's Gothenburg, Sweden head office. Mr Merrick, 52, is now Volvo Trucks senior vice president in charge of retail development worldwide, reporting to Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson. The appointment follows a fundamental group management restructure initiated by the new chief executive Martin Lundstedt shortly after he joined the company from Scania last October. With effect from 1 March this year, the group's four truck brands, Volvo Trucks, UD Trucks (originally Nissan Diesel), Renault Trucks and Mack Trucks, have been operating as separate business units, each with their own profit and loss responsibility.
Until Mr Merrick's move to Gothenburg, Fredrik Hogberg had been the senior vice president in charge of both Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks distribution development worldwide. Now Mr Hogberg, based in Volvo Group’s North American head office in Greensboro, North Carolina, is focused solely on Mack Trucks.
Mr Merrick has worked for Volvo and its dealer network since joining Ailsa Trucks Northern, then the Volvo trucks UK importer, in 1988 at the age of 24 as a reception engineer at its Barrhead base, near his native Glasgow. After six years as a reception engineer he moved into truck sales. Then a series of promotions took him into dealer and general management. He studied with the Open University for a Volvo-sponsored MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree between 1994 and 2000. Mr Merrick was appointed aftermarket sales director at Volvo Truck and Bus Scotland in January 2001. He became managing director of the whole northern England and Scotland division in January 2009. The responsibilities of this post have been picked up now by regional aftersales director Neil Park until Mr Merrick’s successor is appointed.

 

Motivated in part perhaps by a startling 26 per cent plunge in sales of six-tonnes-plus Mercedes trucks in the first three months of this year, Mercedes-Benz UK is stepping up sales and marketing of the Unimog range of specialist all-wheel-drive vehicles. The drive is being led by Bernhard Dolinek, recently appointed head of special trucks, Unimog, at the Milton Keynes-based company. Last month he announced that Farol, a long-established agricultural machinery supplier based in Milton Common near Thame, Oxfordshire, had joined the Unimog franchised dealer network in south-eastern England. The move is said to “represent the first, important step in a new strategy designed to raise the profile and boost sales of the legendary off-roader in Britain”.
Farol was founded in 1976 by agricultural engineer George Vellacott as a supplier and repairer of agricultural equipment, including new Fiat tractors. The Farol group today remains Vellacott family-owned but now has an annual turnover around £70 million and about 160 employees. Amman and Yanmar plant franchises were added last year to the group’s John Deere and Manitou agricultural machinery franchises. A new £3.5 million head office was opened last year, and there are now Farol sites in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, West Sussex and Berkshire as well as Oxfordshire. The group also includes a tyre supplier and a transport division specialising in agricultural machinery haulage and truck-mounted cranes.
Kevin Newman is the Farol director now responsible for Unimog sales.
Mr Dolinek joins Mercedes-Benz UK from Binz, a German bodybuilder specialising in ambulances and other emergency vehicles, where he was international sales director. Before that Mr Dolinek worked in Kazakhstan as a general manager of a Ford dealer. His extensive previous international experience includes nine years working on Daimler business development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
At Mercedes-Benz UK Mr Dolinek reports to truck business unit managing director Mike Belk, who started in that job just over a year ago, following Michael Kamper's move to Daimler Trucks Asia. Before moving back to the UK last year, Mr Belk was president and chief executive of Daimler’s Middle East and Levant division, based in Dubai.
Mr Belk first began working for Mercedes-Benz in the UK in 1991 following a twelve-year career in the British Army. This included officer training at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and a three-year BSc (Bachelor of Science) degree course in engineering at the Royal Military College of Science (now the Defence Academy – College of Management and Technology), based in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire.
At Daimler Benz and then DaimlerChrysler in the UK, a string of promotions had taken Mr Belk by 2001 to the post of after-sales operations director. In 2002, following the global unwinding of the ill-fated DaimlerChrysler combine and a company name-change in the UK, to Mercedes-Benz UK, Mr Belk's job title became customer services group managing director. He was in this post, including responsibility for the whole Mercedes-Benz car and commercial vehicle parts and service business in the UK, from October 2002 until March 2010 when he moved to Dubai to head Middle East distribution and sales of Daimler group vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks, vans and buses, as well as US-built Freightliner and Western Star trucks.

 

 

MAY 2016

Tachodisc, one of the UK’s best-known suppliers of tachograph products and tachograph analysis services, including training, is continuing to trade despite having crashed into administration late last month. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) stepped in almost immediately to acquire the business and “certain assets” of Warrington, Lancashire-based Tachodisc Limited following the appointment of administrators from BDO of Manchester on 29 April. The Tachodisc business is now being run through a newly-established FTA subsidiary company, TDUK, headed by the association’s director or operations June Powell. Former Tachodisc managing director Philip Jordan is now “seeking opportunities”, according to his Linkedin profile. A Tachodisc creditors meeting is to be held at BDO’s Manchester offices on 26 May, starting at 10.00am.
Aquarius IT, the Birmingham-based company behind the ClockWatcher software used by many Tachodisc customers, is at pains to point out that this software belongs to Aquarius, not Tachodisc or the FTA. Aquarius technical director Guy Reynolds is concerned by reports that some Tachodisc customers may have been offered alternative software since news broke of the Tachodisc administration. “Why not come direct to us if you don’t want to change?” he says. “The software is owned, and always has been, by Aquarius IT and we can provide it direct to customers.” All licensing arrangements between Aquarius and Tachodisc, some going back ten years, are said to have been terminated following the Tachodisc administration.
“The Tachodisc business fits well with FTA’s current services and operation,” says the Tunbridge Wells, Kent-based association’s chief executive David Wells. “This acquisition will help ensure the industry remains compliant.”
Tachodisc’s operations are far from unfamiliar to FTA. Karen Crispe joined the association as its first commercial director, reporting to the then chief executive Theo de Pencier, in March 2014, following 15 years as a Tachodisc employee, including nine as managing director. Philip Jordan was promoted at Tachodisc to managing director following her departure. But Ms Crispe stayed at FTA for barely twelve months, moving to the Road Haulage Association (RHA) as its first commercial director just over a year ago.

 

Leigh Pomlett, executive director at Ceva Logistics, is the new FTA president, taking over last month from NYK Logistics chief executive Ian Veitch. He has been president of the Tunbridge Wells, Kent-based association for the past three years. Mr Pomlett has worked in transport and logistics since graduating in business studies from Liverpool’s John Moores University in 1980. From there he joined what was then the government-owned National Freight Consortium (NFC) as a management trainee. A series of promotions took him to chief executive of the Europe, Middle East and Africa division of what by then, in 2005, was a privately-owned NFC’s Exel logistics division. Exel had acquired Tibbett & Britten in 2004. In December 2005 Exel itself was taken over in a £3.7 billion deal by Deutsche Post DHL. Mr Pomlett then became chief executive of DHL’s mainland Europe supply chain division.
In 2006 one of DHL’s main rivals in European freight transport, TNT Logistics, was sold by the state-owned Dutch postal and telecommunications group to a New York-based venture capital firm, Apollo Management. TNT Logistics then was renamed Ceva, with freight management and contract logistics operations in around 160 countries. Mr Pomlett joined Ceva as executive vice president of its UK and Irish Republic business in September 2009. He was promoted to president of the company’s northern European division in November 2010 and to president of the entire Ceva European operation three years ago.
More information at www.fta.co.uk.

 

 

David Sanders has left his job as director of innovation at the Carbon Trust, a London-based limited-by-guarantee company set up in 2001 as a consultancy specialising in low-carbon technology, to become commercial director at Dearman. This is the company (formerly Dearman Engine Company) founded five years ago to develop a zero-emission “liquid air” engine and exploit commercial opportunities for its use in refrigeration and power. Dearman has been growing fast over the past two years and now has around 60 employees at two sites in the UK.
Mr Sanders worked at the Carbon Trust for nearly three years. For five years before that he was a partner in Cleantech Advisory, a consultancy he was instrumental in founding. Other consultancies at which Mr Sanders previously worked include LEK Consulting, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Cairneagle Associates. He has a degree in mathematics from New College, Oxford.
Dearman has teamed up with Hubbard Products, part of the Zanotti refrigeration group, in a “technology partnership” which promises to have a zero-emission refrigeration system for a multi-temperature truck body beginning in-service trials with a supermarket later this year.
Further planned applications of Dearman technology include a liquid-air/diesel hybrid engine for buses and trucks, and a zero-emission back-up power and cooling system for buildings.
More information at www.dearman.co.uk.

 

BT Fleet is on a recruitment drive for vehicle maintenance staff in the London area, where it has eight workshops. The wholly-owned BT Group subsidiary, specialising in third-party vehicle maintenance, fleet and accident management, is seeking to hire 30 technicians qualified at least to NVQ level-three standard and six apprentices, to be based in workshops in the London boroughs of Enfield, Merton, Ealing Hounslow, Kingston-upon-Thames and Bexley.
Across the UK, BT Fleet has already hired more than 60 new vehicle technicians so far this year, according to head of garage network Mark Wolfe. Yet the company is moving away from traditional recruitment methods, such as agencies, he claims. Around 40 per cent of these new recruits are said to have come from referrals by existing employees.
“We’re speeding up recruitment of new vehicle technicians to meet increasing demand for our garage services,” says Mr Wolfe. “Increasingly, BT Fleet is providing services for a wide range of organisations and companies as well as BT’s own vehicles. We now work with a number of private and public sector organisations and are seeing unprecedented growth opportunities following new product launches, contract extensions, partnerships and high demand for out-of-hours servicing. Thanks to the new approach, it’s now taking weeks rather than months to hire new vehicle technicians and get them in place across our UK garage network. At the same time, we’ve significantly lowered our recruitment costs.” The total number of vehicles being managed by BT Fleet in the UK now exceeds 80,000, it is claimed.
More information at www.btplc.com/careercentre.

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL 2016

Less than a year after it was formed, the top management team at Volkswagen Truck & Bus has had to be restructured as a result of a surprise resignation. Lars Stenqvist has quit as head of research and development at the Brunswick, Germany-based organisation, formed as a wholly-owned Volkswagen group holding company in April 2015 to control and further integrate the group’s truck and bus divisions, including MAN, Scania and a Latin American VW truck operation. Mr Stenqvist, 49, took charge of VW Truck & Bus research and development globally as recently as last October, moving to the job from Scania where he had worked since joining the company as a trainee in his native Sweden in 1992. Mr Stenqvist had been senior vice president in charge of Scania “vehicle definition” and research and development for more than eight years before moving to VW Truck & Bus. The reasons for his sudden resignation this month are not specified in a terse VW press release which says only that he is leaving the company and that Anders Nielsen becomes responsible for research and development “with immediate effect.” But CV Engineer understands that Mr Stenqvist is soon to join Volvo Group where he will work with chief executive Martin Lundstedt. Mr Stenqvist has been appointed Volvo Group chief technology officer and executive vice president in charge of the group's truck technology division. From 1 October 2016 he takes over this post from Torbjörn Holmström, who then becomes senior adviser on research and development. Messrs Lundstedt and Stenqvist worked closely together at Scania for several years after joining the company at the same time. Mr Lundstedt quit as Scania president and chief executive a year ago, following the ousting of Olof Persson at Volvo Group. Mr Lundstedt has headed Volvo Group since last October.
Mr Stenqvist’s distinguished engineering career at Scania includes spells as a transmission production engineer at plants in Sweden and Argentina, various managerial posts in engine production, as well as eleven years in research and development. His departure from the VW group is bound to fuel rumours of continuing friction between Scania and MAN executives in Volkswagen Truck & Bus under the leadership of chief executive Andreas Renschler, a former Daimler truck and bus boss. Mr Renschler will be keen to do all he can to quash those rumours as he prepares for some crucial events in the VW Truck & Bus calendar, including the imminent unveiling of a long-awaited all-new Scania truck range and the launch of the new Poland-built VW Crafter van range, to be badged as an MAN.
Anders Nielsen’s former business development responsibilities at VW Truck & Bus have been passed to chief financial officer Matthias Gründler. The other members of the company’s top management team, all reporting to Mr Renschler, are Antonio Roberto Cortes, MAN Latin America chief executive; Joachim Drees, MAN Truck & Bus chief executive; Henrik Henriksson, Scania chief executive; Ulf Berkenhagen, heading procurement; and Josef Schelchshorn in charge of “human resources”.

 

 

MARCH 2016

Daf Trucks is to have a new boss at its Eindhoven, Netherlands head office from 1 April. He is Preston Feight, at present general manager and vice president at Kenworth Truck Company, a US truck manufacturer and sister company of Daf’s in the Paccar group. Mr Feight has been promoted to Daf Trucks president to succeed Harrie Schippers. He too has been promoted, to Paccar senior vice president with responsibilities including Daf and the global Paccar parts business, based at the Paccar head office in Seattle. Mr Schippers has worked for Daf for 30 years, including nearly seven as finance director until March 2010 when he became president following the departure of Aad Goudriaan to the Bosal group.
Mr Feight has a BSc (Bachelor of Science) degree in mechanical engineering from Northern Arizona University and a masters degree in engineering management from the University of Colorado. He worked for Allied Signal Aerospace and Ford Motor Company before joining Paccar 17 years ago. Mr Feight was Kenworth chief engineer for four years until 2012, then assistant general manager, sales and marketing for three years before being promoted to general manager in January 2015. Driving trucks, hunting and back-packing are among Mr Feight’s listed hobbies.

 

As it gears up for the long-awaited introduction of a new truck range, Scania (Great Britain) has poached the head of strategic accounts at arch-rival Mercedes-Benz UK's truck division to lead a sales drive in Scotland. James Colbourne joined Scania last month as sales director - Scotland, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Brian Shute. Mr Colbourne, 43, had been UK head of strategic accounts at Mercedes, with six fleet sales managers reporting to him, for four years. For 18 months before that he was national commercial vehicles customer services sales manager at Mercedes-Benz UK, responsible for management of the company’s 200 biggest truck and van customer accounts. He joined what was then DaimlerChrysler UK as network operations manager in October 2006. Previously he worked in sales for several car manufacturers, including MG Rover, Vauxhall and Ssangyong. Mr Colbourne’s career began as a savings and investment adviser at what then was the Lloyds TSB bank.
In his new job at Scania he reports to regional executive director - Scotland, Sandy Millar.
Mercedes trucks are at present the top-sellers in Scotland in the whole six-tonnes-plus sector. But both Scania and Volvo truck sales are growing fast. Mercedes topped the six-tonnes-plus truck registrations table in Scotland last year with 814, up 17 per cent on the 2014 figure. Daf Trucks is in second place at 767, up 16.7 per cent year-on-year; Scania third at 581, up 43.1 per cent; and Volvo fourth at 510, up 53.6 per cent.

 

Will Whitehorn is president-elect at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, CILT (UK). He will take over the presidency from senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell on 20 May. Mr Whitehorn has been a vice president of the institute, which claims a membership of around 33,000, for the past four years. He has extensive experience of senior management in transport and logistics and corporate affairs. Mr Whitehorn was an RAF cadet before studying history and economics at the University of Aberdeen. He worked for British Airways as a North Sea helicopter crewman before joining travel company Thomas Cook as a graduate trainee. Then came a 24-year spell as brand development and corporate affairs director at Richard Branson’s Virgin group. The companies at which Mr Whitehorn continues to be a non-executive director include Stagecoach Group and Purplebricks, an online estate agency. He is chairman of Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) and chair of Transport Systems Catapult.

 

Eighteen months after being appointed managing director at MAN Truck & Bus UK, Simon Elliott is seeking to stamp his authority further on the company with the appointment of a new director. He is Ralf Schueler, who joined the Swindon-based firm last month as marketing director, reporting to Mr Elliott and working alongside sales director Ian Mitchell, the former Volvo Truck UK commercial operations director who joined MAN at the end of 2014. Vince Welsh, a long-serving MAN Truck & Bus UK director (latterly aftersales director) retired last October.
Mr Schueler has worked at Akzo Nobel, the giant Netherlands-based paint and coatings manufacturer, for the past seven years, latterly as director of its yacht coatings division, based in Texas. But he is no stranger either to MAN Truck & Bus’s Volkswagen parent group or to VW’s UK commercial vehicles marketing operation where Mr Elliott also once worked. Mr Schueler was VW’s Eastern Europe and UK area sales manager between 1997 and 2000. Then he came to the UK with VW, first as head of sales, then head of aftersales and service, and finally as head of commercial vehicles marketing between 2006 and 2008 at VW Group UK’s Milton Keynes head office.
Mr Elliott evidently sees great potential for future sales growth following the launch later this year of the new Poland-built VW van to replace the current Crafter range, in effect rebadged Mercedes Sprinters. The new Crafter is to be sold by MAN truck dealers in the UK from next year, badged as the MAN TGE. This seems to be a crucial factor in Mr Schueler’s appointment.
“Ralf’s role will be to strengthen our reputation through delivery of a comprehensive image and brand-building marketing plan, as well as developing our marketing strategy,” says Mr Elliott. “Ralf’s experience in the commercial vehicles sector is obviously very important ahead of the launch of the MAN TGE van in 2017, and this combined with his frontline experience in sales, aftersales and management, make him a valuable addition to the MAN team.”

 

Twenty years after serving an apprenticeship as a technician at Euro Commercials, a big south Wales Mercedes commercial vehicle dealer group, James Mulligan is back there as group service manager. Mr Mulligan, 38, is now in charge of four workshops, in Cardiff, Newport, Bridgend and Swansea, staffed by around 50 technicians. His appointment last month follows the departure in January of Euro Commercials operations director Mike Evans. He joined the firm in 2013 as retail sales manager and within less than a year had been promoted to group aftersales manager. Further promotion to operations director came in April 2015. Now Mr Evans has left Euro Commercials and says that he is “looking for a new career challenge.”
After leaving Euro Commercials in 1999, Mr Mulligan worked as a technician first at Burtons Foods and then at GB Fleetcare, an independent contract maintenance provider. Since April 2005 he has worked for Gullivers Truck Hire, a big Bristol-based vehicle rental company, latterly as engineering operations manager.
“I have always remained in contact with Euro Commercials and it became clear during conversations with managing director Jeff Carne that there was an opportunity to come home to south Wales,” he says. “I jumped at it."

 

Bob Holt has joined HaulTech, a telematics and fleet management system supplier based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, as business development manager. He reports to business development director Bob Haughton, a former colleague at Isuzu Truck (UK).
For the past four months Mr Holt has worked at Terberg DTS (UK), the West Yorkshire-based supplier of “distribution tractors” (often called yard-shunters), as specialist trailer sales manager. For a year before that he worked in sales at Strongs Plastic Products, a Tamworth, Staffordshire-based supplier of bodywork material.
Between January 2011 and October 2014 Mr Holt was fleet sales manager at Hertfordshire-based Isuzu Truck (UK), where Mr Haughton had been deputy managing director.

 

The Peugeot car and van sales and marketing operation in the UK is to have a new boss from the end of this month. He is David Peel, currently chief executive of Peugeot Citroën Retail Group UK (which runs the French company’s wholly-owned dealers here). Mr Peel, 50, is being promoted to Peugeot UK managing director following Neil Moscrop’s decision to take early retirement. Mr Moscrop, 56, has worked for the PSA Peugeot Citroën group for 36 years.
Mr Peel has been PSA Retail Group UK chief executive since 2001. For a year before that he ran Robins and Day, a Coventry-based car dealer group which itself is wholly owned by the French car- and van-maker.
In his new job Mr Peel reports to PSA UK director general Stéphane Le Guével.

 

Gavin Hersom, a Jungheinrich UK apprentice, has won the 2016 “apprentice-of-the-year” category in the annual awards scheme run by the Berkshire-based Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA). Mr Hersom, 25, was presented with his certificate and cash prize at the latest FLTA awards ceremony late last month. Runner-up in the FLTA apprentice award this year is Stewart Meikle of WR Material Handling.
Among the other FLTA award-winners this year are Investec, “supplier of the year”; Heineken UK, “safe site”; Crown Lift Trucks, “ergonomics”; and JCB Industrial, “safety”.
More information at www.fork-truck.org.uk.

 

FEBRUARY 2016

A new chief executive has been appointed at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the UK government’s “executive agency” with responsibilities including vehicle and driver testing, safety recalls and enforcement of a range of vehicle- and driver-related regulations such as the driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence). Gareth Llewellyn joins the agency next month to work alongside acting chief executive Paul Satoor before formally taking over as chief executive on 1 April. Mr Satoor is to remain as DVSA deputy chief executive. He has been acting chief executive since the retirement of Alastair Peoples last September (Commercial Vehicle Engineer October 2015).
Mr Llewellyn has been chief executive of Sustainable Business Strategies, a US-based management consultancy firm, for the past six years. Since January this year he has also been a non-executive director at Harwich Haven Authority, the conservancy and pilotage authority for several east-coast ports including Felixstowe and Harwich. Mr Llewellyn specialises in safety and environmental management subjects. His previous jobs include director of global safety, health, environment and corporate responsibility at National Grid; global head of safety and sustainable development at Anglo American, a big mining company; and safety, technical and engineering executive director at Network Rail. Mr Llewellyn has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in chemistry and oceanography from Swansea University and an MSc (Master of Science) degree in oceanography from the University of Southampton.

 

Just over 100 days after starting work last October as Volvo Group president and chief executive, Martin Lundstedt has unveiled a radical senior management restructure which contrasts sharply with the organisation controversially put in place by his predecessor, Olof Persson. With effect from 1 March, the group’s four truck brands will operate as separate business units, each with responsibility for their own profit and loss. These business units are Volvo Trucks, UD Trucks (originally Nissan Diesel), Renault Trucks and Mack Trucks.
“This is an important change in how we conduct our truck business, with an expanded mandate for our sales organisations to control and develop their businesses with an explicit responsibility for profitability and organic growth,” says Mr Lundstedt, former Scania chief executive. “We will gain a simpler organisation in which decisions are made more quickly and in closer co-operation with the customer, while each truck brand will be represented on the group executive board with shared responsibility for optimising Volvo Group’s overall truck business."
In a move seemingly unrelated to the reorganisation, Mikael Bratt has resigned as Volvo Group’s executive vice president in charge of group trucks operations, including global production. Mr Bratt has been appointed business area president at Autoliv, a Stockholm-based multinational manufacturer of airbags and other safety-related automotive systems, including radar. Mr Bratt has agreed to stay on at Volvo Group for up to six months until his successor is appointed. He has worked for Volvo for 27 years.
From 1 March the executive board members at the head of Volvo Group’s management will be Martin Lundstedt, president and chief executive; Jan Gurander, deputy chief executive and chief financial officer; Claes Nilsson, Volvo Trucks; Joachim Rosenberg, UD Trucks; Bruno Blin, Renault Trucks; Dennis Slagle, Mack Trucks; Martin Weissburg, Volvo Construction Equipment; Torbjörn Holmström, group trucks technology; Mikael Bratt, group trucks operations; Sofia Frändberg, group legal and compliance; Kerstin Renard, group human resources; and Henry Sténson, group communication and sustainability affairs.

 

JANUARY 2016

Volvo Group chief executive Martin Lundstedt has been re-elected chairman of the commercial vehicle board at ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), a big Brussels-based European association of vehicle manufacturers. Mr Lundstedt was first elected to this ACEA post twelve months ago, when he was chief executive at Scania, Volvo’s arch-rival Swedish truck- and bus-maker and part of the Volkswagen group. Mr Lundstedt resigned from Scania a few months later as he prepared to succeed Olof Persson at Volvo in October. Meanwhile the new Scania chief executive, Henrik Henriksson, stepped into the ACEA commercial vehicle board chairmanship and was due to make his first public appearance in this capacity last December at a Brussels conference on carbon dioxide emissions from commercial vehicles. But this event was called off following emergency security measures by the Belgian government in the wake of the November terrorist attacks in Paris. Now ACEA directors apparently have come to the conclusion that Mr Lundstedt ought to resume his commercial vehicle board presidency, and he will be delivering a keynote address in this capacity at the rescheduled ACEA conference on “reducing CO2 from road transport together”, due to be held in Brussels next month (16 February).
Mr Lundstedt is a 48-year-old Swede who joined Scania as a trainee in 1992 after studying for a Master of Science (MSc) degree in industrial engineering and management. At first he worked in engine production but was soon identified as a high-flyer. In 2001 he was appointed managing director of the Scania truck production plant in Angers, France. Four years later he returned to Sweden as head of product marketing. In 2006 came promotion to senior vice president and head of truck sales, with further promotion to executive vice president and head of franchise and factory sales following in 2007.
Mr Lundstedt became Scania chief executive in September 2012 following Leif Östling’s move to head the entire VW group’s commercial vehicles division, the job that former Daimler commercial vehicles boss Andreas Renschler stepped into last February as Mr Östling prepared to retire later in the year. Mr Lundstedt started work as Volvo Group president and chief executive on 22 October last year.

ACEA represents the 15 biggest vehicle manufacturers in Europe. Its seven commercial vehicle members are Daf Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volvo Group.

More information from www.acea.be.

 

 

DECEMBER 2015

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche has been elected 2016 president of ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), a big Brussels-based European association of vehicle manufacturers. He succeeds Renault Group and Nissan Motors boss Carlos Ghosn who completes two consecutive twelve-month terms as ACEA president at the end of this month.
Mr Zetsche, 62, was born in Turkey and graduated in electrical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe in his native Germany. He joined what was then Daimler-Benz in its research department in 1976. Mr Zetsche has been Daimler chief executive and management board chairman for the past ten years. He also heads Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz cars division.
ACEA represents 15 Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers. They are BMW Group, Daf Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Group, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group.
More information at www.acea.be.

 

Krone, one of Europe’s three biggest trailer-makers (together with Schmitz Cargobull and Koegel), is to have a new marketing boss from next month. He is Ingo Lübs, promoted from head of public affairs and OEM (original equipment manufacturers) management to the new position of head of marketing, filling the vacancy created by the departure of Tobias Eichberg. Mr Eichberg has been Krone marketing director for the past three years. For four years before that he ran his own consultancy firm, Eichberg Consulting, and previously directed a big agricultural technology show in Germany. The Krone group manufacturers agricultural machinery as well as road-going trailers. Now, according to Krone, Mr Eichberg is leaving the company to “take up a completely different challenge in southern Germany.”
Mr Lübs, 37, first worked in Krone’s sales and marketing department between 2004 and the end of 2009. Then he left to run his own company, Lübs Services & Solutions, before returning to Krone’s Spelle head office last February as head of public affairs.
Commercial trailers account for about 65 per cent of the Krone group’s turnover, according to its latest results. These show annual turnover at €1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) for the 2014/15 financial year, slightly up on the previous year’s figure. Krone points out that these results were achieved despite difficulties caused by “the Russian crisis and the ending of EU milk production quotas.”
More information at www.krone.de

 

Former Iveco UK sales director Stuart Beeton has joined MAN Truck & Bus UK as south west regional sales manager. Mr Beeton left Iveco, a subsidiary of CNH Industrial, about six months ago as the company was preparing to move its UK head office from Watford to the CNH Industrial UK base at Basildon, Essex. Mr Beeton's departure came a few months after Bob Lowden had suddenly resigned as Iveco UK managing director after only six months in the job.
Another new recruit at MAN Truck & Bus UK is David Gillott, joining the company as south east regional sales manager. Mr Gillott has been group business development manager at Allports Group, a Renault Trucks dealer, for the past year. Before that he spent eight months setting up a Caterpillar truck and construction equipment dealership in Sudan. Mr Gillott's previous UK jobs include business development director at Prohire and sales director at Fraikin, a big truck rental and contract hire operation, between 2005 and 2008.

 

Ian Chisholm has been appointed managing director at the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE), a London-based engineering institute formed by a controversial merger 15 years ago of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) and Institution of Plant Engineer (IPlantE). There are around 13,000 SOE members in total at present, down from around 20,000 at the time of the merger.
Mr Chisholm, a former further education lecturer, joined SOE as engineering executive in 2001, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Clive Price.
Mr Chisholm later became the body’s head of operations and communications but suddenly was called on to assume overall management control when Peter Walsh left the chief executive’s post unexpectedly in October 2014 after less than a year in the job. Mr Walsh, a mining engineer, returned to his native Australia nine months ago. Mr Chisholm was appointed executive director temporarily in October 2014 while a firm of head-hunters was called in to find a new chief executive. The closing date set for applications was 22 June 2015.
Last month Mr Chisholm’s appointment was made permanent and his job title changed from executive director to managing director. SOE is one of three bodies (together with the Road Haulage Association and The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) in the partnership which owns the UK’s Commercial Vehicle Show, next on in April 2016 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC). But with a shrinking membership, SOE recognises the risks in becoming too dependent on income from this event. “I will explore new funding and innovative revenue streams that will guarantee the sustainability of the organisation,” says Mr Chisholm.

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 2015

Scania is to have a new president and chief executive from 1 January. He is Henrik Henriksson, at present head of sales and marketing at the Swedish truck- and bus-maker, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen group. Per Hallberg, who has been acting Scania chief executive since April, following Martin Lundstedt’s sudden resignation (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May), is expected to “resign from his operational positions during 2016”, according to a press release from Volkswagen Truck & Bus. Mr Lundstedt started his new job as Volvo Group president and chief executive last month.
Mr Henriksson, 45, joined Scania in 1997 as a management trainee after graduating with a BSc (Bachelor of Science) degree in business administration.
He was an area sales manager in his native Sweden for two years before moving to South Africa in 2001 as export director at the Scania subsidiary based in Johannesburg. In 2004 Mr Henriksson returned to Sweden as bus and coach sales director. Three years later he was promoted to senior vice president and head of trucks. He has been executive vice president at the head of sales and marketing (originally called “franchise and factory sales”) for the past three years.
“Henrik Henriksson is a capable and experienced person, with great entrepreneurial spirit and visionary leadership,” says Andreas Renschler, Volkswagen Truck & Bus chief executive, Scania chairman, and the VW group board member in charge of commercial vehicles. “He has the right profile to lead and develop the company in the long-term. My colleagues from the truck board and I thank Per Hallberg for taking over the CEO position in April this year on short call, for keeping Scania on its high level of excellence and its employees motivated during those times of change.”
Mr Hallberg, 63, has worked for Scania since 1977 and an executive board member since 2001.
News of Mr Henriksson’s appointment is likely to be welcomed by most senior Scania managers. Some had feared that Mr Renschler would bring in one of his former Daimler colleagues, as he has at MAN, Scania’s sister company in the Volkswagen Truck & Bus group. Mr Henriksson’s route to the top of Scania has been similar to that of Martin Lundstedt, whose departure came as a shock to many.

 

Stuart Webster has begun to restructure the top management team at Iveco’s UK and Irish Republic sales and marketing operation following his appointment as Iveco Ltd managing director six months ago (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May). This move followed the surprise resignation of Bob Lowden after only six months in the job. His departure was soon followed by that of sales director Stuart Beeton. Rather than replace Mr Beeton directly, Mr Webster has separated light commercial vehicles (Iveco’s Daily range) more clearly from medium and heavy trucks (Eurocargo, Stralis and Trakker) by appointing Nick Pemberton as truck business line director and Ian Lumsden as light business line director. Mr Pemberton, 57, has been Iveco’s UK key account fleet sales manager for the past four years. His previous jobs include Renault Trucks dealer principal, BRS regional sales manager, and group sales manager at Lex Commercials. Mr Pemberton’s motor industry career began as an apprentice technician.
Mr Lumsden, 48, has worked for Iveco since March 2007, initially as national dealer sales manager and latterly (since March 2013) as UK marketing director. Before joining the CNH Industrial division he had been an area sales and marketing manager at Renault’s UK car and van sales and marketing operation.

 

Kevin Richardson is to be the next chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, CILT (UK), taking over from Steve Agg who is set to retire from the post at the end of next month (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May).
Mr Agg, 63, has headed the 33,000-member, Corby, Northamptonshire-based institute since May 2006. For four years before that he was business services director at the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Mr Richardson is at present development director at the European division of XPO Logistics, the giant US-based transport group which bought Norbert Dentressangle early this year. He joined Norbert Dentressangle in the UK in April 2011. For twenty years before that he had worked for TDG (originally Transport Development Group) in various senior posts including commercial director, technical services director and strategic development director. He joins CILT (UK) as chief executive designate on 1 December.

 

The Ashok Leyland group is looking for a new boss for its Leeds-based bus-building subsidiary, Optare, following the resignation last month of Enrico Vassallo. Optare’s senior management is being headed temporarily by chief financial officer Hariharan Krishnamurthi until a new chief executive is appointed.
Mr Vassallo, 47, has been in that post for just over two years (Commercial Vehicle Engineer September). Before that he had headed the FPT Industrial (now CNH Industrial) Fiat powertrain operation in Latin America for two years. His previous experience includes senior sales and marketing posts at Iveco’s truck operation in Australia as well as its bus and coach division in Italy.

 

Top apprentices at some of the UK’s biggest commercial vehicle dealer networks were recognised and rewarded in a flurry of award schemes last month. Daf Trucks, MAN Truck & Bus UK and Scania (Great Britain) all held their annual apprentice-of-the-year events. And commercial vehicle apprentices are prominent too in the latest Outstanding Achievers awards run by the Institute of the Motor Industry.
Donington Park race track at Castle Donington, Derbyshire was the venue for the 2015 MAN Truck & Bus UK apprentice award ceremony. The main awards in this scheme are divided into three categories: “mechanical”, “parts” and “business administration”.
In the “mechanical” category the winners are Jordan Vallis, first-year apprentice at MAN Nuneaton; Joseph Stevens, second-year apprentice at Cordwallis of Reading; and Adam Holmes, third-year apprentice at HRVS of Ripley. Daniel Hardwick of HRVS Sheffield is the top “parts level two” apprentice; and Frank McCoy of Cordwallis Heathrow won the “parts level three” section of the scheme. The “business administration” awards went to Zak Barsby of MAN Nuneaton (level two) and Bradley Smith of MAN Manchester (level three).
Daf Trucks last month celebrated the 20th anniversary of its UK apprenticeship scheme with the finals of its annual apprentice of the year competition at the City of Bristol College’s training centre. The awards were presented by Daf Trucks Ltd managing director Ray Ashworth and the company’s dealer service panel chairman Phil Clayton of Ford & Slater of Leicester.
Top prize for first-year Daf Trucks apprentices this year goes to Thomas Hill of Greenhous Daf (Shrewsbury) ahead of Craig Sutherland from Norscot Truck & Van (Inverness) and Barry McCavigan from TBF Thompson Daf Trucks (Portadown). The second-year apprentice of the year is Macauley Adams from Wessex Daf (Newton Abbot) ahead of Josh A’Hearn from Adams Morey (Portsmouth) and Joe Peck from Ford & Slater’s Newark site.
Among third-year apprentices, Dexter Truscott from Wessex Daf at Newton Abbot was going for a hat-trick after winning the competition twice previously in his first and second years.  Mr Truscott did indeed make it three in a row, coming out on top this year ahead of Tyler Watson from Ford & Slater of Leicester, and John Lacey of Greenhous Daf (Willenhall).
Ewan Bruce from Lothian Daf won this year’s “award of merit”.
This year’s finals of Scania (Great Britain)’s apprentice-of-the-year competition were held as usual at the company’s well-equipped, modern training centre near Loughborough, Leicestershire. There are four finalists in each of the four most recent intake years, from 2011 to 2014, plus four finalists in the parts apprentice award. Final positions were decided by a series of four workstation tests per intake year, one written and three practical, with each test lasting twenty minutes. Scania (Great Britain) managing director Claes Jacobsson was at pains to stress that just making it through to these finals is a creditable achievement in itself. “The competitions have been contested by a group of highly motivated young professionals,” he said. “It was truly impressive to witness first-hand the wide range of skills on display. Each of our finalists is a credit to their dealership.”
The top Scania parts apprentice this year is Matthew Yeomans from Keltruck’s Burton-on-Trent site, ahead of Martin Kirk from Scania Thirsk, Jordan Foster from Keltruck of West Bromwich, and Sam Hardy from Keltruck of Sutton in Ashfield.
Top prize in the 2011 intake group goes to Dominic Pragliola from TruckEast Peterborough ahead of Jake Ward from Scania Sheffield, Matt Roberson from TruckEast Kings Lynn, and Matthew Laurence from Scania Newbury.
In an exceptionally closely fought contest in the 2012 intake group, Mark Russell from Scania Glasgow emerged as the winner ahead of Ciaran Blakemore from Scania (Great Britain)’s process improvement department, Daniel Blanks from Scania Purfleet, and Joseph Lewis from Scania Avonmouth.
Shaun Richards from Scania Heathrow took top prize in the 2013 intake group, ahead of Piotr Swoboda from TruckEast Thetford, and two apprentices from Scania Purfleet: Anthony Bennett and Devian Pankhania.
In the 2014 intake group top prize goes to Rory Whelan from Scania Grangemouth ahead of Stephen Cartwright from S J Bargh of Lancaster, Taylor Yuill from Scania Bellshill, and Joseph Stepien from Keltruck of West Bromwich.
Two Daf Trucks apprentices (Andrew Markell and Dexter Truscott) found themselves up against one from Scania (Ciaran Blakemore) and one from Mercedes-Benz UK (Harry Atkinson) as finalists in the “heavy vehicle” category of this year’s Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Outstanding Achievers awards. Ciaran Blakemore was announced as the winner at a presentation ceremony last month at the Silverstone race-track in Northamptonshire.
Among other IMI Outstanding Achievers award-winners this year are Will Allen from Volvo Car UK in the “light vehicle” category; Elizabeth Hidgson from Hull College in the “body repair” category; Frank Balchin from Wirral College in the motorcycle category; and New College Lanarkshire in the IMI-approved centre of the year category.
More information from www.theimi.org.uk.

 

The first six bus and coach engineers in Scotland to be accredited under a UK-wide Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) scheme introduced last year (Commercial Vehicle Engineer August 2014) were presented with their certificates last month. All six work for McGill’s Bus Services, a Greenock-based operator with a fleet of around 350 buses. After taking over the former Arriva Scotland West operations three years ago, McGill’s now claims to be Scotland’s largest independent bus operator.
The six McGill’s employees presented with CPT engineering manager accreditation last month at the association’s annual Scottish conference are chief engineer Grant Pirie; engineering quality standards manager Robert Larkins; and engineering managers Alan Hewitt, James McLellan, Mark Hill and Marc Wilson.
“Both individually and as a team we are delighted and extremely proud to have achieved this industry accreditation,” says Mr Pirie. “As chief engineer, I was keen to get my engineering managers involved in the process at a grass-roots level in order to ensure that we continue to progress, develop and improve together as a team.”
More information from www.cpt-uk.org.

 

James Thorley has left MAN Truck and Bus UK, where he has been a bus and coach regional sales executive for the past twelve years, to join Scania (Great Britain) as bus and coach fleet sales manager, reporting to general manager Mark Oliver.
“With an expanding product range and our expertise in delivering vehicles capable of operating on alternative and sustainable fuels such as biodiesel and gas, this is an exciting time for James to be joining us,” says Scania (Great Britain) bus, coach and engine sales director Tony Tomsett. “His experience complements that of our existing team and we now look forward to increased success as he settles into his new role.”
Mr Thorley, 38, has a background in mobile commmunications software. He  worked for Motorola before joining MAN. At Scania (Great Britain) he works from the company’s Worksop, Nottinghamshire bus and coach sales base.

 

Buses minister Andrew Jones is to be the keynote speaker at the latest annual UK Bus Awards presentation, to be held in central London this month (24 November). The awards are being presented by Jeff Halliwell, newly appointed chair of Transport Focus, the independent transport watchdog body called Passenger Focus until the name changed in March.
UK Bus Awards categories this year include “technical and professional”, London awards and operating awards. This year’s finalists in the “engineer of the year” category are Anthony Lowe of Arriva Yorkshire; Frank Clasen of Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company; David Foot of First Solent; Ian Chadwick of First Manchester; and Darren Coppin of Stagecoach London.
The finalists in the “young manager of the year” category are Will Pare of Arriva North East; Jessica Mills of Arriva Yorkshire; Rob Hughes of First Manchester; Laura Smith of Stagecoach North East; and Martin Gibbon of Stagecoach South.
More information at www.transportevents.co.uk, www.ukbusawards.org.uk.

 

 

OCTOBER 2015

Tyre-maker Bridgestone is on a recruitment drive for engineers with a wide range of skills and experience to work at its European technical centre near Rome. A series of three “online events” to give prospective applicants the chance to learn more about the company and the posts starts this month. Expansion of the Rome technical centre (TCE, Technical Centre Europe, in Bridgestone jargon) is central to the Japanese company’s plan to grow its share of the European tyre market. “TCE is a great place to work and develop your career at the heart of Bridgestone’s innovation community,” says Koji Takagi, TCE managing director. “This is where our top-notch engineers and technicians develop key technologies for the future. Candidates will have the opportunity to join a passionate and highly qualified international team. TCE can be a launchpad for a globe-trotting career with Bridgestone.”

The first of the three online recruitment days is 22 October.

More information at http://onedaywith.com/bridgestone/homepage.html

 

Top management at the European division of Chinese tyre-maker Giti has been hastily reorganised following the sudden resignation last month of Richard Lyons, destination unknown. Mr Lyons had been managing director of Giti Tire (Europe) since May 2011. This January he took on additional responsibilities of international sales and marketing director for Giti car tyres. Mr Lyons joined Giti’s then fledgling European division in October 2005 as sales director for the UK, northern Europe and Russia. For nearly five years before that he had been European sales and marketing director at rival tyre-maker Goodyear, which he joined after 15 years as Iveco’s commercial director.
Leadership of Giti’s European operation is now being shared between Stefan Fischer and Corrado Moglia. Mr Fischer is managing director of the company’s European research and development centre, based in Germany. Mr Moglia is managing director of Giti’s Latin American subsidiary.

 

A newly established truck and bus division at one of the UK’s top commercial vehicle engineering recruitment firms went public for the first time last month at Birmingham’s Coach & Bus Live show. The posts it is seeking to fill at present include a Leeds-based senior mechanical design engineer, a Guildford, Surrey-based commercial vehicle braking engineer, and bus and coach technicians in Manchester. Jonathan Lee set up his eponymous business, based in Stourbridge, West Midlands, in 1978 after leaving GKN where he had worked in engineering. Jonathan Lee Recruitment initially specialised solely in automotive engineering vacancies, with GKN as its first client, but since then has continued to grow and diversify, both overseas and into fresh sectors. The group now has around 100 employees; a design services division, based in Warwick; a Basildon, Essex office serving Ford Motor Company; and an office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The new truck and bus division is headed by associate director Henry Noteman. His career in commercial vehicle engineering started with an apprenticeship at Leyland Trucks, as it then was. By the time Leyland Daf had been formed by Daf’s acquisition in the mid 1980s of the former state-owned Leyland Trucks business Mr Noteman was working in the company’s human resources division. He continued to do so following the Daf/Leyland Daf crash into receivership in 1993. Mr Noteman joined Jonathan Lee in 1995. Now he is determined that the company’s new truck and bus division will deliver “best in class recruitment and talent management services.”
The posts he has in mind range from truck and bus technicians at vehicle operator and dealer workshops to senior engineers at vehicle and component manufacturers. Driver recruitment is not an area in which Jonathan Lee is involved, Mr Noteman emphasises. He is especially keen to build “long-term relationships” with clients. “Our partnering and personal approach takes into account the softer issues of recruitment, providing clients with the best skills, personality and cultural fit for their needs,” he says. “Having worked in truck and bus manufacturing for over 20 years, we recognise the unique challenges faced by this industry. In establishing this new team we are reaffirming our commitment to the sector. Typically truck and bus has been interwoven with automotive, but the time is now right to give the sector its own identity to support the sourcing of specialist permanent or contract skills.”

More information from www.jonlee.co.uk/truck-and-bus-recruitment.

 

Sales of Alcoa aluminium truck and bus wheels in the UK and Irish Republic are now being managed by Ghalid Dohri, following promotion of Chris Edwards to western Europe sales manager. Mr Dohri is a computer software engineer who joined Alcoa’s Belgium-based Wheel Products Europe division seven years ago as a database and reporting analyst. He was promoted to system and business analyst in January 2010.
Alcoa wheels for European customers are manufactured in Hungary. Its service and distribution centre is in Belgium. Alcoa wheels are distributed in the Irish Republic by Midland Tyre Services of County Laois, and in the UK by Modern Tyres of County Down, Northern Ireland; Tyretracks (Eccleshall) of Stafford; and Tyre-Line of Daventry, Northamptonshire.

 

The European division of the MiX Telematics group of South Africa has a new boss this month. He is Marc Trollet, who joins the company from Vehco, a French firm specialising in “SAAS" (software as a service) fleet management and telematics systems.
Former MiX Telematics Europe managing director Tony English has left the company. Mr English is well known to many UK fleet operators from the time he spent as sales director at Tranman Solutions, a late 1990s pioneer of fleet management software. In 1997 Mr English teamed up with Tranman managing director George Webb in a management buy-out of the company. Two years later they sold it at a handsome profit to Lex Service, later to become RAC. Mr English joined MiX Telematics as European sales director in 2009. Promotion to managing director of the UK division, including responsibility for the company’s activities in continental Europe and North Africa came two years later.
Before joining Vehco last November, Mr Trollet had been managing director of the French division of another big telematics specialist, Masternaut. His previous experience in this field includes posts as European business development boss at Trafficmaster, and European vice president at Eagle-i Telematics.

 

At the European division of General Motors of the US, Rory Harvey has been promoted from executive director of sales at Opel Europe to chairman and managing director of Vauxhall Motors of the UK and chief executive of Opel’s Irish Republic division. Mr Harvey, 47, fills the vacancy created by the unexpected departure from the Vauxhall top job of Tim Tozer. He has left the GM group. Mr Tozer joined Vauxhall Motors as chairman and managing director in February 2014. Before that he had been chief executive of Autobinck Holding, a Netherlands-based vehicle and parts distribution group. His previous posts include president and chief executive at Mitsubishi Motors Europe, automotive director at Mondial Assistance UK, and managing director of the Mazda car sales and marketing operation in the UK.
Mr Harvey is a mechanical engineer who has worked for GM since 1989. In his new job he reports to Peter Kuespert, Opel Group sales and aftersales vice president.

 

The Paccar group’s Leyland Trucks Lancashire plant where Daf trucks are built is among this year’s winners in the annual “Best Factory Awards” scheme run jointly by Cranfield University School of Management and Works Management” magazine. Leyland Trucks won the supply chain awards category, ahead of “highly commended” Kohler Mira, a Cheltenham-based manufacturer of plumbing and bathroom equipment.
Among the other winners this year are Siemens Magnet Technology of Eynsham, “factory of the year”; and Arla Foods of Aylesbury, “innovation award.”
“We read a lot about the poor performance of UK manufacturing, especially the productivity gap,” says Best Factory Awards director Marek Szwejczewski. “A visit to this year’s award-winners quickly eradicates such misconceptions about the state of UK manufacturing. The best plants have been continuously improving in terms of delivery, quality, and importantly productivity. The winners provide the benchmark of manufacturing excellence and we are very proud to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements.”
Leyland Trucks managing director Bryan Sitko collected the company’s latest award in London last month.
“Our supply chain is critical to our success, so we must pay tribute to each link in this chain, both in the UK and further afield,“ he says. “Each link contributes to the quality of our vehicles and the international reputation of our brand. It is this team work which is testament to British manufacturing at its best.”

More information at www.bestfactoryawards.co.uk

 

Volkswagen Group has a new chief executive and its supervisory board has been restructured in the immediate aftermath of the global car emissions test-cheating scandal that erupted last month. And a much-needed management board member for “integrity and legal affairs” is set to move from Daimler to VW on 1 January 2016. But whether all this will be enough to satisfy circling lawyers, numerous regulators worldwide, dissatisfied shareholders and dismayed customers is still an open question.
Matthias Müller took over from Martin Winterkorn as VW group chief executive on 25 September. Mr Müller, 62, has spent his entire career working for the VW group. He served an apprenticeship as a toolmaker at its Audi car division before studying for a masters degree in computer science at Munich’s University of Applied Sciences. By 1993 he was head of project management at Audi, responsible for the launch of the A3 car. Eight years ago Mr Müller became product management boss of the entire VW group. In 2010 he moved to its Porsche, high performance car division as executive board chairman. His current employment contract runs until February 2020. “My most urgent task is to win back trust for Volkswagen Group, by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation,” he says. “Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry. If we manage to achive that then the VW group with its innovative strength, strong brands and above all its highly motivated team has the opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”
Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt is to join VW as board member responsible for “integrity and legal affairs” on 1 January 2016. Ms Hohmann-Dennhardt at present is in a similar position on the board of Daimler, with a contract running until February 2017. But Daimler has agreed to release her early from this contract. “We are delighted that Dr Hohmann-Dennhardt has agreed to take on this responsible task and that we can build on her outstanding competence and experience,” says VW supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch. “We would like to thank Daimler AG for agreeing to our request to the early termination of contract.”

 

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has a new boss this month. He is Paul Satoor, promoted from deputy DVSA chief executive to fill, temporarily, the vacancy created by last month’s retirement of Alastair Peoples. “Work is underway to recruit a permanent successor,” says a DVSA statement.
Mr Satoor is a personnel management specialist who has been director of HR (“human resources”) and organisational development at DVSA since April 2012. Before that he was a consultant working for Atos for four months following a two-year spell as HR director at VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency). The DVSA was formed on 1 April 2014 by a merger of VOSA and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). Mr Peoples had been VOSA chief executive since August 2009 and became DSA boss as well when Rosemary Thew quit in July 2013.
His civil service career began over 36 years ago in his native Northern Ireland at the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA) where he started as a vehicle/driving examiner. By 1993 a series of promotions had given him extensive experience of several parts of the organisation and taken him to operations director. One of his biggest projects in that job was computerisation of vehicle testing in Northern Ireland. In 2000 he was appointed DVTA director of technical policy and legislation. Four years later Mr Peoples joined VOSA as operations director, shortly before Stephen Tetlow, a former British Army brigadier, succeeded Maurice Newey in the agency's top job. As VOSA deputy chief executive and director of strategy and performance from April 2008, Mr Peoples was one of the chief architects of the "testing transformation strategy" including "authorised testing facilities" (ATF).
Six years ago the whole ATF scheme looked doomed to fail, with no contracts signed and critics accusing Mr Peoples and his DfT bosses of unwanted back-door privatisation of an agency whose independence was cherished. Since then the number of ATF has multiplied greatly and the whole scheme is now almost universally judged a success.
“I am excited to be taking up the role of chief executive at what is an important time in DVSA’s development,” says Mr Satoor. “I want to continue the good work that has been done to make our organisation more effective and efficient, as well as engaging with customers and businesses to make sure that we put them at the heart of our services.”

 

Adrian Wickens, one of the most influential figures in UK bus and coach engineering for several decades, retired from full-time employment at Volvo Bus at the end of last month. Speaking on the first day of the Coach and Bus Live show at Birmingham at a ceremony to mark Mr Wickens’ retirement, Volvo Bus UK managing director Nick Page described him as “a unique member of the Volvo Group team, both at home and overseas.”
Mr Wickens’ 42-year career in the bus and coach business began in London at the drawing office of Park Royal Vehicles, then part of the state-owned British Leyland group. He joined the firm with a degree in mechanical engineering and a masters degree in ergonomics from University College London.
At Leyland Bus and then Volvo following its acquisition of the business from the UK government in the mid 1980s, a series of promotions took Mr Wickens into various engineering and product planning roles, latterly as Volvo Bus product planning manager. Projects he steered during a period working at Volvo’s Gothenburg, Sweden head office included the highly successful introduction of B12M and B12B coaches. Back in the UK, Mr Wickens chaired the bus and coach section of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) from 2004 until January this year.
“I’ve seen many remarkable changes in the coach and bus industry,” he says. “It’s interesting that I survived to tell the tale of deregulation and am leaving when the potential for reregulation is looming on the horizon. So things have almost gone full-circle. And of course the adoption of more accessible and ever-greener vehicles has been an exciting evolution to witness and be part of. It’s been a privilege to be part of the expansion of Volvo Bus as a true global company with growth into eastern Europe, China, the Far East, India and North America. I shall continue to closely follow the company and its fortunes in future.”

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2015

Recruitment, retention, training and health checks of skilled staff, including drivers, technicians and transport managers, are set to be among the main talking points at the latest series of transport manager conferences run by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), starting this month.
A recent FTA survey reveals that no fewer than 34 per cent of transport managers in the UK are planning to quit the industry in the next five years. That is up by about one third on the number answering the question the same way in last year’s survey. Small wonder then that one of the messages expected to come from local traffic commissioners delivering keynote presentations at each of the 12 FTA conference venues, from Kent to Scotland, between now and early December, is that the role of transport manager deserves greater recognition.
This sentiment evidently is shared by Volvo Trucks, sponsoring the FTA transport manager conferences for the third time this year. “We recognise that maintaining compliance is not only a fundamental legal duty for operator-licence holders but also a central component of today’s road transport operations,” says Volvo Group UK marketing director Amanda Hiatt. “We know that, together with our dealer network, we also have an important part to play in offering solutions that help customers achieve the optimum OCRS (operator compliance risk score) rating. That is why we are fully involved in many ways, from maintenance contracts through MOT planning and preparation to telematics and driver development, to help our customers maintain compliance. A day attending one of the FTA transport manager events will prove to be a good investment even for transport managers with the busiest of schedules.”
Managers looking for some nitty-gritty transport engineering subjects on the conference programme will not be disappointed. Andy Mair, FTA’s head of engineering, will be updating delegates on the latest developments in prevention of truck and trailer roll-away.
Volvo Trucks UK and Irish Republic product manager John Comer will be tackling what transport managers say are their main concerns about air quality and the Euro 6 trucks that have been joining fleets in fast increasing numbers since January 2014.
This month’s FTA transport manager conference venues are at Brands Hatch, Kent; Harrogate, North Yorkshire; Warrington, Cheshire and Slough, Berkshire. Next month it moves to Taunton, Peterborough, Chepstow and Dunblane; followed by Durham, Sheffield and Southampton in November; and Coventry on 2 December.

More information at www.fta.co.uk.

 

Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK has a new boss this month. He is Hans Vrijsen, marketing director for “consumer” tyres (car and motorcycle) in the tyre-maker’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division for the past two years. During that time Mr Vrijsen, 41, has also been general manager of Goodyear Dunlop’s EMEA motorcycle and motorsport business unit. He joined the company in 2005 as marketing director of its Iberia operation, based in Madrid. Before that he had been marketing director at Coty, a big multinational supplier of cosmetics and perfumes under brand names such as Chloe and Jovan. Mr Vrijsen’s career in sales and marketing began as a brand manager with the Unilever group in Mexico, selling a vast range of fast-moving consumer goods such as Wall’s ice cream and Cif household cleaners.
At Goodyear Dunlop Tyres, UK Mr Vrijsen takes over the top job from Erich Fric who has been appointed western Europe sales and marketing director in Goodyear’s consumer product business unit. Mr Fric has been managing director of the Wolverhampton-based Goodyear Dunlop operation in the UK since 2012 and has been much in the news lately after announcing surprise plans to close the Wolverhampton retread plant within the next two years (Commercial Vehicle Engineer August). But there is not thought to be any direct connection between this closure plan and Mr Vrijsen’s appointment as Goodyear Dunlop Tyres UK general manager. A company statement says that Messrs Fric and Vrijsen will work together during a handover period “to ensure a smooth transition of leadership responsibilities for Goodyear’s UK and Ireland businesses.”

 

The UK subsidiary of GiTi, one of China’s giant tyre-making groups, is looking for a new truck tyre sales manager for its south Wales and south-west England region, following the resignation of Simon Denny. He leaves the post this month. The job involves dealing with all kinds of truck fleets in the region as well as with tyre-dealers, according to Giti Tire (UK) truck and bus sales and marketing director Tony McHugh. He is keen to attract applicants with a range of backgrounds, not simply those with experience of selling truck and bus tyres. The new regional sales manager will work from home so is expected to be based already in south Wales or the south-west. He or she will be expected to be “the key liaison between fleet owners, tyre specialists and Giti’s UK head office (in Northwich, Cheshire) on all commercial activities,” according to Mr McHugh.
Mr Denny, 46, has been Giti’s Cardiff-based south-west and south Wales regional sales manager since March 2014. Before that he worked for Michelin for 26 years, initially as a truck sales account manager and then in various regional and market segment account management roles. Before joining Michelin Mr Denny had served in the British Army for ten years.

The closing date for applications is 30 September. More information from www.gtradial.co.uk.

 

Liam Walker, a 26-year-old technician working at the West Thurrock, Essex site of the S&B Commercials Mercedes-Benz dealer group, is preparing to fly to Japan next month. The trip, including a visit to the Fuso Truck & Bus head office near Tokyo, is part of his prize for becoming Britain’s first Fuso Canter “technician of the year.”
The competition attracted entries from 70 technicians working at a wide range of Mercedes commercial vehicle (truck and van) workshops, all also responsible for selling and servicing the Daimler group’s Fuso Canter light truck range.
Tony Thrower, aftersales director at S&B Commercials, part of the giant Imperial Commercials group since last year’s sale by the Holmes family, is delighted but unsurprised by Mr Walker’s success in the national competition. “From day one his commitment to the job and to our customers has been outstanding,” he says. “Liam has put in countless hours of his own time in studying and is already qualified to diagnostic technician level for both trucks and vans, which is pretty well unheard of for one so young. He thoroughly deserves his success.”
Mr Walker recalls originally planning to go to university from sixth form to study architecture, but then deciding that trucks were more interesting than buildings. He is not the only UK technician acquiring a reputation for exceptional skill in maintaining and repairing Japanese trucks. Last year a team of technicians from Isuzu Truck (UK), arch-rival of the Fuso Canter dealer network in the UK’s lightweight Japanese truck sector, took top prize in the finals of a global commercial vehicles skills competition run in Japan by Isuzu Motors (Commercial Vehicle Engineer December 2014).

 

Two Daf Trucks apprentices, one from Mercedes-Benz UK and one from Scania (Great Britain) are among this year’s finalists in the annual “outstanding achievers” awards scheme run by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). Andrew Markell and Dexter Truscott are from the Daf Trucks dealer network. Harry Atkinson works at the Northside Truck & Van Mercedes dealer site in York, and Ciaran Blakemore served his apprenticeship at the big Heathrow workshop run by Scania (Great Britain). All four have been nominated for the heavy vehicle category of the 2015 “outstanding achiever” awards. All winners and finalists, including outstanding achievers in light vehicle, fast-fit, paint, body repair and motorcycle categories, will be presented with their awards at a ceremony at the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire next month.
“These awards were created to recognise excellence in the motor industry and we are pleased that they have expanded to celebrate success at all levels,” says IMI chief executive Steve Nash. “Just to be shortlisted is evidence of commitment and dedication to professionalism and quality.”

More information at www.theimi.org.uk.

 

Robert Drewery has joined Optare, the Leeds-based bus-building subsidiary of the Ashok Leyland group, as commercial director. Mr Drewery became a familiar figure to UK bus operators during 16 months spent as Wrightbus business development director. He left that job in March 2014 to become commercial development director at JLA, a Yorkshire-based commercial laundry firm. But Mr Drewery also has sales and marketing experience in trucks and vans as well as in buses. He was business planning manager in the 1990s at LDV, the ill-fated Birmingham-based van-maker, returning to the company in 2005 as director of sales operations. For three years from 2008, Mr Drewery was business development director at Wincanton, a big road transport and logistics group.
At Optare he reports to chief executive Enrico Vassallo. One of the tasks at the top of Mr Drewery’s to-do list is to press on with operator trials of the new MetroDecker double-decker. 

 

The two remaining top management posts at Volkswagen Truck & Bus, a German holding company formed five months ago, have now been filled. Matthias Gründler, chief financial officer at Daimler’s truck and bus division until February, joins the arch-rival VW truck and bus division this month in a similar post. From next month Lars Stenqvist, at present quality and production chief at Scania, becomes head of research and development at the new VW holding company. Both he and Mr Gründler now report to Andreas Renschler, the former Daimler executive, who joined VW last year to head its truck and bus division, including MAN and Scania.
The five other members of the Volkswagen Truck & Bus top management team, all reporting to Mr Renschler, are Antonio Roberto Cortes, MAN Latin America chief executive; Joachim Drees, MAN Truck & Bus chief executive; Per Hallberg, Scania chief executive; Ulf Berkenhagen, heading procurement; Anders Nielsen (former MAN boss), in charge of business development; and Josef Schelchshorn, “human resources”.
“We want to create a global champion with our truck holding,” says Mr Renschler. “That is why it is important for us to unite excellent, international and integrative personalities in our lean team. The holding will provide focused and efficient management of Volkswagen Group’s truck business. We will bring the units closer together, intensify the global presence and strengthen our brands."

 

OBITUARY

Jack Kernohan, whose 40-year career at Wrights Group of Ballymena, Northern Ireland made him one of the best-known and well-liked figures in the UK bus industry, died this month at the age of 78. Mr Kernohan was Wrightbus sales director from 1988 until his retirement in 2005. He was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to the bus industry in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Mr Kernohan’s career at the Ballymena bus-builder began modestly, as workshop foreman. From there he progressed to production manager before switching to sales in 1970 when he was appointed sales manager. Five years ago he wrote and published a book, The Wright Way, to mark the company’s 60th anniversary. It was founded by Robert Wright as a small commercial vehicle coachbuilder and is now one of the UK’s top-selling bus manufacturers.
William Wright, Robert’s 88-year-old son, recalls the many years he spent with Mr Kernohan as a colleague and close friend. “We are all deeply saddened at the loss of Jack,” he says. “He was a great character, with a mischievous spirit, well liked and respected by all who knew him. With over 40 years of service to the company, he was a key figure in the growth and development of the business. Even after he retired, he maintained a keen interest and strong links with the company and his many friends in the industry. Everyone in the company would wish to extend their deepest condolences to Jack’s family.”

 

AUGUST 2015

A restructured fleet services division at Lancashire County Council has a new boss this month. He is Andrew Burrows, a civil engineer who has worked for the council since 1987, latterly as “public realm manager” in its highway services division. In his new post as fleet manager, Mr Burrows, 53, heads an operation with around 900 commercial vehicles including a substantial “winter maintenance” fleet (such as gritters, tippers and snow-ploughs) and specialist “travel care” vehicles for disabled and vulnerable people. His responsibilities also include maintenance and procurement of around 900 pieces of plant including wood-chippers, road-pavers, mini-excavators, diggers and tractors. Nearly all the maintenance and repair of this plant and vehicle fleet is carried out at five council-owned workshops, staffed by around 45 technicians in all, including a paintshop and bodyshop at the main Bamber Bridge site near Preston.
The operation also includes DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) approved annual roadworthiness testing of vehicles in MOT classes 4,5 and 7. Maintenance and repair work is carried out for third-party fleets including Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service, local community transport groups, the probation service, and other local authorities. The council’s management restructure means that responsibility for procurement has been separated from maintenance and repair, with both functions now headed by Mr Burrows. A maintenance manager and a procurement manager report to him. The council’s total annual procurement budget amounts to around £529 million at present. A new “procurement strategy” was published last October.
Under the old Lancashire County Council structure the vehicle maintenance, repair and procurement operation was headed by principal fleet engineer Chris Grime. He has now left the council and is working for Veolia, a waste-management company, as northern region head of fleet, reporting to fleet director John Matthews. Since his appointment to that job two years ago Mr Matthews has put in place a management structure he describes as “controlled decentralisation”, with regional fleet managers accountable for their own workshops and costs but with fleet policy controlled centrally.
Mr Grime, 59, was Lancashire County Council’s principal fleet engineer for 15 years. His career began as an apprentice at Reed Transport of Darwen in his native Lancashire. He originally worked for the council as a fleet engineer but left in 1992 to join Lancashire Waste Services as an operations manager. He rejoined the council in January 2000.

 

Guy Heywood, highly-regarded commercial director of Michelin Tyre’s UK and Irish Republic truck and bus division, has been promoted to commercial director of the company’s entire British Isles operation. Mr Heywood, 48, now takes charge of commercial operations covering car, motorcycle, earthmover and agricultural tyres as well as truck, van and bus.
Michelin manufactures more tyres in the UK than all other tyre-makers put together, reckons Mr Heywood. The company’s three tyre plants here are at Ballymena, Dundee and adjacent to its UK head office at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, where £30 million was spent last year on modernising truck and bus tyre retreading.
Malcolm Scovell has been commercial director of Michelin’s UK and Irish Republic business for the past six years. He remains with the company but following Mr Heywood’s promotion is now working on special projects.
“Michelin has been a major player in the UK since opening its first office in London 110 years ago,” says Mr Heywood. “I’m looking forward to helping steer the company’s continued growth and development in this key market.”

 

The UK subsidiary of Irizar, a big Spanish coach and bus manufacturer, is planning to recruit at least two additional field service engineers as sales of its integral coaches continue to grow. In the first six months of this year the number of new Irizar coach registrations in the UK was 45, according to figures from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This compares with 29 in the same period last year. There are now around 200 integral Irizar coaches in service in the UK, according to Ian Hall, sales director at Worksop, Nottinghamshire-based Irizar UK. This number looks set to grow fast, he reckons, judging by a bulging order book. The Irizar UK headcount needs to grow further to cope with demand.  Among the latest new recruits at Irizar UK is field service engineer Jon Clark who joined the company in June from Axe-Vale Coaches of Axbridge, Somerset, where he was a technician responsible for maintaining and repairing a small fleet of coaches working on private hire, local and school services. Mr Clark, 42, has extensive experience of a wide range of commercial vehicle maintenance and repair. Before joining Axe-Vale he had been engineering manager at Crosville Motor Services, a bus service operator based in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. Before that he spent ten years working at AA's roadside assistance division. At Irizar UK Mr Clark continues to be based in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, working in parallel with Worksop-based senior field service engineer Darren Bradshaw and aftersales manager Dave Gregory.
The two newest members of the team are aftersales administrator Natalie Bacon and sales support co-ordinator Helena Young. Business development manager Julie Hartley joined the company last year after four years in sales and marketing at Expo Management (now part of the DivCom group), the company behind the Euro Bus Expo and Coach & Bus Live shows as well as publishing Route One, a weekly magazine for bus and coach operators.
Ms Hartley’s previous bus and coach sales and marketing experience includes jobs with Volvo Truck & Bus, Dawsonrentals, EvoBus (UK) and MAN Truck & Bus UK.
Irizar continues to provide bodywork for Scania coaches but the integral all-Irizar coach range, comprising the i4, i6 and PB models, are powered by Daf engines. The i2e is Irizar’s all-electric (battery-powered) bus.

More information from www.irizar.co.uk.

 

Shortlists of contenders for two high-profile road transport awards schemes have been published by their organisers. There are three finalists in each of the 13 categories of the awards scheme run by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, CILT (UK). Those finalists include O’Donovan Waste Disposal, Cemex UK and Gist in the “vulnerable road user safety” category; DB Schenker Rail, Reading Buses and United Biscuits in the “environmental improvement” category; and Debbie Cavaldoro of Nautilus Telegraph magazine together with Paul Clifton and Richard Westcott of the BBC in the “transport and logistics journalist of the year” category. The winners will be announced at the CILT dinner in central London on 22 October.

More information from www.ciltuk.org.uk.

Among the shortlisted contenders for Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) awards this year are Reading Buses, Dundee City Council, BYD Europe, Leyland Trucks, Optare, Scania (Great Britain) and Dearman Engine Company. The Low CVP awards will be presented in Milton Keynes on 9 September, the first day of this year’s two-day Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event. 

More information from www.lowcvp.org.uk.

 

Shaun Stephenson, fleet director at Bidvest Logistics, has been elected president of the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE), a London-based charity and engineering institute.
Mr Stephenson, 45, began his road transport career as an engineering apprentice at Reliance Commercials, a Leeds-based ERF dealer which later became part of the Chatfields group before being acquired by Croft Fleet Maintenance in 2007. Mr Stephenson was a Gist shift manager for six years until February 1997. Since then he has worked in increasingly senior fleet management and engineering posts at companies including Hoyer, Arla Foods and Biffa. In 2007 Mr Stephenson moved from BSS, a plumbing products distributor, to Ryder, a big contract hire and rental operation based in Devizes, Wiltshire, as general manager, fleet engineering. Three years ago he left Ryder to become fleet and compliance director at PCL, a Hertfordshire-based food distribution operation. PCL was bought by Bidvest, an acquisitive South Africa-based conglomerate, last year. Bidvest Logistics now runs around 900 commercial vehicles on food services distribution in the UK.
As SOE president Mr Stephenson takes over from Gerry Fleming, a former Belfast Council fleet manager who is now a self-employed consultant. SOE was formed 15 years ago by a controversial merger of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) and the Institution of Plant Engineers (IPlantE). Total combined membership was around 20,000 at the time of the merger but now stands at less than 13,000.
SOE has been without a chief executive since Peter Walsh left the organisation suddenly last October, after only a year in the job, to return to his native Australia (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April). A London-based firm of head-hunters, Saxton Bampfylde, has been hired to find a new chief executive. The closing date for applications was 22 June. According to the Saxton Bampfylde advertisement, one of the key responsibilities of the new SOE boss will be to “work with the trustee board (now headed by Shaun Stephenson) to ensure the SOE provides first-class and growing services to its members.”

 

 

JULY 2015

A new marketing and sales director starts work this month at the Eindhoven, Netherlands head office of Daf Trucks. He is Richard Zink, promoted from operations and European sales director to succeed Ron Bonsen, who is set to retire at the end of September.
Mr Bonsen, 63, has worked for Paccar-owned Daf Trucks for 17 years, joining the company as managing director of its Czech Republic sales and marketing operation in 1998. He later headed similar national operations in the Netherlands and Germany before being appointed marketing and sales director and member of the Daf Trucks management board in 2007, filling the vacancy created by Kerry McDonagh’s departure.
Mr Zink worked for Philips, a Netherlands-based electrical goods giant, and car-maker Nissan before joining Daf in its logistics division in 1999. He was promoted to managing director of the cab and axle plant in Westerlo, Belgium in 2005, joining the Daf Trucks top management board five years later as operations director.

 

An extensive global Volvo Group truck division restructure aimed at cutting costs and improving profitability (Commercial Vehicle Engineer November 2014) has now cascaded down to the UK and other European countries, including France, Italy and Spain. In all these countries what are described as the “support functions” of Renault Trucks and Volvo Trucks sales and marketing operations are being merged, thus eliminating high-cost layers of management. In the UK, following last year’s Renault Trucks UK move from Dunstable into the Volvo Group UK head office at Warwick, closer integration means the posts being made redundant include those of Renault Trucks UK managing director Gino Costa and Renault Trucks UK marketing director Penny Randall. Mr Costa is leaving the Volvo group. Ms Randall may stay in the group in a different job but this was unconfirmed as this edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer was being finalised.
What is clear is that Arne Knaben (Commercial Vehicle Engineer February) has been promoted to managing director of all Volvo Group trucks operations (Volvo, Renault and the BRS truck rental operation) in the UK and Irish Republic. Reporting to him are Nigel Butler, commercial director of the Renault Trucks brand, and Mike Corcoran, commercial director of the Volvo Trucks brand.
Though Renault and Volvo truck dealers have been merged in eastern Europe as part of the group-wide restructure, there are no plans for any similar merger in the UK, it seems. Tony Davis is now retail development director responsible for running the Volvo truck dealer network here. Ian Wrench, formerly Renault Trucks UK commercial aftersales director, is now Mr Davis’s opposite number responsible for Renault truck dealers.
Amanda Hiatt is promoted from Volvo Trucks UK marketing director to the new post of group marketing director, responsible for marketing of new and used trucks (Volvo and Renault), BRS, aftermarket products and services, and media relations. Further jobs are expected to change as the reorganisation continues. It is expected to be completed by early September.

 

Tracey Perry started a new job last month as national fleet manager in the commercial vehicles division of Volkswagen (UK). She previously worked for Fiat Auto in the UK, latterly as corporate sales manager. Before joining Fiat Auto in 2007 as national key account manager, Ms Perry had been corporate business manager at Renault. Before that she was in a similar post for nine years at the Volkswagen groups’s Audi car division.
Returning to VW, Ms Perry now fills the vacancy created by the departure in January of Alastair Hemmings. He had been VW’s commercial vehicles national fleet manager in the UK for four years. Ms Perry now reports to Chris Black, head of fleet.

 

Kevin Burns has joined the Freight Transport Association (FTA) as commercial director, filling the vacancy created by the surprise departure three months ago of Karen Crispe after less than a year in the job (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April). Ms Crispe is now commercial director at the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
Mr Burns joins FTA from Cistermiser, a Berkshire-based company specialising in water control and flushing equipment for toilets in commercial premises. He was Cistermiser commercial director for two years. Before that he worked in senior sales, marketing and management posts at companies including Wilts Electrical Wholesale, Pulsar Direct (a now defunct plumbing supplier) and Lex Harvey, a fork-lift truck supplier which became part of the Finning International group more than ten years ago.
At FTA Mr Burns reports to newly appointed chief executive David Wells, who has wasted no time in restructuring the association’s senior management. As part of that restructure, FTA’s highly-regarded seminar and events manager Tracy Tingley has been made redundant. Mrs Tingley ran her own successful event-organising company, Party People, for nearly 13 years before joining FTA in 2007. Since then she has been at the heart of the Kent-based association's busy national seminar and conference programme including the well-liked fleet engineer and transport manager seminars.
FTA is now looking to appoint an events and exhibitions manager to not only organise such events but to take on marketing responsibility as well. Mrs Tingley meanwhile plans to work independently as a freelance event organiser.

 

A little less than two years on from his appointment as Scania (Great Britain) managing director, Claes Jacobsson seems as determined as ever to beef up his senior management team at every opportunity. Within the past two months alone he has poached not only a long-serving sales director from Daf, Kevin Lanksford, but now also the managing director of one of Europe’s biggest independent Scania dealers, Andrew Jamieson of Keltruck.
Mr Lanksford has been appointed Scania’s fleet and specialist vehicle sales director in the UK, filling a vacancy soon to be created by the retirement of David Johnson, a Scania employee for 32 years. For the past two years Mr Lanksford has been UK sales director at Paccar Financial, the Daf Trucks in-house financial services division. His long career in sales and financial services at the Daf Trucks group began in 1989 when he joined what was then Leyland Daf Finance as a Bristol-based assistant regional manager. In 1993, following the Daf/Leyland Daf crash, Mr Lanksford moved into general management at a big independent Daf Trucks dealer group, Adams Morey. Ten years later he joined Daf Trucks itself as national fleet sales manager. Subsequent promotions took him to fleet sales general manager and then fleet sales director before he moved to Paccar Financial in June 2013.
At Scania (Great Britain) Mr Lanksford reports to truck sales director Martin Hay.
Andrew Jamieson has been Keltruck managing director for the past seven years. Now he has been appointed to a newly created Scania (Great Britain) post, operations and risk director, in which his main responsibilities will be contract hire, rental and used vehicle operations, working closely with used and export sales director Peter Ross. Mr Jamieson starts the new job on 1 September.
He originally worked for Scania as marketing and rental manager before moving in 2005 to Derek Jones Commercials, then an East Midlands-based independent Scania dealer group, as aftersales director. Derek Jones Commercials and another dealer group, Ro-Truck of East Anglia, merged to form TruckEast in January 2006. When TruckEast was bought by former Keltruck directors led by John Biggin in April 2007, Mr Jamieson moved to Keltruck as aftersales director, reporting to Chris Kelly, the company’s founder and chairman. He was promoted to managing director a year later.

 

JUNE 2015

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is looking for a new chief executive following confirmation that Alastair Peoples is to retire from the civil service in October. The DVSA was formed on 1 April 2014 by a merger of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). Mr Peoples had been VOSA chief executive since August 2009 and became DSA boss as well when Rosemary Thew quit in July 2013.
His civil service career began over 36 years ago in his native Northern Ireland at the Driver & Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA) where he started as a vehicle/driving examiner. By 1993 a series of promotions had given him extensive experience of several parts of the organisation and taken him to operations director. One of his biggest projects in that job was computerisation of vehicle testing in Northern Ireland. In 2000 he was appointed DVTA director of technical policy and legislation. Four years later Mr Peoples joined VOSA as operations director, shortly before Stephen Tetlow, a former British Army brigadier, succeeded Maurice Newey in the agency's top job. As VOSA deputy chief executive and director of strategy and performance from April 2008, Mr Peoples was one of the chief architects of the "testing transformation strategy" including "authorised testing facilities" (ATF).
Six years ago the whole ATF scheme looked doomed to fail, with no contracts signed and critics accusing Mr Peoples and his DfT bosses of unwanted back-door privatisation of an agency whose independence was cherished. Since then the number of ATF has multliplied greatly and the whole scheme is now almost universally judged a success.

 

The UK arm of Makita, a big Japanese power-tool manufacturer, is throwing its weight behind the extraordinary efforts of one London-based distributor determined to do all he can to help people in Nepal following the April earthquake. Bobby Singh, owner of Russell’s Trade & DIY of Tooting, south London, went to Nepal last month and has donated about £7,500 worth of personal protective equipment to rescue workers. He says that he has no direct link to the country but was moved by television and radio reports following the 25 April earthquake. Frustrated at all the “red tape” he encountered when trying to support big charities, Mr Singh took it upon himself to deliver tarpaulins, rice, blankets and mats to people living under trees in remote areas. Now he is seeking to raise at least £50,000 to pay for what he describes as “semi-permanent living structures made from bricks and corrugated sheeting.” Mr Singh is keen to hear from anyone able to support him, on 07904 891411.

The website for donations is www.weareonenepal.org.

Makita is donating power-tools which Mr Singh will use as prizes in a fund-raising raffle.

 

The truck sales engineering department at Scania (Great Britain)’s Milton Keynes base has a new look this month following the retirement of two of its longest-serving staff members.
Clive Burnet retired as technical manager - trucks last month following a 35-year career at Scania. This month sales engineer Steve Cardy also retires, having worked for Scania for 27 years. Phil Rootham has been promoted from sales engineer to take over from Mr Burnet (though the job title has changed slightly to “pre-sales technical manager - trucks”), and Scott Mallender, formerly general manager at the Boston, Lincolnshire Scania dealer site has been appointed sales engineer, based at Milton Keynes. A second new sales engineer has yet to be appointed.

 

Matt Buckley is the new service and parts manager at Boughton Engineering, formerly Reynolds Boughton,  a long-established designer and manufacturer of hook-loaders, skip-loaders, close-coupled trailers and bulk waste semi-trailers. The company has been part of Skan Group Holdings since May 2011 and shares a Wolverhampton base with Oldbury UK, another Skan Group subsidiary. Mr Buckley fills the vacancy created by John Wilson’s departure. He is now fleet manager at PFB Hire of Birmingham.

 

Alastair Munro has joined Optare, the Ashok Leyland group’s Yorkshire-based bus-builder, as engineering director, in effect filling the vacancy created by Glenn Saint’s departure last October (Commercial Vehicle Engineer November 2014). Mr Saint had worked for Optare under several owners for 17 years, latterly as chief technical officer and deputy chief executive, reporting to chief executive Enrico Vassallo. He left the company to become technical director at Charge Engineering, a fledgling, Oxfordshire-based electric vehicle technology firm with ambitious growth plans.
Mr Munro has been running his own consultancy, AWDM of York, for the past year. His jobs before that include Ambulance Fleetcare Services director, UV Modular engineering director, director of engineering at Blue Bird Corporation, and product development manager at Volvo Trucks when it had an assembly plant in Irvine, Ayrshire. Ken Anderson, head of the Ashok Leyland European technical centre at Mira (originally the Motor Industry Research Association), Warwickshire has been Optare’s temporary head of engineering since last November.

 

Mike Nicholson has moved from furniture group Steinhoff UK, the company behind Bensons for Beds and Harveys, to become business development manager at Supertrucks, a Merseyside-based manufacturer of glass-carrying vehicle bodies and racking systems.  Mr Nicholson has been Steinhoff UK's group transport manager for the past 12 years. Supertrucks was acquired by West Midlands-based Bevan Group last year. “We’ve practically doubled the size of the Supertrucks team since taking control and the company is now in much better shape," says Bevan Group managing director Anthony Bevan. "Mike is an experienced and motivated industry professional who has fully bought into our vision for the business. He’s now going to be instrumental in taking Supertrucks to the next level.” Supertrucks customers include Float Glass Industries, HW Glass, IG Glass, Pilkington and Wolesley Group.

 

 

 

 

MAY 2015

An unprecedented top-level management upheaval at Sweden's two arch-rival truck- and bus-makers has resulted in both Scania and Volvo losing their chief executives. Olof Persson, Volvo Group president and chief executive since September 2011, left the company suddenly last month. Reports in Swedish media suggest he was forced out by shareholders who saw no signs of Mr Persson's radical cost-cutting and reorganisation plan delivering the improved profit margin he had promised. Senior Volvo Group sources say that Mr Persson's abrasive management style and in particular his controversial restructuring of the group's Volvo Buses, Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks divisions had left many experienced executives feeling alienated. Several have quit over the past four years.

There has been no official comment from Mr Persson, 50, about his resignation. A statement from Volvo Group chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg is terse, with no explanation for Mr Persson's departure and none of the warm wishes and thanks that departing company chiefs can usually expect.
“Olof Persson has carried out an extensive change of Volvo Group with energy and determination,” says Mr Svanberg, evidently choosing his words with care. “He has focused Volvo on commercial vehicles and sold unrelated businesses and assets to a value of over SEK 20 billion (£1.5 billion). He has introduced a functional organisation and paved the way for cost savings of SEK 10 billion (£77 million). He has also concluded the agreement with Dongfeng, one of China’s largest truck manufacturers, and led the company during the largest product renewal in the group’s history. Today Volvo Group is considerably better positioned to compete for leadership in the vehicle industry.”

The man recruited to step into Mr Persson's shoes at Volvo Group's Gothenburg head office comes from arch-rival Scania, based in Södertälje, Sweden and wholly owned by the Volkswagen group since last year. He is Martin Lundstedt, Scania president and chief executive until last month. Mr Lundstedt, 47, has worked for Scania since 1992, moving into the top job in September 2012 when he was promoted to fill the vacancy created by Leif Östling's move to head VW's entire heavy commercial vehicles division, including MAN and Scania. Constrained by the terms of his Scania contract, Mr Lundstedt now has to wait until October before starting his new job at Volvo. Meanwhile the group's chief financial officer, Jan Gurander, has been appointed acting chief executive.
“After three years of focus on product renewal, internal efficiency and restructuring, Volvo Group is gradually entering a new phase with an increased focus on growth and increased profitability," says chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. "This will be achieved by further building on our leading brands, strong assets and engaged and skilled employees all over the world. Martin Lundstedt has 25 years of experience from development, production and sales within the commercial vehicle industry and is also known for his winning leadership style.”

Per Hallberg, head of production and logistics, has been appointed acting president and chief executive at Scania until Mr Lundstedt's successor is found. Already there is speculation that Andreas Renschler, the former Daimler commercial vehicles boss who succeeded Leif Östling (now retired) as VW's commercial vehicles supremo in February, may be keen to bring in a former Daimler colleague as he did last month at MAN (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April).
Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen group chief executive and chairman of the Scania board of directors, is unstinting in his praise for Mr Lundstedt's management skills.
“We respect Martin Lundstedt’s decision to leave the company and wish to thank him for his successful efforts to further develop and strengthen Scania's strong market position during his years as president and chief executive,” he says.
Mr Winterkorn himself emerged victorious late last month from a VW group boardroom power struggle with Ferdinand Piech, the group's controversial chairman who for years has seemed to his critics to have far too much personal sway over Europe's largest car-maker. Mr Piech, 78, last month resigned from the VW board, as did his wife, Ursula. But Mr Piech's son-in-law Christian Klingler remains as the group's sales and marketing chief, and the Piech family continues to hold a large number of VW group shares. The cause of Mr Piech's resignation, according to a VW statement, was that "mutual trust is no longer present." This follows an interview with a German newspaper in which Mr Piech criticised Mr Winterkorn. Deputy chairman Berthold Huber has been appointed interim chairman until a more permament successor to Mr Piech is appointed. VW's preference share price rose by more than five per cent following news of Mr Piech's resignation.

 

Bob Lowden has quit as boss of Iveco's UK and Irish Republic sales and marketing operation, less than six months after starting the job.
Mr Lowden, 57, was appointed Iveco Ltd managing director late last year (Commercial Vehicle Engineer November 2014) following the surprise departure of Claudio Zanframundo, in the post only since May 2013. Mr Zanframundo is now based in Turin, Italy as network development director for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region of CNH Industrial, Iveco's parent group, encompassing agricultural and construction equipment manufacturing as well as FPT Industrial (formerly Fiat Powertrain) engine manufacturing and Iveco commercial vehicles. Mr Lowden has left CNH Industrial entirely, though the reasons for his departure remained unclear as this edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer was being finalised. An Iveco statement says only that he has "left the organisation to pursue other activities" and Mr Lowden himself was unavailable for comment. His departure must be a severe embarrasment for Iveco and CNH Industrial, not least because only a couple of months ago he was emphasising that he expected to be in the post far longer than his predecessors. Iveco is in the process of moving its UK head office from Watford, where it has been based for 30 years, to the CNH Industrial UK site at Basildon, Essex. But a company spokesperson insists that this impending move, due to be completed by the end of June, is unconneccted with Mr Lowden's departure.
CNH Industrial bosses in Turin have moved swiftly to appoint his successor. He is Stuart Webster, at present marketing director for CNH Industrial's financial services division in the EMEA region. Mr Webster has a background in banking and financial services. He was a director at the BNP Paribas bank's leasing division for eight years until 2000 when he joined CNH Capital as a country manager. He was based at Iveco's Watford office as managing director of Iveco Capital Ltd from 2005 to 2012 and has been in his current, Turin-based post since October 2013.
Mr Lowden is a former Iveco UK dealer network director who left that job in January 2012 to become managing director of Iveco's operation in South Africa.
Mr Lowden's commercial vehicle industry career began with BRS, then part of the National Freight Consortium, in north eastern England. From there he moved to the Cowie group, a big Iveco Ford dealer at the time, as aftersales director. He joined Iveco in 1990 and a series of promotions took him to parts sales director and customer service director before his appointment as dealer network director in 2011.
Mr Lowden returned to the UK from South Africa last year following Mr Zanframundo's surprise recall to Turin as part of a wide-ranging Europe-wide senior management restructure at the CNH Industrial division initiated by Pierre Lahutte, appointed Iveco "brand president" last July following the unexpected sudden departure of Lorenzo Sistino (Commercial Vehicle Engineer July).
Mr Webster's main challenge in his new job in the UK will be to try to reverse a continuing slide in the company's share of the heavu truck market (above six tonnes gvw). "Too many fleet operators shy away from Iveco heavy trucks for what can only be described as outdated historical reasons," said Mr Lowden a few months ago. In the first three months of this year Iveco's share of the UK truck market has fallen by more than eleven per cent compared with the same period last year though the total number of all truck registrations has grown by more than 50 per cent, according to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

 

 

APRIL 2015

A team of technicians from Nottingham will represent the UK in December in the world final of a prestigious, biennial global skills competition run by Scania. Last month the team from Keltruck’s Nottingham depot, calling themselves The Robin Hoods, won their place in this year’s “Top Team” December final in Sweden by beating teams from nine other countries in a regional final in Bratislava, Slovakia. This followed success for The Robin Hoods in a UK round of the competition in which entries from many Scania workshop teams, from both independent dealers and those run by Scania (Great Britain), were whittled down to a shortlist of ten.
“I am delighted for the Keltruck Nottingham team, whose success is down to many hours of study, practice and sheer hard work,” says John Wainwright, Top Team project leader at Scania (Great Britain). “Top Team is a gruelling tournament which tests contestants’ theoretical and practical skills to the absolute limit. Only the fittest survive, and reaching the world final is a massive achievement in its own right. It means that Scania Nottingham is recognised as one of the best twelve Scania aftersales teams worldwide. We wish them every success as they prepare for the world final.”
In that final, to be held at Scania’s base in Södertälje, The Robin Hoods will be up against eleven other teams following regional rounds in Argentina and China.
The prize fund for the overall winner and two runners-up amounts to €100,000 (£73,000). The competition was won in 2013 by the “Southern Stars” team from Australia. This year’s competition has attracted entries from 62 countries.
In 2011 the first UK team to qualify for a Top Team world final came from West Pennine Trucks of Manchester. It finished a creditable fourth. The Robin Hoods are intent on doing even better in December.

 

Less than a year after joining the Freight Transport Association (FTA) as its first commercial director, Karen Crispe has left the Tunbridge Wells, Kent-based trade association to become commercial director at the rival Road Haulage Association (RHA). There she replaces, in effect, Richard Ellithorne. He was RHA operations director from September 2009 until he left last month. Mr Ellithorne says he is now “seeking a new role.”

 

Bob Gowans has left Mercedes-Benz UK, where he has been heavy truck product manager for the past four years, to become commercial manager at Andover Trailers, a Hampshire-based trailer-maker specialising in heavy-haulage trailers and bodywork for carrying plant and construction equipment. Before joining Mercedes at the end of 2010, Mr Gowans, 33, had worked for Paccar’s Leyland Trucks as a lead engineer in its sales engineering and homologation department. He is a chartered engineer (CEng) and a member of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) who joined Leyland Trucks early in 2007.
At Andover Trailers he reports to managing director Tim Wright.

 

 

In a poacher-turned-gamekeeper coup for Optare, the West Yorkshire-based bus-maker (part of the Ashok Leyland group) has recruited Graham Belgum as a director. Mr Belgum has extensive experience as a senior engineer in UK bus fleets. Between 2008 and 2012 he was business improvement director (chief engineer, in effect) at FirstGroup, the UK’s biggest bus fleet operator at the time with 9,000 buses and 3,500 employees. Before that he had been engineering director at CentreWest Buses, operating around 1,400 buses from 14 London depots. During his time at First Mr Belgum became well known for his forthright public criticism of some bus manufacturers for failing to take proper account of maintenance engineers when designing and building their vehicles. In his new job at Optare, as “business process excellence and aftermarket director”, starting last month, Mr Belgum is now responsible for ensuring that the company does not fall into this trap. Mr Belgum is a chartered engineer who was a lieutenant-colonel in the British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers before joining CentreWest. Since leaving First in July 2012 he has been fleet director at Condor Ferries, a Dorset-based shipping company.

 

The first senior management change in the Volkswagen group’s giant global commercial vehicles division since Andreas Renschler took over from Leif Östling as its boss two months ago means a new chief executive starts work this month at the MAN Truck & Bus head office in Munich. He is Joachim Drees who replaces Anders Nielsen with effect from 1 April. Like Mr Renschler, Mr Drees, 50, used to work in Daimler’s truck division, though since 2012 he has been a director of Drees & Sommer, a property and construction consultancy based in Stuttgart, Germany. For six years before that he was a partner in HG Capital, a private equity firm based in London. Mr Drees worked with Mr Renschler as a Daimler and Mercedes trucks director between 1996 and 2006. Mr Nielsen, who used to work with Mr Östling at Scania, has been MAN chief executive since September 2012. Now he has been moved sideways to head business development in the VW group’s commercial vehicles division, reporting to Mr Renschler.
MAN is reported in German media to be seeking urgently to find cost savings, possibly through redundancies at its manufacturing plants, in the face of persistently weak sales of its trucks and buses in Europe. The company is said to be in talks with trade unions over scaling back its manufacturing operation. ZF gearboxes in MAN trucks will start to be replaced by Scania gearboxes from later this year as VW seeks to cut costs and improve profitability from both its MAN and Scania subsidiaries.
Heinz Jürgen Low, the former Volvo Group executive who left its Renault Trucks division to become MAN sales and marketing director has had his contract extended until 2021 by the Volkswagen group’s supervisory board.

 

Peter Walsh, an Australian mining engineer who was chief executive of the London-based Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) for just over one year until last October, is returning to Australia this month. What his new job there  will be remained unclear as this edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer was being finalised, but it is unconnected with SOE. Mr Walsh failed to respond to our repeated attempts to contact him. A spokesperson at SOE, an engineering institute formed 15 years ago by a merger of the Institute of Road Transport Engineers and the Institution of Plant Engineers, says that the recruitment process for a new chief executive has begun but it was too early to say when any appointment was likely. Meanwhile Ian Chisholm is temporarily heading the organisation, promoted from head of operations and communications to executive director. 

 

Organisations and individuals planning to enter the latest round of the annual high-profile awards scheme run by The Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics in the UK (CILT) have until 29 May to get their entries in. Winners will be announced at a central London dinner on 22 October. Award categories this year include environmental improvement, operations excellence, safety, supply chain best practice, and logistics and transport journalist.
“Our annual awards are a unique opportunity to recognise individuals and companies for their outstanding contributions to the success of the profession, giving organisations the platform to both publicise and celebrate their achievements,” days CILT chief executive Steve Agg.

More information at www.ciltuk.org.uk/awards.

For information on awards sponsorship contact the CILT’s Allison Glandfield on 01536 740125, e-mail: allison.glandfield@ciltuk.org.uk.

 

The Renault Trucks UK apprentice training scheme has been switched from Remit, a Nottingham-based training provider, to Stephenson College of Coalville, Leicestershire. The college already runs an apprentice training scheme for Volvo Trucks, a sister company of Renault Trucks in the Volvo group. Current Renault Trucks UK apprentices have been assured that their training will not be interrupted in any way as a result of the change. Any new apprentice vacancies in the Renault Trucks UK dealer network from now on will be handled by Stephenson College. College staff are said to be “liaising with dealers and the competence development team (based at the Renault Trucks UK head office shared with Volvo Trucks in Warwick) to ensure vacancies are filled with high-calibre candidates.” Apprentices, their parents and dealer representatives are expected to be invited to tour the college campus over the next couple of months. “It’s great news,” says Stephenson College quality director Simon Kibble. “We’re looking forward to working with Renault Trucks UK and welcoming the company’s apprentices this September.”

 

OBITUARY

Per Vilhelm Brüel, co-founder of the Danish company behind sound and vibration measurement equipment used extensively by commercial vehicle engineers around the world, died this month at the age of 100. Brüel & Kjaer (B&K) was established in 1942 by Mr Brüel together with Viggo Kjaer after they had met at university in Copenhagen, Denmark. 


 

 

 

 

MARCH 2015

 

Mike Belk has been appointed managing director of the Mercedes-Benz UK trucks business unit, with effect from 1 May. Mr Belk at present is president and chief executive of Daimler's Middle East and Levant division, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
In the UK he will fill the vacancy created by the promotion of Michael Kamper to head of marketing, sales and customer services at Daimler Trucks Asia. Mr Kamper starts his new job this month.
Mr Belk first began working for Mercedes-Benz in the UK in 1991 following a twelve-year career in the British Army. This included officer training at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and a three-year BSc (Bachelor of Science) degree course in engineering at the Royal Military College of Science (now the Defence Academy - College of Management and Technology), based in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire.
At Daimler Benz and then DaimlerChrysler in the UK, a string of promotions had taken Mr Belk by 2001 to the post of after-sales operations director. In 2002, following the global unwinding of the ill-fated DaimlerChrysler combine and a company name-change in the UK, to Mercedes-Benz UK, Mr Belk's job title became customer services group managing director. He was in this post, including responsibility for the whole Mercedes-Benz car and commercial vehicle parts and service business in the UK, from October 2002 until March 2010 when he moved to Dubai to head Middle East distribution and sales of Daimler group vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks, vans and buses, as well as US-built Freightliner and Western Star trucks.

Andrew Davis, one of the UK’s most prominent commercial vehicle engineers, is set to retire at the end of this month as Carlsberg UK national fleet engineer. His successor in that post, Karl Wilshaw, is being promoted from fleet services engineer. From next month he will become responsible for the maintenance and repair of around 330 trucks and 150 trailers in the brewery and drinks distribution company’s fleet. Mr Wilshaw joined Carslberg UK in June 2013 from Nationwide Platforms where he had been UK transport manager for three years. His fleet management experience before that includes jobs at Fraikin, Pullman Fleet Services and Wincanton.
Mr Davis, 64, has worked for Carlsberg UK for ten years, moving to the company from Bristol-based Lane Group. An extraordinary road transport engineering career spanning more than four decades includes senior posts at several brewers and drinks distribution companies, including Bass, Whitbread and Tradeteam; a local authority; a franchised truck dealer; a haulier; a monthly road transport engineering magazine; a Transport Development Group subsidiary and, during a period working for AEA Technology, a central role in producing material for the Department for Transport’s highly acclaimed Freight Best Practice advisory scheme. During his time at Carlslberg UK, Mr Davis won the “fleet engineer of the year” category of the high-profile Motor Transport awards scheme in 2012.

 

A month after quitting as key account manager at Iveco UK, David Burke is looking forward to finding another challenge in truck sales and marketing. Mr Burke, 58, worked for Iveco for nine years, joining the Watford-based company as product director in January 2006 after his previous job as MAN ERF UK marketing director had been made redundant.
Iveco, now a subsidiary of the CNH Industrial group, is understood to be planning to move its UK head office from Watford to the CNH Industrial base in Basildon, Essex, but Mr Burke denies that this impending move had any influence on his decision to quit. 

 

Helmut Ernst starts work this month as the new boss at ZF Services, the aftersales business unit of the ZF Friedrichshafen group. Alois Ludwig has stepped down as ZF Services chairman and is retiring at the age of 66. Mr Ernst, 55, joined ZF Services last year from the Continental group where he had been managing director of its automotive aftermarket division.

 

The winning entrants in a future truck design competition run by Volvo in the UK are preparing for a trip next month to Volvo Group’s base in Gothenburg, Sweden where they will meet the company’s top truck designers. There are three age-related categories in the competition: under 11, won by Luo Tong Sim of Amersham, Buckinghamshire; 11 to 18, won by Barry Llewellyn of Dublin; and over 18, won by Rhys Guy Llewellyn (unrelated) of Swindon, Wiltshire.
The judges are Volvo Group’s truck design director Rikard Orell, chief exterior designer Asok George, senior designer Ismail Ovacik, and Volvo Group UK truck product manager John Comer.
Rhys Guy Llewellyn and Robert Hunt are both in the third year of an automotive design course at Coventry University.

 

Lars-Göran Moberg resigned last month as supervisory board chairman at Deutz, the Cologne-based diesel engine manufacturer. The resignation, said to be for “personal reasons”, is expected to take effect following a supervisory board meeting this month. In a statement the company say that it “very much regrets” Mr Moberg’s decision and thanks him for “the valuable and successful contribution he has made.” Hans-Georg Härter, a former ZF Friedrichshafen chief executive and Deutz supervisory board member since April 2013, is expected to be elected chairman this month.
Mr Moberg, 71, has a degree in mechanical engineering from Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology in his native Sweden. He worked in product development in the gun system division of AB Bofors before heading the wheeled loader division of Volvo Construction Equipment between 1994 and 1996. Mr Moberg was then president for four years of Volvo Car Component Corporation before moving to AB Volvo in 2000 as president of its powertrain division. In the seven years he was in that post Mr Moberg was also a board member at Volvo Trucks North America and at Mack Trucks in the US (a Volvo Group subsidiary). He has been chairman of the Deutz supervisory board since May 2009 and has played a key role in the company’s restucturing following the global financial crisis that began in 2008.

 

Paul Gardner has been promoted from national key account manager to general manager of bus and coach operations at MAN Truck & Bus UK. Mr Gardner, 35, joined MAN five years ago from Evobus UK (part of Daimler’s bus and coach division) where he had been bus sales manager for the northern region. He worked for Evobus for six years, having previously been in a similar bus and coach sales post at Dawsonrentals.
At MAN Truck & Bus UK Mr Gardner had been reporting to Ian McLean, appointed head of bus and coach in June 2013. But last September, following the appointment of Simon Elliott as MAN Truck & Bus UK’s new managing director, Mr McLean moved back into the company’s truck sales operations, as head of key accounts and special products. Mr Gardner now in effect has taken on Mr McLean’s former bus and coach responsibilities. But whereas Mr McLean reported direct to the MAN Truck & Bus UK managing director (Des Evans until he was succeeded by Simon Elliott), Mr Gardner reports to sales director Ian Mitchell, who joined the company last October from Volvo Group UK where he had been commercial truck director.

 

A sales management restructure at Isuzu Truck (UK) has resulted in a vacancy for a fleet sales manager to cover the southern part of the country. The restructure began with the appointment of Richard Waterworth as sales director last July, following the retirement of Richard Draycott. Mr Waterworth now reports to managing director Pete Murphy.
Bob Holt quit as Isuzu Truck (UK) fleet sales manager last October to join Strongs Plastic Products of Tamworth, Staffordshire as its first sales manager. That move prompted Isuzu Truck’s Mr Waterworth to reorganise his sales management team into two regions: northern England and Scotland, and southern England and Wales. Last November Jon Corcoran left his job as fleet sales manager at Walton Summit Truck Centre, a Preston-based Iveco dealer, to become Isuzu fleet sales manager for the north of England and Scotland. The corresponding post for southern England has yet to be filled.

 

Ferguson Transport & Shipping, one of the biggest transport and distribution companies in the Scottish Highlands, has grown bigger still with this month’s acquisition of Skye Transport, based at Crossal, Isle of Skye, for an undisclosed sum.
Ferguson Transport, a family-owned business, runs a fleet of around 70 trucks (mainly Volvo tractive units) and about 150 semi-trailers. There are eight trucks, all from MAN, and ten trailers in the Skye Transport fleet. All Skye Transport drivers are understood to have been offered the opportunity to transfer employment to Ferguson as part of the deal. Skye Transport managing director Ewen MacKinnon and co-owner Mairi Macpherson are also expected to continue working for the company under its new owners. 

 

Chris Hillier, a technician working at the Pentagon Commercials Southampton workshop, is pioneering an innovative technical data system designed to improve maintenance and repair efficiency and cut vehicle downtime throughout the Mercedes truck dealer network in the UK. The software at the heart of the system originated in Japan at Daimler’s Fuso division and is called “Animated Service Literature”. Mr Hillier, 43, was selected to pilot use of the software in the UK on the basis of his track record and enthusiasm. He has worked for Pentagon since 1998 and has won the Mercedes-Benz UK “technician of the year” award three times since then.
Now he has been appointed the first Fuso Canter technical specialist in the UK, using the Animated Service Literature software from day to day, mainly on an Apple iPad tablet though it can also run on other mobile devices and on desktop computers. High-resolution images and three-dimensional animations are used to give clear guidance to a technician on the most efficient way of carrying out various repair and maintenance tasks. Even after only a couple of months experience of using the new software, Mr Hillier is confident that it will soon expand from the Fuso Canter into Mercedes trucks at various weights.

 

 

FEBRUARY 2015

Senior traffic commissioner Beverley Bell is to be the next president of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, CILT(UK), taking over in early May from Jim Spittle. Mr Spittle is chairman of GS1, a London-based organisation specialising in barcode standards. He has been CILT (UK) president since May 2014.
Mrs Bell, 55, has been Britain’s senior traffic commissioner since June 2012 and traffic commissioner for the north-west area since 2000. She was previously a partner in a Worcester firm of solicitors specialising in criminal and transport law and was rumoured to be in the running to become Freight Transport Association chief executive when the post became vacant eight years ago and Theo de Pencier was appointed.
As traffic commissioner she has gained wide acclaim for her grasp of the realities of road transport operations, a self-deprecating sense of humour, and a capable, down-to-earth approach to the job. Her work as senior traffic commissioner, leading seven commissioners covering eight traffic areas in England, Scotland and Wales (the West Midlands commissioner heads the Welsh traffic area as well), has attracted further praise, not least for her stance on the highly questionable practices of insolvency practitioners and the “pre-pack” administrations and phoenix companies they spawn. In the latest guidance to traffic commissioners on how to exercise their statutory functions, Mrs Bell advises: “A history of involvement with dissolved companies without any evidence of actual wrongdoing will not of itself amount to a loss of repute. However the use of phoenix arrangements to avoid previous liabilities may amount to unacceptable business practice. A phoenix company is where the assets of one limited company are moved to another legal entity (sometimes referred to as a ‘pre-pack’) but with no obligation to pay the failed company’s debts. Commissioners will scrutinise such applications carefully to ensure the promotion of the principle of fair competition.”

 

 

 

JANUARY 2015

The Mercedes-Benz UK trucks business unit is about to get a new boss, less than a year after it was formed as part of a Europe-wide Daimler management restructure which separated truck and van sales and marketing operations. Michael Kamper has been promoted from managing director of the UK trucks business unit to head of marketing, sales and customer services at Daimler Trucks Asia (DTA), encompassing Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation. Mr Kamper, 49, will start his new job on 1 March 2015, filling the vacancy created by the promotion, effective 1 April, of Marc Llistosella to head of Daimler Trucks Asia. The former DTA head, Albert Kirchmann, is to become chairman.

Mr Llistosella, 47, is credited with having having played a central role in establishing Daimler's new BharatBenz brand in the fast-growing Indian truck market. A new BharatBenz truck assembly plant near Chennai went into operation two years ago. 

Mr Kamper has worked for Daimler since 1995. He was truck marketing manager in the UK from 2001 to 2004 before moving back to the Daimler head office in Stuttgart to become European sales director for "special vehicles". He returned to the UK in 2012 to become managing director of the Mercedes-Benz UK commercial vehicles division (Commercial Vehicle Engineer August 2013).

Mr Kamper's successor as managing director of the UK trucks business unit is expected to be named this month.

 

DECEMBER

A team of two technicians and one technical trainer representing Isuzu Truck (UK) made history last month in Japan. The trio took top prize in the finals of the latest annual global commercial vehicle skills competition run by Isuzu Motors, beating finalists from 30 other countries. The competition, now in its ninth year and called I-1 Grand Prix, has never before been won by a UK team or indeed by one from Europe. Originally it was confined to Asia and Oceania but was expanded to include Europe in 2010.
The two technicians in this year's victorious UK team are Brian George from Imperial Commercials of Glasgow and Chris Richmond from Ferndown Commercials, a Dorset-based dealer. They were trained and led by Tony Hicks, a seasoned technical trainer at Isuzu Truck (UK) and father of Tim Hicks, the company's training general manager.
“To win this competition at only our fifth attempt, against such experienced opposition, is an incredible achievement, and our technicians fully deserve the global recognition that they will receive as world champions," says Tim Hicks. "It was also particularly poignant for Tony, who has been the UK team coach every year since 2010. He is due to retire in 2015 and this was his last attempt to win the world crown."
Last year's finals in Tokyo were won by a team from Japan, followed by Australia and Israel. The UK team finished eighth out of 29. This year there were a record number of teams in the finals, 31, competing in a series of practical inspection, repair and fault diagnosis tests as well as a 25-question written examination covering general technical subjects and subjects specific to Isuzu trucks. Second place went to a team from Australia, third place to Switzerland and fourth to Japan.
The Isuzu Truck (UK) process for selecting technicians from UK dealers for the global skills competitions starts with a series of online tests, culminating in a finals day of practical and theory tests at the company’s Hertfordshire base. The first online round of next year’s UK competition is expected to start next month. 

More information from www.isuzutruck.co.uk

 

Iain Speak is to step down as chief executive of Bibby Distribution from 1 January 2015. His successor has yet to be appointed but Bibby promises further news early in the new year. 

Mr Speak, 56, plans to continue working for Bibby as a freelance consultant. He has been a Bibby Line group employee for 17 years, joining the company as a divisional director.
Bibby Distribution has around 2,500 employees in the UK, working from 90 locations. It operates a fleet of around 650 vehicles and is part of the £1.4-billion-turnover Liverpool-based Bibby Line group.

 

Renault Trucks is stepping up its sales drive in Scotland with the appointment of two additional sales managers, or “transport solutions executives” as the Volvo Group division prefers to call them. Angus McIntosh now manages sales in the west of Scotland, Calum Aitken in the east. Both report to Richard Voigt, regional sales manager for Scotland and Ireland. Mr McIntosh, 48, previously worked successively in various sales-related posts at Mercedes and MAN in Scotland. Mr Aitken, 21, is moving into sales for the first time after completing a Renault Trucks apprenticeship at a dealer in Bellshill, near Glasgow. He won the Renault Trucks UK “apprentice of the year” award in 2012 after being a runner-up the year before. Mr Aitken worked as a technician at Bellshill before being promoted to the transport solutions executive job, still based in Glasgow but now working directly for Renault Trucks UK.

 

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the London-based trade body for the UK motor industry, is set to start 2015 with a fresh line-up of senior appointees, including three new vice presidents and the organisation’s first director of communications and international affairs. Gareth Jones, managing director of EBM-Papst UK, a Chelmsford, Essex-based subsidiary of a big German group specialising in fans and electric motors, takes over as SMMT president from 1 January. He succeeds Tim Abbott, BMW Group UK managing director, who has been president for the past two years and now works for BMW in South Africa. Mr Jones is an engineer who for around 26 years has worked for the EBM-Papst group (the name comes from two companies, Elektrobau Mulfingen, EBM, and Papst Motoren, which joined forces in 1992).
There are already three SMMT vice presidents: Ford of Britain chairman and managing director Mark Ovenden; Unipart Group chairman and chief executive John Neill; and Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speth. Next year they will be joined by three more: Renault Trucks UK marketing director Penny Randall; Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) deputy managing director Tony Walker; and Nissan Motor (GB) managing director James Wright. Ms Randall is the first female SMMT vice president.
The organisation’s first director of communications and international, starting next month, is Tamzen Isacsson, at present head of media and public relations at London & Partners, a company set up by London mayor Boris Johnson to attract foreign investment to the capital.
Ms Tamzen is a former journalist who worked for the BBC, latterly on Radio 4’s Today programme, before moving to Stockholm, Sweden to join Nobel Media, the Nobel Foundation’s media company. She returned to the UK to work for London & Partners. At the SMMT Ms Isacsson will report to chief executive Mike Hawes.

More information at www.smmt.co.uk.

 

Renault and Nissan Motors boss Carlos Ghosn was re-elected this month as president of ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), a big Brussels-based European association of vehicle manufacturers, for a second consecutive term.
Mr Ghosn took over ACEA presidency from Philippe Varin, the then management board chairman at PSA Peugeot Citroën, seven months ago in May 2014 when Mr Varin suddenly left the PSA job. His successor at the ailing French car-maker is Carlos Tavares, coincidentally a former Ghosn protege at Renault.
Despite having probably the longest list of job titles in the motor industry, Mr Ghosn nevertheless found time to serve his first term as ACEA president in 2009. Now, having been back in the post as a stand-in for the past seven months, he has been re-elected for 2015.
Sergio Marchionne, boss of Fiat’s car division (including Chrysler) and chairman of CNH Industrial, Iveco’s parent group, was ACEA president for two terms before Mr Varin was elected.

More information at www.acea.be.

 

 

The Continental group’s chassis and safety division, based in Frankfurt, Germany, is to have a new head of systems and technology from next month. He is Ralph Lauxmann, a former senior engineer at Knorr-Bremse, a leading commercial vehicle braking system supplier. Mr Lauxmann, 50, left Munich-based Knorr-Bremse to join Continental eleven months ago as head of chassis electronics strategy in a “vehicle dynamics” business unit. In his new job from next month he will succeed Peter Rieth, retiring on 1 January 2015, and report both to Frank Jourdan, chassis and safety division head, and to Christian Senger, head of automotive systems and technology.
Mr Rieth, 63, has worked for Continental for 32 years, as systems and technology head for the past twenty. Among the vehicle safety systems he is credited with having played a central role in developing are electronic stability control (esc), autonomous emergency braking (aeb) and adaptive cruise control (acc). In June 2005 Mr Reith was presented with the US Government Award for Safety Engineering Excellence by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Continental’s chassis and safety division has around 36,500 employees worldwide and turned over about €7.3 billion (£5.8 billion) in 2013.

 

The annual awards scheme run by the Newbury, Berkshire-based Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has attracted a record number of entries this year (40). Now everyone involved with materials handling equipment is being invited to vote online to decide the final award-winners. Anyone whose work involves materials handling equipment is entitled to vote, says FLTA. Voting closes on 15 January.

More information at www.fork-truck.org.uk.

 

 

The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), the trade association for fuel and oil distribution companies in the UK and Irish Republic, has moved its base from Knutsford, Cheshire to the West Midlands, near Birmingham’s airport and National Exhibition Centre. There are around 180 FPS members, 107 of which distribute fuels and oil in the UK, 31 in the Irish Republic.

The new FPS address is Vienna House, International Square, Starley Way, Birmingham International Park, Solihull B37 7GN.

More information at www.fpsonline.co.uk.

 

 

Billy Lang, who has just completed an apprenticeship at the east Glasgow depot of Volvo’s Truck & Bus Centre North dealer group, has won Volvo Group UK’s Jim Keyden Award 2014. The award, named after the man who partnered Jim McKelvie in setting up the organisation that first brought Volvo trucks from Sweden into the UK, has been presented annually since 2008. To be in the running for the award, graduating apprentices need to display, according to Volvo, “outstanding dedication to both practical and academic studies with consistently high academic achievement.”
Mr Lang was presented with the 2014 Jim Keyden Award last month by Volvo Group UK managing director Arne Knaben at the company’s training awards ceremony at Stephenson College, Coalville, Leicestershire, base for the Volvo Trucks appprenticeship scheme.
Among the other Volvo training awards winners last month were Jonathan Devlin from Truck & Bus Centre North & Scotland’s Perth site: “highest vocational achievement award”; and Owen Harrison from Truck & Bus Centre East Anglia’s Peterborough site: “highest academic achievement award”.

 

 

Birmingham-based Rehobot, the UK arm of a big Swedish manufacturer of high-pressure hydraulic equipment for workshops, including jacks, pullers and cutting equipment, has appointed two additional sale staff as part of an expansion plan. They are technical sales manager Jack Hayden and sales administrator Matthew Weyman. Mr Hayden, 27, has around five years experience in this sector having previously worked  at HES Sales, a Daventry-based distributor of Hi-Force hydraulic tools. Mr Weyman, 22, previously worked at DMW Stainless & Fastener Supplies of Kingswinford, West Midlands.
“We have been looking to add key personnel to all our business areas and the recruitment of Jack and Matthew is excellent news as the company grows,” says UK sales director Peter Tulej. “Jack will have responsibility for the key southern area of the UK, where we hope to make inroads in providing even more operators with our range of outstanding machines. With Matthew we have someone who is keen and willing to learn about the business and we are sure he will acquire a great deal of knowledge and experience.”
Rehobot bought Nike Hydraulics, another big Swedish hydraulic tool company, four years ago. Since then all new Nike Hydraulics equipment has been rebranded Rehobot but this message still seems to have failed to reach many workshop managers in the UK.

More information at www.rehobot.se

 

At Andover Trailers, a Hampshire-based company specialising in the design and manufacture of heavy-haulage and plant trailers, Clive Jones has been promoted from sales manager to head of trailer sales following the retirement of sales director Ivan Collins. Mr Collins, 67, helped found Andover Trailers in 1985 together with technical director Len Fuller. His career began at the age of 15 as an apprentice at Tasker Trailers, the company from which Andover Trailers was spawned. Collins looks back with great pride at the hundreds of plant bodies and trailers he has helped create at Andover over the past 30 years. He has especially vivid memories of an order from Estonia for a bespoke five-axle low-loader to carry a 120-tonne bulldozer in an oil-shale mine. Collins delivered the trailer himself to the mine in 2011.
Mr Jones, 57, has been Andover Trailers sales manager since 2004. Now as head of trailer sales he reports to managing director Tim Wright.
The latest new recruit at Andover Trailers is Carl Steel, sales manager for the north of England and Scotland, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Stewart Tindall. Mr Steel, 26, previously worked for a company running around 1,200 vehicles where his responsibilities included used-vehicle disposal.

 

 

Darren Morton has joined Buffaload Logistics, a privately-owned Cambridgeshire-based temperature-control transport firm, as its first business development manager.
Mr Morton, 40, was previously national planning manager at Co-operative Retail Logistics, responsible for delivery of perishable goods from farms and food processing plants throughout the UK to Co-op regional distribution centres. His responsibilities there included remodelling the Co-op’s UK trunking network following the company’s acquisition of Somerfield. Buffaload’s cross-docking sites in Ellington and Avonmouth were needed then and continue to figure in Co-op transport and distribution.
“The opportunity arose to join Buffaload Logistics, an exciting and fast-growing company that is already making a name for itself in the chilled consolidation business,” says Mr Morton. “By maximising the use of the Buffaload network and fleet, which includes well over 70 temperature-controlled double-deck trailers and cross-dock sites in Huntingdon, Wigan and Avonmouth, we are in a position to offer cost-effective, sustainable rates to suppliers, while cutting load-miles and shrinking our carbon footprint.”
Mr Morton now reports to Buffaload Logistics managing director Julie Feltwell and works closely with sales director Graham Usher who joined Buffaload in May following a 25-year career in trailer sales, with manufacturers such as Schmitz Cargobull, Gray & Adams and Montracon.

 

NOVEMBER

Volvo Group’s Warwick-based sales and marketing operation is looking for a new commercial truck director following the departure of Ian Mitchell. Mr Mitchell has joined MAN Truck & Bus UK as sales director, filling the vacancy created by Sandy Millar’s move to Scania (Great Britain) where he is now regional executive director for Scotland (Commercial Vehicle Engineer October).
At MAN Truck & Bus UK Mr Mitchell reports to newly-appointed managing director Simon Elliott, who is wasting no time in applying his own distinctive management style, one that contrasts sharply with that of his predecessor, Des Evans, according to company insiders. “We are developing a new strategy to offer customers, dealers and our stakeholders a new direction,” says Mr Elliott. “Of course Ian will have a major part to play in the success of this, together with the ongoing brand development of MAN in the UK.” There is speculation among MAN’s UK dealer network that Mr Elliott’s “new direction” could soon include a reversal of the current policy of sales staff at dealers being employed directly by MAN Truck & Bus UK. There is also concern that Mr Elliott, whose career to date has been confined to cars and vans, may not yet fully appreciate what many see as fundamental differences between the car market and the businesses of truck and bus operators. Certainly he and Mr Mitchell will be keen to find a way of reversing MAN’s recent slide in UK truck and bus sales. The number of MAN truck registrations in the first nine months of this year is down by nearly 24 per cent and the number of bus and coach registrations down by 36 per cent compared with the same period in 2013, according to the latest statistics from The Society of Motor Manaufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The bus and coach registration figures show a paltry 25 MAN registrations and only 51 for Neoplan (MAN’s coach division) in the UK in the first nine months of this year. A spate of reliability problems with MAN’s Euro 5, 12.4-litre D26 engine, especially at 440hp (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April), has done nothing to help the sales figures and MAN’s reputation.
Before joining MAN last month, Mr Mitchell had worked for Volvo for nearly eight years, joining the company as commercial truck director. Previously he worked for 18 years at Shell’s UK operation, latterly as a commercial business development manager. He has a degree in accountancy and economics from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. 

 

Volvo Group’s top management layer is being slimmed down as part of a radical global reorganisation aimed at cutting costs and improving profitability. At present there are 16 members of the group’s “executive team”, headed by president and chief executive Olof Persson. From 1 January 2015 this team will have only ten members. At the same time the three current Volvo trucks sales divisions based on global regions (Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe Middle East and Africa) will be merged into a single global truck sales organisation, based at Volvo Group’s Gothenburg head office in Sweden. “The new organisation will generate opportunities for a more cost-effective global structure with a clearer focus on customers, brands and product offering,” says a Volvo Group statement.
Two well-known senior Volvo figures will be leaving the company as a result of the restructure. Peter Karlsten, currently executive vice president in charge of trucks sales and marketing in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, including Renault Trucks and Volvo Trucks operations in the UK, is planning to leave Volvo next year following a six-month handover period working alongside Joachim Rosenberg. He is being promoted from executive vice president in charge of truck sales and marketing in the Asia-Pacific region to head of group truck sales, in charge of all Volvo truck sales and marketing globally, including associated products and services. Mr Karlsten, 57, has worked for Volvo since 2001 and has been an executive team member since 2007. Volvo truck sales and marketing in the Americas is headed at present by Dennis Slagle, 60, a member of the group executive team since 2008. He is set to step down from the executive team but is expected to continue to run Volvo truck sales and marketing in North America. Magnus Carlander, 61, is taking early retirement from his post as head of the group’s corporate processes and information technology.
Mr Rosenberg, 44, has worked for Volvo since 2005, mainly in Asia, and is noted for what one colleague describes as “enormous drive and energy.”
The two other new divisions in the restructured global Volvo trucks business are “global trucks operations” and “global trucks technology”. These are to be headed respectively by Mikael Bratt and Torbjörn Holmström, both current executive team members.
Two current functions: “corporate sustainability & public affairs” and “corporate communication” are being merged into one. Its head has yet to be appointed. Mårten Wikforss, the current corporate communications executive vice president, is understood to be staying with Volvo Group though it is unclear what his new job title will be.

 

The skills of top apprentices from two of the UK’s biggest commercial vehicle dealer networks were put to the test last month at the latest apprentice-of-the-year competitions run by Daf Trucks and Scania (Great Britain). The finals of the Scania GB competition were held as usual at the company’s impressive training centre near Loughborough, Leicestershire and combined with a graduation ceremony for all those successfully completing apprenticeships this year.
The ultimate winners from four finalists in each intake year from 2010 to 2013 were decided by a series of four “workstation” tests, including theory, fault diagnosis and two practical skill assessments, with each test lasting 20 minutes. The top apprentice from intake year 2010 is James Finigan from West Pennine Trucks of Manchester, ahead of James Hopwood from West Pennine Trucks of Stoke-on-Trent, Ashley Davies from West Pennine Trucks Telford and Jon Peacock from TruckEast Ely. Intake year 2011 winner is Jacob Ward from Scania Sheffield ahead of Matthew Roberson from TruckEast Kings Lynn, Dominic Pragliola from TruckEast Peterborough and Nathan Burge, who works in London for the Go Ahead bus operating group. Intake year 2012 winner is Ciaran Blakemore from Scania Heathrow, ahead of Craig Moore from Scania Grangemouth, Joseph Lewis from Scania Avonmouth and Mark Russell from Scania Glasgow. The top apprentice from those starting last year is Piotr Swoboda from TruckEast Thetford, ahead of Milo Smithson from Keltruck Newark, Oliver Brett from TruckEast Stowmarket and Keira Walden-Horspool from Keltruck’s Burton-upon-Trent depot. Scania (Great Britain) parts apprentice of the year 2014 is Connor Williamson from TruckEast Northampton.

 

The three Daf Trucks apprentices who emerged as top award-winners last month from the finals held at City of Bristol College are Thomas Ford from Ford & Slater of Leicester (third year); Dexter Truscott of Devon’s Wessex Daf (second year); and Andrew Baber from Chassis Cab of Bury St Edmunds (first year). The awards at Bristol were presented by Daf Trucks Ltd managing director Ray Ashworth and Mike Fennell, vice chairman of the Daf Trucks dealer service panel in the UK (and managing director of Adams Morey, a dealer group based in Southampton).

Three truck and bus apprentices, one from Daf, one from Scania and one from Volvo, were among the finalists presented with awards last month at the latest “outstanding achievers” awards ceremony run by the Institute of the Motor Industry. Presentations were made by Prince Michael of Kent at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire. Overall winner this year in the “heavy vehicle” category of these awards is Matthew Dyer, a Volvo truck apprentice based in Somerset. The two runners-up are Peter Bennett from the Norscot Daf dealership in Inverness and Ciaran Blakemore from the big Scania (Great Britain) dealer site at Heathrow airport. Messrs Bennett and Blakemore were nominated for the IMI awards by Skillnet Automotive Academy, the training provider administering both the Daf and Scania apprenticeship schemes. Matt Dyer was nominated by Bridgwater College.

 

There is another new boss this month, the third since 2011, at Iveco’s Watford-based UK commercial vehicle sales and marketing operation. He is Bob Lowden, no stranger to the business or to many UK-based truck and van operators. Mr Lowden, 56, is a former Iveco UK dealer network director who left that job in January 2012 to become managing director of Iveco’s operation in South Africa. Now Mr Lowden has returned as managing director of Iveco UK, filling the vacancy created by the surprise departure of Claudio Zanframundo, in the job only since May 2013. Mr Zanframundo is expected to return to Iveco’s head office in Turin, Italy, soon, though exactly when and what his new job there will be remained unclear as this edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer was finalised. His predecessor as Iveco UK managing director, Luca Sra, also had been in the post for less than two years before returning to Turin to head Iveco operations in the Middle East and Africa.
Mr Zanframundo’s surprise recall to Turin is part of a wide-ranging Europe-wide senior management restructure at the CNH Industrial division initiated by Pierre Lahutte, appointed Iveco “brand president” four months ago following the unexpected sudden departure of Lorenzo Sistino (Commercial Vehicle Engineer July). Mr Lahutte seems determined to stamp his authority on the senior Iveco management team. Another member of that team to have left the company in the past month is Andrea Bucci, commercial director for Europe and a former Iveco UK marketing director. Mr Bucci is now light commercial vehicle sales and business development general manager in Nissan’s European division, based in Paris. He replaces Jordi Vila Onses.

 

Glenn Saint has left Optare, the Ashok Leyland group’s Yorkshire-based bus-builder, to become technical director at Charge Engineering, a fledgling electric vehicle technology firm with ambitious growth plans. Mr Saint, 50, has been one of the most prominent figures in the Optare senior management team. He has worked for the company, under several owners, for 17 years. Latterly he was chief technical officer and deputy chief executive, reporting to chief executive Enrico Vassallo. Charge Engineering based at Enstone, Oxfordshire, on the same site as the Lotus Formula 1 team, is described as “an engineering company with representation in the UK, Switzerland, China and Russia”. Charge is also closely associated with Frazer-Nash in a group of what are described as “high-tech companies with a passion for new energy innovations and transportation.” The company is not yet ready to detail its plans for truck and bus driveline developments but these are thought to centre on diesel/electric hybrids under the heading of “range-extended electric vehicles”. Mr Saint is now looking to recruit a team of engineers, and recruitment ads already placed by the company make it clear that automotive control software engineers are high on its target list.
Ken Anderson, head of the Ashok Leyland European technical centre at Mira (originally the Motor Industry Research Association), Warwickshire has joined Optare temporarily as head of engineering until Mr Saint’s more permanent successor is appointed.

More information at www.charge.org.

 

Claudio Barcena is the new director of the Europe and Middle East on-highway business unit at Cummins, a leading independent manufacturer of diesel engines and a host of power-unit-related systems and components such as turbochargers and exhaust after-treatment. Mr Barcena, 45, fills the vacancy created by the promotion early this year of Neil Pattison to “global integration account leader” in charge of the substantial worldwide business Cummins does with the Volkswagen group, including its MAN and Scania truck and bus subsidiaries.
Mr Pattison continues to be based in Darlington, County Durham on the same site as a European technical centre and mid-range (ISB and ISL) engine manufacturing plant. Mr Barcena works from the Cummins base in Rumst, Belgium in order to be “geographically closer to our customers in continental Europe.” Mr Pattison, with a background in electrical engineering, has been at Cummins since 1998, joining as an account manager from Electrolux where he worked in business development. He has been director of the on-highway business unit in Europe for the past six years.
Mr Barcena has a degree in mechanical engineering. He joined Cummins in his native Mexico nearly 20 years ago. Since then he has gained extensive experience in technical training, both at the four Cummins manufacturing sites in Mexico and at the company’s global headquarters in Columbus, Indiana. Immediately before moving to Europe, Mr Barcena was director of the Cummins engine business in Mexico and central America. After a couple of months in the new job in Europe he singles out “technological leadership and the sharp focus on total cost of ownership” as the biggest difference between truck and bus operations here and in central America.

 

Bernd Mahr starts a new job this month as boss of the Continental group’s hybrid electric vehicle business unit based in Nuremberg, Germany and part of the group’s powertrain division. Mr Mahr, 53, previosuly worked for Mahle, a big German manufacturer of engine components, latterly as head of its powertrain division.
Mr Mahr, a mechanical engineer, began his career in 1987 as a research associate at the University of Stuttgart. In 1990 he moved to the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines in Stuttgart, where he became head of combustion engines in 1991. In 1998 he joined Bosch as head of diesel advanced development. Promotion to chief engineer for diesel systems in the Bosch commercial vehicles business unit soon followed. In 2003 Mr Mahr moved to Mahle, initially as management board member responsible for sales 
and application engineering in the engine systems and components business unit. In 2004 he was appointed head of sales research and advanced engineering, moving on to head of Mahle Powertrain five years later.
Continental’s hybrid electric vehicle business unit has been run lately by José Avila, powertrain division head and a member of Continental’s executive board. 

 

At IMS, a Leicestershire-based distributor of commercial vehicle components such as trailer running gear, landing legs and wheels, Arran Leatherland, Jason Jordan and Mark Kohrs have been promoted. Marcus Rich has been recruited as an applications engineer. “We have ambitious growth plans for the next few years,” says managing director Andy Dyer. “These changes in personnel will help us deliver an even greater level of service, and supply a wider range of outstanding and market-leading products to the commercial vehicle market in the UK and Ireland, together with our industry partners.”
Marcus Rich previously worked at Thales UK on infrastructure systems for clients including London Underground. At IMS he is using CAD(computer aided design) software systems in seeking trailer weightsaving and improved efficiency.
Arran Leatherland, an IMS employee for 24 years, has been promoted from sales and marketing manager to commercial director. He continues to head sales, marketing and customer service but now has broader responsibilities as well.
Jason Jordan has been promoted from oem (original equipment manufacturer) account manager, to oem sales team leader. Customer service co-ordinator Mark Kohrs has been given additional responsibility for upgrading service and warranty.
IMS is a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based PON Holdings group. 

 

OCTOBER

Sandy Millar starts a new job next month as Scania (Great Britain)’

 
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