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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 MAY 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.

 

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)’s regional executive director for Scotland. He succeeds Peter Ross who is staying with the Swedish truck- and bus-maker but now focusing exclusively on used vehicle sales as national used and export sales director. One of Scania’s longest-serving UK employees, Mr Ross is particularly well known among truck operators in Scotland where he has been regional director for decades.
Mr Millar is also one of the most respected figures in UK truck sales. He was UK sales director at MAN Truck & Bus UK until May. Since then he has been on what he describes as “enforced gardening leave”. MAN Truck & Bus UK’s newly-appointed managing director Simon Elliott (Commercial Vehicle Engineer August) says that Mr Millar’s successor has now been found but the appointment had still to be fully confirmed as this edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer was being finalised.
In his new post at Scania, now a sister company of MAN in Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles group, Mr Millar reports to Claes Jacobsson, managing director of the Milton Keynes-based UK subsidiary since September 2013.

More information at www.scania.co.uk.

 

Cartwright Group, a big Altrincham, Cheshire-based trailer-maker and truck bodybuilder, continues to rebuild its senior management team following the loss of several directors to Tiger Trailers, a rival trailer-maker set up a few months ago by John and Steven Cartwright, former joint managing directors of the firm with their family name. One of the latest Cartwright recruits is technical director Lionel Curtis, formerly engineering manager at Gray & Adams, the Scottish trailer-maker and bodybuilder known for high-quality controlled-temperature bodywork. Mr Curtis moved to Cartwright in August. He had worked for Gray & Adams since January 2009. For three years before that he had been two-axle double-decker product manager at Alexander Dennis (ADL), the bus-maker based in Falkirk. His automotive engineering career also includes a spell as customer support director at Terex, a big earthmoving equipment manufacturer. Mr Curtis served an apprenticeship as a toolmaker in his native Buckinghamshire and worked in a design office before studying for a degree in automotive engineering from Cranfield University. He is a Fellow of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and early this year was elected chairman of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) trailer and bodywork committee.
In his new job Mr Curtis reports to group managing director Mark Cartwright. 

More at www.cartwright-group.co.uk.

 

Ambitious expansion plans at the London-based Dearman Engine Company, set up three years ago to find commercial applications for “liquid air” engines (running on liquefied nitrogen), seem to be on track as three more new recruits start work. They are Laura Gilmore, Tom Rhodes and Paul Metcalf.
Ms Gilmore is Dearman’s first head of public affairs and campaigns. She previously headed the Liberal Democrat Whips’ Office in the House of Lords. Her experience in politics also includes posts at the London Assembly and at Liverpool City Council.
Tom Rhodes is Dearman’s head of design, leading a team aiming to refine the company’s first engine prototype by making it more compact and efficient, ready for field trials due to start next year. Mr Rhodes previously worked at Delphi, a giant multinational supplier of a wide range of electronic and fuel injection components and systems, where he led a fuel injector design team.
Mr Metcalf started work last month as head of Dearman’s applications team, focused on adapting the liquid-air engine for applications such as transport refrigeration units made by Hubbard Products of Suffolk. This Zanotti group subsidiary has teamed up with Dearman through a “memorandum of understanding” signed a few months ago (Commercial Vehicle Engineer June). Mr Metcalf previously worked for Energetix Genlec, a company specialising in domestic combined-heat-and-power (CHP) systems. 

More at www.dearmanengine.com.

 

Technicians, workshop managers and garage owners are being invited by a big automotive aftermarket supplier to test products such as lubricating sprays, engine cleaners, radiator sealants and brake cleaners. Under the “professional panel” scheme being set up by Holt Lloyd International, part of Manchester-based Fram Group, panel members will be sent both new and familiar Holts products to test and review. In return they will be given bundles of Holts Professional-branded products and workwear.
“We want to bring together a range of mechanics and garage owners and provide a platform for them to share feedback on our aftermarket products,” says Claire Fenton, Holt Lloyd International brand manager. “Holts is proud to have 95 years of automotive expertise, but we’re as committed as ever to further improving our range of products, from our base here in the UK. The new professional panel will provide us with vital feedback to develop our products, from the people who use them the most. By incorporating frontline comments we hope to future-proof our products by ensuring that they always perform as they promise.”
Fram Group, Holt Lloyd International’s parent, has been owned by Rank Group, a New Zealand-based private investment company, since being sold by Honeywell Corporation three years ago.

More information at www.holtsauto.com.

To apply for membership of the Holts “professional panel” go to bit.do/holtsprofessional or call 0161 839 1986.

 

Tyre-maker Bridgestone’s northern European region (encompassing UK, Irish Republic, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway) is to have a new managing director from the end of this month. He is Robin Shaw, former automotive aftermarket director at the Robert Bosch group’s UK and Irish Republic division.
At Bridgestone Mr Shaw will fill the vacancy created by this month’s departure of John McNaught. He has worked for Bridgestone for the past twelve years, originally as boss of its UK operation. This role was expanded through acquisitions such as Kingsway, a tyre retailer, in 2004, and Bulldog, a Lincolnshire-based retreader in 2005. One year later Bridgestone acquired Bandag’s global retreading business. The  north Europe Bridgestone division was formed three years ago.
Before joining the Japanese tyre-maker in 2002 Mr McNaught had been managing director of the Continental Tyres operation in the UK. For six years before that he had headed the commercial division of National Tyres, a service provider owned by Continental at the time.
Where he plans to go after leaving Bridgestone this month was unclear as this edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer was finalised.

Mr Shaw has been UK and Irish Republic automotive aftermarket director for the past seven years. For seven years before that he was managing director of Federal Mogul’s UK operation. He joined Bridgestone early this month to allow for a handover period working alongside Mr McNaught, saying that he was “keenly looking forward to the challenge of further growing the business and providing customers with superior products and services.”
The new UK and Irish Republic automotive aftermarket director at Bosch, from this month, is Dominic Moran, promoted from sales director in the same division. His career to date at Bosch includes four years as automotive aftermarket sales manager in an Oceania division encompassing Australia and New Zealand. He moved back to the UK in December 2011. In his new post Mr Moran will continue to carry his previous sales responsibilities, at least for the time being. 

 

Former Isuzu Truck (UK) managing director Nikki King has been invited to join one of the newly established headteacher boards, advising the eight, equally new, regional schools commissioners, appointed by the government’s Department for Education (DfE) to oversee local academies and free schools.
Dominic Herrington, former director of the DfE’s academies group, has been appointed regional schools commissioner for the south east and south London region, where Mrs King is based.
“I wanted a successful business person to offer independent challenges to me and the academies in the region but it was vital that this was someone with a longstanding commitment to education,” he says. “I have been fortunate to find both of these characteristics in Nikki, who will bring a unique perspective to my headteacher board.”
Mrs King retired as Isuzu Truck (UK) managing director last year, handing over to Pete Murphy, but continues to be the company’s honorary chairman.

 

 

The Cummins diesel engine manufacturing plant in Darlington, County Durham has won top prize this year in the long-established Manufacturing Excellence Awards scheme (MX), run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in partnership with, among others, the government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Darlington plant, adjacent to an advanced technical centre behind the development of the Cummins Euro 6 range, is responsible for building the ISB and ISL truck and bus engine ranges, spanning power outputs from 140 to 400hp.
“The judges were particularly impressed with Cummins’ project with Newcastle University on a major engine development to meet new European environmental legislation, the company’s apprenticeship and graduate schemes, as well as the links employees have forged with local schools in order to inspire young people about engineering,” said Christopher Simpson, chairman of the Manufacturing Excellence Awards executive, at last months awards ceremony at the University of Warwick. “Cummins is an outstanding company, and proves that UK manufacturing remains a vibrant and exciting industry.”
Among other MX award-winners this year are ZF Lemförder UK with the Grant Thornton award for financial management; and Mech-Tool Engineer, a Darlington-based manufacturer of products providing protection from blasts and fire, with the Lombard award for best sme (small- or medium-sized enterprise) of manufacturing excellence.
Cummins took the overall top MX award after winning through as a finalist in no fewer than six of the scheme’s eight categories.
“This is a fantastic achievement for everyone associated with Cummins in Darlington,” says Darlington plant manager Des McMenamin. “This award is acknowledgement of the relentless focus on business improvement that is embraced by all our employees and we are honoured that this has been recognised by the institution.”

More information at www.imeche.org

 

The names of the six shortlisted contenders for a UK automotive innovation award run by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) were announced this month. They are:

Automotive Insulations – Xlite: an advanced range of sound-deadening materials for electric and lightweight vehicles.

Carrier Transicold – NaturaLINE: use of CO2 in a transport refrigeration system, adapted from sea containers, and being pioneered in a trial with Sainsbury’s.

Dearman Engine CompanyThe Dearman Engine: liquid air technology for efficient transport and cooling systems.

Jaguar Land Rover Ingenium Engine: new family of compact, lightweight, low-emissions diesel and petrol engines.

Torotrak GroupFlybrid KERS for bus applications: Formula 1-inspired fully mechanical energy recovery system to improve efficiency in buses.

Vocis Ltd – OGeco: hybrid automated manual transmission using an electric motor to deliver extra power, smoothness and efficiency.

The shortlisted entrants will present their innovations to a panel of experts, with the winner announced at the SMMT annual dinner on 25 November. More information from www.smmt.co.uk.

 

Isabella Austin of Collect + has won the “young manager of the year” category of the annual awards scheme run by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, CILT (UK). Ms Austin was presented with the award at a central London ceremony this month. Among the other CILT award-winners this year are Roger Ford of Modern Railways magazine, “logistics and transport journalist of the year”; Simon Sheklys of Transport Management Services, “transport student of the year”, and former Eurostar chairman and HS2 non-executive director Richard Brown, the Sir Robert Lawrence award. More information at www.ciltuk.org.uk.

 

SEPTEMBER

A twelve-member sustainable transport advisory group appointed last month by United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is being chaired jointly by Volvo Group chief executive Olof Persson and Carolina Tohá, mayor of Santiago, Chile.
The group is expected to meet for the first time “in the coming months” says the UN, so too late to offer any advice to the “Climate Summit” being held this month at the UN’s New York base. Transport has been identified as a “critical issue” for this summit. The UN forecasts that global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will rise by nearly 50 per cent by 2030 compared with a 2009 baseline unless there are “major changes” in policy and energy use. Most of this rise is expected to come from a “projected surge in the number of vehicles around the world.”
The sustainable transport advisory group, with members appointed for a three-year term, is charged with making recommendations at global, national and local level, working with governments, businesses and all sorts of transport operators. The group’s first progress report is expected in the second half of next year.
“I feel honoured,” says Olof Persson. “This is an exciting but challenging assignment. My ambition is to contribute with concrete actions towards social, economic and environmental sustainable transport solutions.”

The other advisory group members are Deutsche Post DHL chief executive Frank Appel, from Germany; Milica Bajic-Brkovic, Serbian president of the International Society of City and Regional Planners; Morten Engelstoft, chief executive of the Maersk group of Denmark; Alain Flausch, Belgian secretary-general of UITP (L’Union Internationale des Transports Publics), an international public transport association; Maty Mint Hamady, mayor of Nouakchott, Mauritania; Patrick Ho, deputy chairman and secretary-general of China Energy Fund Committee, a non-governmental organisation based in Hong Kong; Victor Kiryanov, the Russian Federation’s deputy minister of the interior; Jean Pierre Loubinoux, former chief executive of the French state-owned railway’s international division and now director-general of the International Union of Railways; Tanya Müller Garcia, Mexico City’s secretary of environment; and Len Roueche, Canadian chief executive of Interferry, a global shipping association.

Goodyear Dunlop Europe’s UK and Irish Republic division has a new truck and bus tyre marketing manager following Adam Stanton’s promotion to commercial product marketing manager for Goodyear’s entire EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. Crispin Turner joins Goodyear from JCB, the Staffordshire-based manufacturer of construction and agricultural machinery where he was marketing manager. Mr Turner, 33, worked for JCB for eight years, starting in product marketing. Before that Mr Turner worked in various marketing posts at Diageo, Virgin and JD Wetherspoon. Now based at Goodyear Dunlop Europe’s Birmingham head office, he reports to commercial director Marc Preedy.

 

The UK’s largest commercial vehicles dealer group got bigger still this month by acquiring S&B Commercials, a privately-owned Mercedes-Benz truck and van dealer group based in north London, Hertfordshire and Essex. Imperial Holdings, the South Africa-based parent of Imperial Commercials of the UK has bought the entire share capital of S&B Commercials from the Holmes family, which founded the company, for an undisclosed sum. There are four S&B sites, in Welham Green, Hatfield, Stansted and West Thurrock, with 275 employees in total. All, including managing director Dan Holmes, remain in their jobs following the deal.
Imperial Commercials already owns a huge network of truck and van dealer sites throughout the UK, including franchises with Daf Trucks, Renault Trucks, MAN, Hino, Isuzu, Ford, Fiat and Volkswagen. Orwell Truck & Van, an East Anglia-based Mercedes truck and van dealer group was acquired by Imperial Commercials last year.
There are no plans, it seems, for any sort of merger between S&B and Orwell. Indeed it is being emphasised that the two neighbouring Mercedes commercial vehicles dealers now belong to separate parts of the Imperial Holdings group.

 

After six months as marketing co-ordinator at Optare, the Ashok Leyland group’s Yorkshire-based bus-builder, Rebecca Green has been promoted to marketing, press and events manager. In her job Ms Green reports to David Siviero, who joined Optare as sales, marketing and services director four months ago (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May).
Ms Green worked in financial services marketing before joining Optare.

 

Craig Lawton has left DB Jr Wilson & Co, a Rutherglen, Glasgow-based commercial vehicle parts supplier, to become Scotland and Northern Ireland fleet sales manager at IMS, the Leicestershire-based distributor of components such as SAF axles and Alex aluminium wheel-rims.
Mr Lawton, 47, has worked for DB Wilson for 24 years, latterly as sales manager. His motor industry career began as an apprentice at his father’s small motor vehicle repair business, Tommy Lawton and Co. From there Mr Lawton moved to York Trailers in Glasgow as a mechanic before joining DB Wilson in 1990 as a sales representative. He continues to be based in Glasgow in his new job at IMS where he reports to fleet sales manager Ben McEvoy.

 

William Wright, founder of Northern Ireland bus-builder Wright Group, has won the 2014 Innovation Founder award in the annual scheme run by Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP). Previous winners of this award include Peter FitzGerald, Randox Laboratories managing director; and Hugh Cormican, founder and director of Andor Technology. Nominations for the award are put forward by the public. The final decision is then taken by a group of previous winners.
“Wrightbus is a perfect example of a company which, since its early days, has invested in product development in order to continually innovate and revolutionise,” says NISP director Steve Orr. “William certainly is visionary. By challenging the norm and creating cutting edge designs, the company has gained a huge competitive edge. Wrightbus is continuing to win major contracts around the world.”

More information from www.invent2014.co.

 

After three years as an Isuzu Truck (UK) parts and service dealer, the HRVS group’s Sheffield site has taken on a full Isuzu franchise. “The timing of this announcement is ideal, coinciding with the recent introduction by Isuzu Truck (UK) of its latest, Euro 6 truck range,” says HRVS group operations director Keith Sims. “To support the move we have appointed two dedicated Isuzu truck sales personnel (sales manager Jason Dawson and salesman Carl Street) to develop further sales of the marque in the South Yorkshire region. Very quickly this has proved to be a successful move as we have already picked up several new confirmed orders. Sheffield is home to a large number of parcel carriers and home-delivery companies. The Isuzu Urban has an ideal specification for this type of inner-city operation so we expect our demonstrator to be extremely popular with local businesses.”
HRVS is part of the Lockwood group of companies, based in Ripley, Derbyshire. The group includes MAN Truck & Bus UK dealer sites under the HRVS banner and a sizeable Lockwoods truck fleet operation.

Tony Martyn has left Alexander Dennis (ADL), the UK’s top-selling bus manufacturer, to join rival bus-builder Wrightbus of Ballymena, Northern Ireland as engineering director. Mr Martyn has been head of new product development at ADL for two years. In his new job he reports to Wright’s group engineering director Brian Maybin.

 

OBITUARY

Jörg Sanders, international sales director at Krone, one of Europe’s biggest trailer-makers, died suddenly last month from a heart attack while flying back to Germany from a conference in Edinburgh.
Mr Sanders, 66, was one of the best-known figures in the European trailer-manufacturing industry. He had been Krone’s sales director since 1982. Before that he worked outside the transport industry.

Colleagues at Krone describe him as “an outstanding sales director, a real go-getter and a true friend who will be sorely missed.”

Mr Sanders leaves a wife, Jutta, four children and one grandchild. 

 

AUGUST

The Volkswagen group's determination to take firmer control of both its truck and bus manufacturing divisions, MAN and Scania, has been underlined by the appointment of Simon Elliott as managing director at MAN Truck & Bus UK. Mr Elliott is at present 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 starts his new job at MAN Truck & Bus UK's Swindon base on 8 September, succeeding Des Evans who was forced by ill health to step down as chief executive last month.
Mr Elliott was Volkswagen's light commercial vehicles director in the UK for almost three years before moving to Ireland in July 2011. His motor industry career started in VW's logistics division. He then moved into sales first at Toyota and then at Chrysler. Mr Elliott headed Chrysler’s sales and marketing operation in China before returning to the UK early in 2008 to become managing director of Chrysler UK, based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Six months later he joined VW as head of its vans business.
"I am looking forward immensely to the new challenge of heading up MAN Truck & Bus UK," says Mr Elliott. "Ireland will be a hard place to leave, but the team has achieved amazing results in a challenging environment and developed a very strong position for future growth since we have been together. I have no doubt the UK team at MAN Truck & Bus will be similarly focused on growth and I look forward to working closely with them and the dealer network to achieve this and make a difference into the future."

 

Engineering managers in bus and coach operations have a new way to demonstrate their professional capabilities from this month. An accreditation scheme described as “an industry first” has been started by the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), a long-established trade association for bus and coach firms. It is working in partnership with sector skills council People 1st (formerly Go Skills), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), a big, respected London-based engineering institution, and helped by Lloyd Morgan Group, a Staffordshire-based company specialising in vehicle inspection, tachograph analysis and training.
The accreditation scheme has been developed to “recognise and reward the outstanding work of the bus and coach industry’s engineering managers,” according to CPT operations director Stephen Smith. He says that the idea came from the trade association’s engineering committee, including representatives of big operating groups such as Go-Ahead, London United, Arriva and First, with the aim of “recognising the importance engineering managers play in daily compliance and the running of services.” This committee is chaired at present by Phil Margrave, Go-Ahead’s group engineering director.
Plans for a second new CPT accreditation scheme, for bus and coach workshops, are understood to be well advanced.

More information from www.cpt-uk.org.

 

Hats off to the Transport Association (TA) and Daf Trucks for coming up with a novel scheme to raise cash for one of the most deserving causes - a children’s hospice. Daf has donated three 6x2 XF tractive units to be rented out to Transport Association members at what are described as “attractive weekly rates”. Every penny of the rental fees goes to Helen & Douglas House, a children’s hospice in Thame, Oxfordshire, where Daf Trucks has its UK base.
The Transport Association is a long-established body with a membership of around 60 firms, mainly family-owned hauliers, running about 4,000 vehicles between them.
TA member companies in England most likely to be taking advantage of the special XF rental deal include such high-profile names as ABE Ledbury, CS Ellis Group, Garn Transport, Meachers Global Logistics, RT Keedwell, Lenham Storage, Welch’s Transport and Wyvern Cargo.
“We believe this is a unique partnership which demonstrates the commitment of some of the most respected fleets in the road transport business as well as ourselves to putting something back into the communities which we all service and support,” says Daf Trucks Ltd managing director Ray Ashworth.

More information from www.helenanddouglas.org.uk,

www.transportassociation.org.uk.

 

Two months ahead of its latest annual awards presentation in London on 2 October, the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics in the UK (CILT UK) has announced the finalists. They include Isabella Austin of Collect+, Joseph Bryan of Norbert Dentressangle, and Matthew Pocock of Cross Country in the “young manager of the year” category; Paul Clifton, Roger Ford and Christian Wolmar in the “journalist of the year” category; and Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company, Transport for London, and United Biscuits in the “safety” category. 

More information from www.ciltuk.org.uk.

 

Emitec, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of exhaust after-treatment equipment, last month became a wholly-owned division of Germany’s giant Continental group. The Emitec company, founded in 1986, has around 900 employees in Germany, France, India and the US. Ownership had been shared 50/50 for several years between Continental and GKN of the UK. But last month GKN sold its stake to Conti for an undisclosed sum.
Emitec is now part of the Continental group’s powertrain division. This already makes exhaust after-treatment equipment and had been working closely with Emitec which specialises in metallic catalyst substrates, particle filters, and dosing modules for selective catalytic reduction (scr) systems. Emitec is now part of a newly-formed fuel and exhaust management business unit in Conti’s powertrain division. The new business unit is headed by Markus Distelhoff, former head of the fuel supply business unit. “There’s great potential synergy between fuel supply and Emitec in the fast-growing field of dosing modules, from initial customer contact through to development, purchasing and production,” he says. “Our global production sites provide excellent expansion opportunities for Emitec’s current products. We’re already planning to start production of Emitec products by the end of this year at our Continental site in Wuhu, China.”
There are no plans to ditch the Emitec brand name, it seems. “We can see Emitec’s strengths,” says Mr Distelhoff. “We want to hold on to them and develop them further.”
Former Emitec chief executive Berthold Curtius is now head of exhaust management in the new business unit. “It’s enormously important to us that we now bring together the expertise of both companies to strengthen our market position even further,” he says.

 

Jim Collins, the highly-regarded former boss of Volvo’s big London-based truck and bus dealer group, has joined Farol, a big privately-owned supplier of agricultural equipment, as operations director. Mr Collins is based at the company’s Milton Common head office, near Thame, Oxfordshire.
He left Volvo Group in April (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April) after six years as head of the manufacturer-owned Truck & Bus Centre London group of eight dealer sites including workshops at Milton Keynes, Croydon, Didcot and Bedford.
There had been speculation that he was moving to the newly-formed Mercedes-Benz UK truck business unit (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April) as head of network operations, but that post has now been filled by Mark Williams, former Mercedes-Benz UK head of car network operations. Before joining the company eight years ago, Mr Williams worked for the Volkswagen group’s Audi division in the UK. Before that he worked for Citroën UK.

 

At LHE Finance, the financial services arm of Milton Keynes-based Dawsongroup, Mike Dixon has been promoted from trailer development manager to development manager, a new post. He now works with the group’s truck rental division as well as on trailer financing.
Dawsongroup operates around 18,000 pieces of equipment including commercial vehicles, trailers, buses, coaches, sweepers and materials-handling equipment.

www.dawsongroup.co.uk 

 

Last month’s big government reshuffle has resulted in two new ministerial appointments at the Department for Transport. Claire Perry, Member of Parliament (MP) for Devizes, has replaced Stephen Hammond as parliamentary under secretary of state for transport. Patrick McLoughlin remains as transport secretary and thus is now Ms Perry’s boss.
John Hayes, MP for South Holland and The Deepings (a constituency centred on Spalding, Lincolnshire) moves from minister without portfolio to transport minister with responsibilities including national roads, maritime and bus policy. Susan Kramer and Robert Goodwill remain as transport ministers.

 

David Wilson stepped down last month as director of the Cheshire-based Retread Manufacturers Association (RMA) to concentrate on his publishing business, including publications such as Retreading Business, Tyre & Rubber Recycling and Commercial Tyre Business. Mr Wilson had been RMA director since 2005. The organisation seemingly has no plans to appoint a new director. Administration is now being handled by CJAM, a Colchester, Essex-based marketing firms with several other tyre industry clients.

More information from www.retreaders.org.uk.

 

A new head of Michelin truck and bus tyre marketing in the UK and Irish Republic starts work this month. He is Chris Smith, 31, promoted from south east region sales manager to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Sharn Samra. Mrs Samra, 37, is moving to an unspecified job at Michelin’s head office in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She has been truck and bus tyre marketing boss in the UK since April 2012 when she joined Michelin from Yale, a Wolverhampton-based manufacturer of locks and home security systems.
Like Mrs Samra, Mr Smith has limited experience in the tyre and road transport sectors. He joined Michelin in 2007 as a truck sales account manager having previously been a sales executive with OyezStraker, a London-based office supplies firm.
Now he is based at Michelin’s UK head office in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. 

 

The determination of Apollo Tyres of India to maintain its impressively rapid recent global growth rate has been underlined by the appointment of Seshu Bhagavathula as chief technology officer, based at Apollo’s global research and development centre in Enschede, Netherlands. Dutch tyre-maker Vredestein was bought by Apollo in 2009, and now there are plans to spend around €500 million (£400 million) on building a new commercial vehicle and car tyre manufacturing plant in eastern Europe, probably Hungary. This plant is expected to be up and running by late 2017.
Mr Bhagavathula joins Apollo from China’s Great Wall Motor Company where he was research and development vice president. He previously worked in several senior product development and engineering posts at Daimler.

 

Two big Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealers in north-western England have merged following negotiations thought to have lasted more than a year.
Enza and Road Range have come together, helped by £5.8 million from the Santander Corporate & Commercial bank, to form Roanza, a company with a forecast annual turnover of around £160 million.
Enza has held the Mercedes-Benz franchise for Manchester, Cheshire and North Staffordshire since the mid-1970s. Road Range was formed in Merseyside in 1980, subsequently expanding into Deeside and North Wales.
Roanza starts life with around 400 employees. Joint managing directors are former Road Range dealer principal Brian Kempson and former Enza boss Roy Reed, both of whom previously led management buy-outs of their respective dealer groups.

 

This year’s prizewinners in the annual apprentice awards scheme run by MAN Truck & Bus UK were announced last month at the English Football Association’s centre in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire. The company awards “apprentice of the year” prizes in seven categories: years one, two and three “mechanical”; levels two and three “parts”; and levels two and three in business administration.
The first, second and third year “mechanical” apprentices of the year from MAN’s UK dealer network are Joseph Stevens from Cordwallis Group of Reading; Adam Holmes from HRVS of Ripley; and Lewis Mather from HRVS of Sheffield.
Level two and three parts apprentices of the year are Ross Patrick from MAN Truck & Bus Nuneaton and James Hamilton from Steadplan of Clitheroe.
Top prizes in the level two and three business administration categories go to Amber Robertson from Harwoods Truck Centre of Southampton, and Michael Heinzerling from MAN Truck & Bus Nuneaton.

 

 

 

JULY

Speculation about top-level disputes at Iveco over the future direction of the Turin-based commercial vehicle manufacturer has been fuelled by the sudden resignation last month of "brand president" Lorenzo Sistino, only a couple of weeks after he conducted a glitzy Turin launch of the new Daily light commercial vehicle range.
Sergio Marchionne, the no-nonsense chairman of Iveco's CNH Industrial parent group, has wasted no time in appointing Mr Sistino's successor. He is Pierre Lahutte, formerly head of the Iveco bus division (called Irisbus until late last year). That division's new boss is Sylvain Blaise, previously head of product marketing at CNH Industrial's Case IH agricultural tractor division. As brand president and head of Iveco sales and marketing in the group's EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, Mr Lahutte is now a member of the CNH Industrial "group executive council" (GEC), reporting to Mr Marchionne. There are four other CNH Industrial brand presidents: at Case IH agricultural equipment; New Holland agricultural equipment; Case and New Holland construction equipment; and the group's entire parts and service division.
Mr Sistino had been Iveco brand president for just over one year, though he had worked for the Fiat group (from which CNH Industrial was spun off a couple of years ago with the aim of attracting outside investment) since 1987. His Fiat group jobs have included president of New Holland Agriculture and boss of the Fiat Professional light van division.
Iveco insiders say that Mr Sistino's micro-management style contrasted sharply with that of his predecessor, Alfredo Altavilla, and annoyed many of his senior colleagues. But there is no suggestion that he has been pushed out of the top job. Mr Sistino is said to have left CNH Industrial "at his own request". 

 

Ill health has forced Des Evans to quit as chief executive at MAN Truck & Bus UK. A statement from the company's Swindon head office this month says that Mr Evans, 62, is "unable to continue his duties." These are being shared between other directors at Swindon "until a suitable successor is found."
Mr Evans became head of MAN's UK sales and marketing operation in 2004 when he was promoted to succeed Jürgen Knorpp. In 2010 he was moved sideways into an ill-defined post in MAN's "northern European region" when the boss of this division, Geoff du Plessis, took direct charge of the UK operation. But within little more than a year Mr du Plessis had moved back to MAN's Munich head office (later to return to his native South Africa to head the MAN business there) and Mr Evans was back in the chief executive's seat at Swindon.
He joined MAN Truck & Bus UK in 1993 as sales director, moving from the Milton Keynes base of Mercedes-Benz UK where he had worked for many years in truck sales and marketing.
Following MAN's acquisition of ERF in 2000 and the formation of MAN-ERF (UK) on 1 January 2002, Mr Evans was appointed head of its MAN business unit, reporting to MAN-ERF (UK) chief executive Jürgen Knorpp. In October 2002, Mr Evans was sent to the ERF base at Middlewich, Cheshire, taking control of ERF sales and marketing. As part of the gradual complete absorption of ERF by MAN, Mr Evans was brought back to Swindon in May 2003 and given responsibility for both marques' sales and logistics.
One of the MAN-ERF (UK) achievements of which Mr Evans is most proud is the April 2005 win of a huge contract to supply the Ministry of Defence with 7,200 trucks.  
This month at the latest annual awards ceremony run by Motor Transport, a long-established fortnightly magazine, Mr Evans was presented with the "service to industry" award. The judges describe him as "probably the single most knowledgeable and accessible chief executive or managing director in the UK truck industry."
Vince Welsh, aftersales director at MAN Truck & Bus UK, has worked closely with Mr Evans for many years. "Everyone involved with Des, be they customers, work colleagues or suppliers, will want to wish this larger-than-life character a speedy and full recovery," he says.

 

Volkswagen's commercial vehicle operation in the UK is to have a new boss from 1 September, taking over from Alex Smith. He is Carl zu Dohna, at present international sales director for VW commercial vehicles, based at the group's head office in Hannover, Germany. Mr zu Dohna, 44, is described as "a sales and marketing expert who has a wealth of experience in developing international markets." His jobs since joining VW 14 years ago include general manager of commercial vehicle international sales, and area sales manager for South Africa and the Americas. "The UK ranks as the second largest market worldwide for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and its growth over the past three years has been extremely impressive," says Mr zu Dohna. "I really look forward to continuing the excellent work undertaken by Alex and his team."
Mr Smith is to become VW car brand director in the UK from September. The reshuffle is seen as the latest example of Paul Willis seeking to stamp his authority on VW's operation in the UK. Mr Willis was hurriedly appointed Volkswagen Group UK managing director in January following the surprise sudden defection of Paul Willcox to Nissan Europe where he is now chairman.

 

Barely two months after joining Optare, the Ashok Leyland-owned, Yorkshire-based bus-builder, Tim Matthews has been promoted from retail sales manager to UK sales director. The move is prompted by John Horn's surprise decision to take early retirement. "I am looking forward to spending more time with my family in Portsmouth and watching the mid-week games at Pompey," says Mr Horn, who has worked in the UK bus and coach industry for over 40 years after starting as an apprentice at a Porstmouth coach-builder. He joined East Lancashire Coach Builders (later to become part of the Optare group) in 1996.
Mr Matthews, 42, joined Optare earlier this year from Mistral Bus & Coach, a Knutsford, Cheshire-based bus and coach rental and sales firm where he had been sales director. 

 

Paul Davison of Aecom, a giant multinational management consultancy firm specialising in transport and engineering, last month won the "young freight transport manager of the year" category of an awards scheme run by the northwest region of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK (CILT). Among the other award-winners in this CILT scheme this year are Raza Khan of Manchester Business School, "student of the year"; Matthew Hay of First TransPennine Express, "young passenger transport manager of the year"; and Stagecoach Manchester, "environmental improvement in passenger transport".

More information from www.ciltuk.org.uk.

 

Richard Burnett is leaving his job as managing director of the distribution division of Samworth Brothers, a Leicester-based chilled-foods group, to become Road Haulage Association (RHA) chief executive. Mr Burnett starts his new job next month, following the retirement of Geoff Dunning.
Another new RHA recruit is Barry Hood, joining the association this month and working from its Bristol office as area manager for the Midlands and western region. Mr Hood previously worked for DHL in his native Scotland, latterly at its Coatbridge distribution centre. In his new job Mr Hood reports to RHA regional director Nick Payne.

 

 

At Clearabee, a young and fast-growing Birmingham-based company specialising in waste-disposal, a business development manager has been appointed to seek out fresh business in the commercial sector. He is Matthew Hall, who previously worked for civil litigation firms.
Clearabee services include office clearance, bin-waste clearance, void property clearance, fly tipping clearance, furniture disposal and electrical equipment recycling and disposal.
Founder and managing director Daniel Long believes that two of his company's main selling points are lower charges and greater flexibility by comparison with traditional skip-hire waste-disposal operations.

A commercial vehicle driver training scheme run by the Transaid charity is expanding into Uganda following successes in Zambia and Tanzania. Transaid's plan is to phase its Professional Driver Training Project (PDTP) into Uganda over twelve months. Working with the Safe Way, Right Way Partnership and Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency, Transaid plans to start training bus and coach driver trainers in the capital, Kampala, with truck driver training to follow. Uganda has one of the highest road traffic fatality rates anywhere, with an estimated 28.9 road traffic deaths per 100,000 population. This compares with 3.7 in the UK.

More information at www.transaid.org.

 

The commercial vehicles division of Voith Turbo, a big German manufacturer of bus and coach gearboxes, commercial vehicle retarders and other transmissions, has a new boss this month. He is Bodo Klein who fills the vacancy created by Christian Nykiel's move within Voith Turbo. Mr Nykiel is now senior vice president in charge of "systems infrastructure optimisation and business process management".
Mr Klein, 53, has worked in the commercial vehicles industry for around 25 years. He graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Bielefeld University and started his career in 1987 at Daimler (DaimlerChrysler at that time) in the company's commercial vehicles division. In 1992 he moved to Wabco where his jobs included logistics, engineering and key account management. Before joining Voith he was a member of the Wabco management board in charge of its vehicle control systems division.

 

Tony Mohan, regional sales manager at Bibby Distribution, is the new chairman of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), a London-based trade association with a membership of around 600 companies in the warehousing and logistics sector. Mr Mohan has worked for Bibby Distribution since 1988. Before that he worked for NFC (formerly National Freight Consortium).
Mr Mohan takes over UKWA chairmanship from John Maguire, sales and marketing director at Narrow Aisle, a Tipton, West Midlands-based materials handling equipment supplier. Mr Maguire was in the UKWA post for three years. Mr Mohan's boss at Bibby Distribution, chief executive Iain Speak, is UKWA vice president.

 

Richard Polley has left MAN Truck & Bus UK where he was bus and coach account manager in south-eastern England to take on a similar job at Scania (Great Britain). It is easy to see why Mr Polley would find the Scania post more attractive. MAN seems to be losing its way in the UK bus and coach market with registrations in the first six months of this year down to only 15, according to statistics from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). That is nearly a 60 per cent drop on the same period last year. More King Long coaches from China were sold in the UK in the first six months of this year than MAN buses and coaches. Only Iveco sits beneath MAN in the latest UK bus and coach registrations table, and Iveco is well on the way to withdrawing completely from the UK bus and coach market. Scania, by contrast, is enjoying something of a bus and coach sales boom here at present with 189 registrations in the first six months of the year putting it at number four in the registrations league table, behind Alexander Dennis, Volvo and Wrightbus.

 

Repercussions of the sudden departure of its joint managing directors and several senior employees a few months ago to set up Tiger Trailers are still becoming evident at Cartwright Group, a big Altrincham, Cheshire-based trailer and truck body-builder. In one of the latest job changes, general manager Barry Atherton has been promoted to director of operations, reporting to group managing director Mark Cartwright.

 

JUNE

Chris Black starts a new job this month as head of fleet at Volkswagen's commercial vehicles division in the UK. For the past 17 years Mr Black, 40, has worked for Lombard, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, latterly as head of customer services at Lombard Vehicle Management.
The post he fills at VW is a new one, created as part of a plan to increase sales among UK light commercial vehicle fleet operators. Five area managers, four corporate managers and five business managers covering England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales now report to Mr Black. He in turn reports to Andrew Waite, head of VW commercial vehicle sales operations in the UK. 

 

A new chief executive has been appointed at the UK's Road Haulage Association (RHA) but "administrative reasons" prevent his identity being officially announced at present, according to the association's national chairman Peter Barber. Current RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning confirmed last month that he is to retire at the end of August. Mr Dunning has been chief executive for five years and has worked for the RHA since 1987, when he joined as manager of its north-eastern district. He previously worked for the Freight Transport Association.

 

Ford's European division is to have a new vehicle design boss from next month. He is Joel Piaskowski, currently head of the car- and van-maker's "strategic concepts" group in the US. Mr Piaskowski, 45, is being promoted to design director at Ford of Europe to succeed Martin Smith who is preparing for retirement at the end of this year. Mr Smith, 64, has been Ford of Europe design director for ten years. Before that he worked on the design of Vauxhall and Opel cars and vans at General Motors' European division. Over the next six months, until December's retirement, Mr Smith will work with Ford Motor Company vice president Moray Callum on a global project said to be focused on the company's future vehicle design direction. 

 

A couple of senior job changes were announced last month at the aftermarket division of TRW Automotive, a big US-based multinational supplier of vehicle components specialising in steering, braking and suspension systems. Neil Fryer has been appointed global marketing and technical director for parts and service, based in Neuwied, Germany. He fills the vacancy created by the departure of Robert Lightfoot and reports to vice president and general manager Alex Ashmore.
Mr Fryer is no stranger to TRW, having been general manager of its European sales and distribution operation 15 years ago. Since leaving TRW Mr Fryer has had several senior automotive aftermarket jobs at companies including Bosal, a big exhaust system manufacturer; Fiat's European parts and service division; and latterly as a non-executive director at Rhiag Inter Auto Parts, a Milan, Italy-based distributor of parts for cars, trucks and tractors.
The second new appointment in TRW's aftermarket division is that of Ben Smart, promoted from sales and marketing manager in the Asia Pacific region to global parts and service marketing services manager. Mr Smart, 33, has worked for TRW since 2010. In his job he fills the vacancy created by the departure of Soren Kristensen.
Mr Smart is working from two TRW bases: in Neuwied, Germany (the TRW Automotive aftermarket division global head office) and in Shirley, West Midlands, UK.
An imminent tightening of European regulations governing commercial vehicle brake drums and discs has been welcomed by TRW. From November, the company points out, all heavy commercial vehicle (including buses and trailers as well as trucks) discs and drums (new and replacement) manufactured and sold in Europe will be required to meet the standards specified in the ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) R90 regulation. The same will apply to cars and light commercial vehicles from two years later, November 2016.
"At TRW we view the introduction of any regulation that demands adherence to the standardisation of safety-critical parts as a major step forward for the industry," says Richard Adgey, a product manager in TRW's braking division. "Provide they are universally enforced and policed, these regulations will make it much harder for sub-standard and counterfeit product to reach the market and seriously compromise driver safety."

 

Tim Matthews has left Mistral Bus & Coach, a Knutsford, Cheshire-based bus and coach rental and sales firm where he was sales director, to become UK retail sales manager at Optare, the Ashok Leyland-owned, Yorkshire-based bus-builder which last month unveiled its first double-decker. Mr Matthews, 42, now has three regional sales managers reporting to him. He reports to John Horn, UK sales director.
This is not the first time Mr Matthews has worked for Optare. In 1996 he was working for Autobus Classique, a Rotherham, West Yorkshire-based bus and coach bodybuilder, when it was bought by Optare, then an independent bus-maker. Mr Matthews became materials manager, responsible for purchasing and logistics at the Rotherham site. In 2000 he moved to Mistral Bus & Coach as northern sales manager. Four years later he was promoted to regional director and then to sales director in 2009.
David Siviero started work in April as Optare's new sales, marketing and service director, in effect filling the vacancy created by last December's departure of commercial director Chris Wise (Commercial Vehicle Engineer December 2013). Mr Wise is now UK sales and commercial director at the Aunde group, a big commercial vehicle seat manufacturer.
Like Optare's new chief executive, Enrico Vassallo, Mr Siviero previously worked for Iveco, mainly in its bus and coach division. For the past two years he has been sales and marketing director for Iveco buses and coaches in the CNH Industrial company's southern Europe, Africa and Middle East sales region. Before joining Iveco in 2005 as Italy sales director for minibuses and truck-derived small buses, he worked for the Daimler group's bus and coach division, Evobus, as sales manager for Italy. Between 2007 and 2009 Mr Siviero, 46, was general manager of Iveco's UK bus operation, now seemingly defunct.
Optare has been a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland of India for the past two years. Mr Vassallo was appointed chief executive last year (Commercial Vehicle Engineer September).

 

An innovative training scheme aimed at helping young former military personnel find civilian jobs in transport and logistics kicks off this month in the East Midlands. Skills for Logistics, the Milton Keynes-based sector skills council behind the scheme, describes it as "a short, practical traineeship programme that will provide the functional skills that military leavers need in order to step out of the service and into either a logistics apprenticeship or a full-time logistics career." The scheme runs from June until the end of October and is open to any East Midlands resident aged between 16 and 24 who has left the armed forces and is unemployed. Among the supporters of the scheme are West Nottinghamshire College and some big transport and logistics operations, including Norbert Dentressangle.
"Leaving the armed forces can be a daunting prospect," says Skills for Logistics chief executive Ross Moloney. "Yet ex-service men and women have a wealth of skills and experiences, such as attitude, team spirit and the ability to deliver with limited resources, which is unmatched by civilians. Getting the most positive reaction to these qualities depends also on the individual having work-ready skills and confidence to complement their military training, which includes skills that are in high demand from logistics employers."

More information from www.skillsforlogistics.org.

To register for the traineeship programme e-mail: carol.fisher@skillsforlogistics.org.

 

 

 

MAY

A new agreement between Driver First Assist (DFA), a Manchester-based not for profit organisation, and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) could result in thousands more drivers acquiring life-saving first aid skills ready for use at road traffic accident scenes. DFA founder David Higginbottom, a former truck driver and former general secretary of the United Road Transport Union, says the IAM agreement could open the door to between 10,000 and 15,000 drivers becoming DFA members, by being trained to administer first aid to traffic accident victims in the crucial minutes immediately after an accident and before emergency services arrive. The DFA scheme was started by Mr Higginbottom just over a year ago and has already won considerable high-profile support, including traffic commissioners, police forces, ambulance services and fire and rescue services, as well as sponsorship from DWF, a big UK-wide business law firm. The number of people who have become DFA members following first aid training, typically by paramedics, police officers or firefighters, over the past year is reckoned to be a few hundred. Mr Higginbottom's aim is to have tens of thousands drivers trained this way so that the chance of people dying in the first few minutes after road traffic accidents is greatly reduced.
"Road traffic collision (rtc) deaths cost the UK economy in the region of £3 billion a year, about twice the estimated costs associated with traffic congestion," says Mr Higginbottom. Nearly half of all these fatalities could be prevented if first aid assistance was available early at the scene, he maintains, pointing out that death from a blocked airway occurs in about four minutes and that the target time for an ambulance to be on the scene is typically eight minutes. A DFA course for truck, bus and coach drivers generally counts as a seven-hour module in their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) hourly training tally requirement. But Mr Higginbottom's aim is for this training to extend way beyond these groups to include many more people who drive extensively on business, including fleet managers and transport engineers. He points out that all other workplaces are required to have someone trained in first aid, yet there are precious few such people in one of the most dangerous workplaces of all: the road network.
“We believe we have an effective strategy to train a significant number of drivers, starting with hgv drivers, but moving on to include van, car fleet and bus and coach drivers over time," says Mr Higginbottom. "These are the drivers out there on the roads where accidents happen and as such are best placed to offer immediate assistance. Our vision is for hundreds if not ultimately thousands, of trained personnel equipped to take action in the first critical moments after a rtc. Simple first aid techniques could do much to reduce casualties while the emergency services' own ability to perform would be dramatically enhanced by receiving an onsite situation report the moment they arrive on scene.”

More information at www.driverfirstassist.org.

 

Jon Gregory has left Keltruck, a big West Midlands-based Scania truck and bus dealer, to join an expanding sales team at Witney, Oxfordshire-based tail-lift manufacturer Del Equipment (UK). Mr Gregory, 32, worked at Keltruck for eight years, first as a depot supervisor and latterly as business development manager. He is no stranger to tail-lifts, having begun his career as a tail-lift fitter at the Walsall base of the UK division of Bär Cargolift, a big German tail-lift manufacturer. Scania and Bär began a global service and parts co-operation last year.
At Del Equipment (UK) Mr Gregory is now southern region sales manager, with a patch extending from east of the M1 motorway to the south and south east of the country. He reports to sales director Simon Eskriett who reckons the company is now the top-selling tail-lift manufacturer in the UK and is looking to consolidate that position by growing his sales team. 

 

Nick Owen has been appointed chief technology officer at The Dearman Engine Company, formed three years ago to find commercial applications for the "liquid-air" engine (running on liquefied nitrogen) invented by Peter Dearman (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April). Mr Owen starts his new job next month, based in London alongside Dearman Engine Company chief executive Toby Peters and chief operating officer Michael Ayres. Mr Owen at present is principal consultant at E4tech, a big London-based engineering consultancy, where he was worked since 2012. For 25 years before that Mr Owen worked at Ricardo, a prominent automotive engineering consultancy firm based in West Sussex. Research and development projects in which he was involved there included hybrid and electric drivelines, hydrogen and fuel cells, and traffic management for carbon efficiency.

More information at www.dearmanengine.com.

 

Rob Smith is the new hgv editor at the CAP Red Book guide to used vehicle values. He succeeds Barrie Travis, who retired last month after eleven years at CAP, a Leeds-based publisher of various used vehicle value guides. Mr Smith previously worked at Fraikin, a big truck rental and contract hire company, where he managed disposals of used vehicles and damage recharges. His previous jobs include fleet resources manager at BRS when it was part of the NFC/Exel group. Mr Travis's long career in  road transport began in the Army's Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME). He then became assistant fleet engineer at Geoffrey Reyner Transport of Manchester before moving into truck sales, initially at Barton Commercial of Stockport and then at Daf and Renault dealers in Lancashire.

 

Russell Fowler, boss of the organisation behind FuelDefend anti-siphon equipment for truck fuel tanks (formerly called TruckProtect) says his company has merged with Autosonics, a long-established Alloa-based company best known for reversing warning systems and latterly for a cyclist and pedestrian sensor called SideWarn. Mr Fowler's TruckProtect products previously led him into a string of patent and advertising claim disputes in the UK with Tiss, a Merseyside manufacturer of anti-siphon equipment. Now Mr Fowler claims that FuelDefend products are selling well outside the UK and that the deal with Autosonics is expected to help re-establish them here. 

 

Isuzu Truck UK sales director Richard Draycott is to retire at the end of July, aged 65. His successor is Richard Waterworth, who joined the Hatfield, Hertfordshire-based company last month as head of sales, reporting to Mr Draycott until his retirement. For the past five years Mr Waterworth has been sales manager at Warrington Vehicle Centre, an Isuzu truck dealer. He previously managed sales teams at Daf and Iveco dealers.
Mr Draycott joined Isuzu Truck UK as sales manager in 2001, replacing Mike Rogers who left to set up his own corporate hospitality business. Final UK assembly of Isuzu trucks at that time was about to be moved from ERF's Middlewich, Cheshire to Portugal. The contract had been switched to ERF from the Leyland Trucks assembly plant in Leyland, Lancashire following Paccar's acquisition of Leyland Trucks.
For 14 years before moving to Isuzu Mr Draycott had worked in sales at Iveco Ford Truck, latterly as regional sales manager in the heavy vehicle business unit. His truck industry career started with an apprenticeship at Bedford. He then moved into Bedford's export and sales departments, ending up in charge of military contracts in 1987 before leaving to join the then newly formed Iveco Ford Truck. 

 

A big recruitment drive is on at Tiger Trailers, the new trailer- and truck-bodywork manufacturer set up last month in Winsford, Cheshire by the two former joint managing directors of Cartwright Group of Altrincham, Cheshire, Steven and John Cartwright, (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April). Tiger's ambitious plan is to take on around 60 employees within the next month or two with the aim of having production starting in September, according to Tiger sales director Darren Holland (former Cartwright Group sales director). "This is a really exciting time for us all," he says "As far as we know, a new manufacturer of this scale has not been generated in decades. This has got to be good news for all prospective purchasers: to have another option open to them. Our first confirmed orders will be delivered in September."
Tiger Trailers has already moved into a 10,000-square-metre (106,000sq ft) factory, formerly occupied by Boughey Distribution, on the Road One industrial estate in Winsford. What is described by Mr Holland as "a significant investment" is being used to equip the factory with advanced manufacturing equipment. Among the former Cartwright employees who have already joined Tiger Trailers are finance director Chris Smith and human resources boss Helen Jennings. She is now embarked on a recruitment drive for design engineers, production shift managers, truck bodybuilders, auto electricians, paint sprayers and welders, among others. 

More information from www.tigertrailers.co.uk.

 

David Siviero this month starts a new job at Yorkshire-based bus-builder Optare as sales, marketing and service director, in effect filling the vacancy created by last December's departure of commercial director Chris Wise (Commercial Vehicle Engineer December 2013). Mr Wise is now UK sales and commercial director at the Aunde group, a big commercial vehicle seat manufacturer.
Like Optare's new chief executive, Enrico Vassallo, Mr Siviero previously worked for Iveco, mainly in its bus and coach division. For the past two years he has been sales and marketing director for Iveco buses and coaches in the CNH Industrial company's southern Europe, Africa and Middle East sales region. Before joining Iveco in 2005 as Italy sales director for minibuses and truck-derived small buses, he worked for the Daimler group's bus and coach division, Evobus, as sales manager for Italy. Between 2007 and 2009 Mr Siviero, 46, was general manager of Iveco's UK bus operation, now seemingly defunct.

 

APRIL

The surprise resignation of Jim Collins from his job as boss of the big Volvo truck and bus dealer group based in London has resulted in new jobs for two other senior managers at Volvo Group UK.
Mr Collins' successor as Volvo Truck & Bus Centre London regional managing director is Peter Groome, Volvo Group UK used truck director for the past twelve months. In that post he reported to Renault Trucks UK managing director Gino Costa, who also heads the entire Volvo group's UK used truck operation (Volvo and Renault trucks). The new Volvo Group UK used truck director, again reporting to Gino Costa, is Mike Corcoran, 36, formerly Volvo's global used trucks general manager. In his new job he continues to be based at Volvo Group UK's Warwick head office, where Renault Trucks UK too will be based following its move from Dunstable later this year.
Mr Collins's reasons for quitting and where he is going to work next remained unclear as this edition of Commercial Vehicle Engineer went to press, though speculation centred on a vacancy for head of network operations at the newly-formed Mercedes-Benz UK truck business unit. Mr Collins would seem ideally qualified for that job, having headed the Volvo-owned Truck & Bus Centre London group of eight dealer sites, including sites at Milton Keynes, Croydon, Didcot and Bedford, since 2008. For three years before that he was Volvo's national truck fleet account manager in the UK. His career started in 1984 when he joined City Truck Sales, a Scania dealer then based in Thame, Oxfordshire, as an apprentice technician. Following a four-year apprenticeship, Mr Collins continued to work at this Scania dealer, first as a technician and then successively as assistant workshop manager, workshop manager and then depot manager. He joined Volvo's UK trucks operation in 1997 as aftermarket manager. A series of promotions at Volvo subsequently took him to service product development manager, regional workshop development manager, dealer sales manager and national fleet account manager before he took on the regional managing director job six years ago.
His successor in that post, Peter Groome, is now based in Hayes, Middlesex and reports to Volvo Trucks UK managing director Arne Knaben

 

Peter Lawton starts a new job this month as aftermarket development manager at The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), based at its central London office. Mr Lawton fills the vacancy created by Wendy Williamson's move to the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), a Birmingham-based, not-for-profit trade body representing independent suppliers of vehicle parts and maintenance and repair services. Ms Williamson is now IAAF chief executive designate, preparing to succeed Brian Spratt when he retires in June (Commercial Vehicle Engineer February). She worked for the SMMT for just over one year, succeeding Bob Davis following his retirement in December 2012.
Mr Lawton has been editor of CAT (Car & Accessory Trader), a monthly magazine in the Haymarket publishing group, for the past three years. Latterly he has also edited the SMMT newsletter, Transport News Brief, published by Haymarket under contract to SMMT

 

Jeremy Smith started a new job at Citroën UK's sales and marketing operation last month, as head of commercial vehicles and business sector operations. Former Citroën UK commercial vehicles boss Scott Michael has moved to Motability Operations, a not-for-profit London-based company linked to the Motability charity and specialising in vehicles adapted for disabled people.
Mr Smith, 51, has worked for Citroën for 21 years in various fleet and retail sales posts. 

 

The Traffic Regulation Unit (TRU) division of Northern Ireland's Department of the Environment (DOE) has a new boss this month. She is Donna Knowles, previously at the province's Department of Justice. Ms Knowles fills the TRU vacancy created by the retirement of Donald Armstrong. The TRU was formed four years ago and one of its main functions since then has been to introduce an operator licensing system scheme for own-account truck operators. The body's responsibilities in Northern Ireland are roughly comparable with those of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), formerly VOSA, in the rest of the UK.

 

In a bid to correct many common misconceptions about automotive engineering careers, a lively new website has been set up by FISITA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Ingénieurs des Techniques de l'Automobile) a big international organisation claiming to represent around 200,000 automotive engineers by working with engineering bodies in 37 countries. A FISITA spokesperson says that the organisation has recognised that "more needs to be done to break down negative and false perceptions around the term 'engineering' and to inspire young people to consider an exciting future as an automotive engineer." Engineers in video interviews on the new FISITA website, www.yourfutureinautomotive.com, include Craig Cochrane, senior road load data engineer at Nuneaton-based Mira (formerly the Motor Industry Research Association); Rebecca Lees, Jaguar Land Rover body structures engineer; and David Wood, a Mira engineer specialising in braking. "The automotive industry is a very exciting place to be at the moment," says Mr Wood. "There's obviously a lot of technological advancements, with electric cars and the constant need to reduce emissions and improve safety. There's so much development work going on, there's never been a better time to join this industry." All the video interviews can be shared and embedded free of charge by schools, colleges, universities, recruitment providers and media channels, points out FISITA. More information at www.yourfutureinautomotive.com, www.fisita.com and www.youtube.com/user/yourfutureinauto/videos.

 

Organisers of the Transports Publics 2014 public transport show, being held in Paris from 10 to 12 June, are keen to encourage Commercial Vehicle Engineer readers to vote online for award nominees under four headings: "best young talent", "best project manager", "best manager" and "special career service award". A shortlist of contenders for the awards will be on the Transports Publics website from 28 April until 14 May. The deadline for award nominations was 11 April. For more information and to vote in the awards scheme go to http://www.transportspublics-expo.com/en/talent-mobility-awards.

 

 

MARCH

Antagonism between Germany's two biggest vehicle manufacturing groups, Daimler and Volkswagen, seems set to intensify further following news that a top Daimler executive, Andreas Renschler, has been poached to head the fast-growing VW commercial vehicles division. Mr Renschler, 55, is to become the VW group management board member responsible for commercial vehicles with effect from 1 February 2015. He resigned from Daimler in January, for what was described at the time as "personal reasons". The explanation for the twelve-month delay in his official start-date with Volkswagen is thought to lie in the terms of his Daimler contract.

Mr Renschler headed Daimler's global truck and bus division from 2004 until last March when he swapped jobs, in effect, with Wolfgang Bernhard and became head of Mercedes car and van manufacturing and procurement. It is thought that Mr Renschler was unhappy with this move, perhaps because it seemingly weakened his chances of succeeding Dieter Zetsche as Daimler group chief executive when his current contract expires in 2016.

Characteristically uncompromising comments from Ferdinand Piëch, VW group's supervisory board chairman, suggest that Leif Östling, the former Scania boss who now heads the whole VW commercial vehicles division, including MAN and Scania, recognised an opportunity to capitalise on turmoil at the top of his arch-rival. "We are very pleased to have been able to recruit Mr Renschler to join our company thanks to the initiative and efforts of Mr Östling," says Mr Piëch. "We have found the ideal successor for Mr Östling when he retires from the board of management next year. I am particularly pleased that Mr Östling has agreed to contribute his experience to our commercial vehicles business in a supervisory board capacity once he has stepped down from the board of management."

 

A Europe-wide management restructure at Daimler's Mercedes-Benz car and commercial vehicles division, seemingly planned long before Mr Renschler's departure, is having far-reaching effects in the UK. At the Mercedes-Benz UK Milton Keynes head office there is a new chief executive. He is Gary Savage, promoted from managing director of the Mercedes-Benz UK car division to succeed Marcus Breitschwerdt who has been promoted to head the Mercedes-Benz cars Europe division.

Meanwhile the Mercedes-Benz UK commercial vehicles division has been split into two separate business units, truck and van, following a pattern that applies now throughout Europe. The upshot is that Mercedes-Benz car, truck and van sales, marketing and aftersales support in the UK is now divided into three distinct business units. The trucks business unit managing director is Michael Kamper, former boss of the UK commercial vehicles division. The vans business unit managing director is Steve Bridge, former van sales and marketing director. The cars division continues to be headed by Gary Savage.

Michael Kamper is excited at the "360-degree business for dealing with truck operators in the UK" created as a result of the restructure and has wasted no time in reshaping his management team. Sam Whittaker, former truck marketing director, is now in the new post of director customer service. Former head of dealer sales Vincente (Vinnie) Connolly is now director national sales and director of Fleetboard, the Mercedes telematics and fleet management division. And Lisa Caveny moves from the cars division to become the new trucks division head of marketing. A new post, head of network operations, has still to be filled.

 

The new head of commercial vehicles marketing at Volkswagen (UK) from this month is Kirsten Stagg. She fills the vacancy created by last year's departure of Mark Hopkins. He now works for Kia, a Korean car-maker.
Ms Stagg moves into VW's commercial vehicles division, reporting to director Alex Smith, from Volkswagen cars where she was national communications manager. She joined the VW group as a graduate in 1998. Since then her jobs have included marketing posts at the Skoda and Audi car divisions.
Ms Stagg's successor as Volkswagen cars national communications manager in the UK has yet to be appointed.

 

Top apprentices in the annual awards scheme run by Renault Trucks UK were presented with their prizes last month at the company's Dunstable, Bedfordshire head office. Year-one winner is David Connor of Renault Trucks Cardiff; year-two winner is Jacob Bell of Clugston Distribution; and year-three winner is Matthew Long of RH Commercials.

Karen Crispe has resigned as managing director of Tachodisc, a big Warrington, Cheshire-based supplier of tachograph equipment, training courses and computer software, to become the Freight Transport Association's first commercial director. In her new job, which she starts next month, Ms Crispe will report to FTA chief executive Theo de Pencier and will have responsibility for all the Tunbridge Wells, Kent-based association's commercial operations, including sales and marketing.

As part of an ambitious growth plan for Andrew Page, a big Leeds-based vehicle parts company claiming to be one of the UK's biggest distributors of car parts, workshop equipment and tools, the private equity firm behind it has injected fresh capital and hired Jim Sumner as chairman. Mr Sumner, 47, is the former chief executive of bus-builder Optare who last June led a management buy-out of James Briggs, an Oldham, Lancashire-based supplier of aerosols and chemicals. Mr Sumner became executive chairman at James Briggs following the buy-out, backed by another private equity firm, Endless LLP, but has now stepped back to non-executive chairman to release time for the Andrew Page job. There he fills the vacancy created by Duncan Wilkes' move last October to the Micheldever Tyre and Autoservices group where he is now chief executive. 

Jim Spittle is to be the next president of the UK arm of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, CILT(UK), taking over from Jim Steer on 16 May. Mr Spittle is chairman of GS1, an independent, not-for-profit, London-based organisation specialising in barcode standards. He is a high-profile transport and logistics manager who's career has included senior posts in companies including Whitbread, Kingfisher and Tesco. 

The closing date for entries to the logistics and transport journalist category of this year's CILT awards scheme has been set at 30 May. "This event presents an important opportunity to recognise the role and contribution of journalism to our vital industry and to honour the work of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution during the past twelve months," says CILT (UK) chief executive Steve Agg. "The list of former winners contains distinguished names from the national press and the specialist transport media. The institute looks forward to adding to that list and to receiving entries and nominations."
The BBC South Today programme's Paul Clifton is the current (2013) CILT (UK) logistics and transport journalist of the year. Past winners of the award include former Commercial Vehicle Engineer editor David Wilcox (now Commercial Motor technical editor) who won it in 2010, the year Commercial Vehicle Engineer was launched.

More information from www.ciltuk.org.uk.

 

Chris Thorneycroft-Smith, a former managing director of Iveco's UK sales and marketing operation and former Daf Trucks marketing director, has joined Gasrec, a London-based supplier of biomethane fuels for commercial vehicles, as a non-executive director.
"Chris brings to Gasrec unrivalled knowledge of our sector, in addition to extensive business development and marketing experience," says Gasrec chief executive Rob Wood. "He joins us at a time when the need to reduce emissions from transport, particularly heavy goods vehicles, has never been more important across the UK and Europe. I look forward to the support Chris will provide as we develop this crucial market and expand our station network and customer base, helping operators cut fuel costs and significantly reduce pollution." More information from www.gasrec.co.uk.

Honda Motor Europe is to have a new president from next month. He is Tokiaki Mikoshiba, at present in charge of the Japanese vehicle manufacturer's Guangqi Honda Automobile joint venture in China. In his new job in Europe Mr Mikoshiba succeeds Manabu Nishimae, who has been promoted to managing operating officer of Honda Motor Company, based at the group's head office in Japan.
Honda Motor Europe's three senior vice presidents, Ian Howells, Philip Ross and Koji Arai, remain in their posts and will report to Mr Mikoshiba from next month. He has worked for Honda since 1980 and is no stranger to the company's operations in Europe, having first been a director of Honda Motor Europe six years ago.

 

 

 

FEBRUARY

A senior management restructure at the Thame, Oxfordshire base of the Daf Trucks sales and marketing operation in the UK is in response to significant truck market changes, according to managing director Ray Ashworth. Following last year's retirement of marketing director Tony Pain (Commercial Vehicle Engineer July 2013) commercial services director Laurence Drake was given additional responsibility in the new post of business planning director.
Mr Drake joined Daf Trucks in 2001 as a financial accountant and moved on to become UK credit manager, Paccar Financial retail sales manager and sales operations manager before promotion to commercial services director in 2011. Now, as business planning director reporting to Mr Ashworth, Mr Drake is responsible for developing a more integrated approach to dealings between Daf Trucks and its customers. One of his major projects at present is an updated telematics/ fleet management service, expected to be unveiled within a few months.
The latest development in the Daf Trucks UK management restructure involves the appointment of Laura Bloch as the company's first sales operations director. Starting next month, Ms Bloch will be responsible for all dealer sales activities, reporting to Ray Ashworth. Mark Oldbury continues as truck sales director but in future will focus on direct sales to operators, leaving all dealer-related activity in Ms Bloch's hands. She joins Daf from another Paccar group division, the Leyland, Lancashire-based Paccar parts distribution centre. Ms Bloch joined Paccar's fast-track management development scheme in her native US in 2004. Her increasingly senior posts since then have included area production manager for Kenworth trucks and materials manager at a big Paccar parts distribution centre in Renton, Washington.

Details of a far-reaching senior management restructure in the commercial vehicles division of Mercedes-Benz UK, also reacting to truck market changes, are expected to be confirmed soon.

 

Global sales of Renault cars and light commercial vehicles will have a new supremo from 1 March, only a couple of months before the all-new Renault Trafic van range is unveiled. He is Nicolas Wertans, appointed this month to the newly created post of global sales senior vice president, in charge of commercial strategy, sales, aftersales, and corporate sales. The appointment is part of top-level management restructure at the Renault group, prompted last September by the departure of chief operating officer Carlos Tavares. He fell out with Carlos Ghosn, the uncompromising chief executive of both Renault and its close Japanese partner Nissan, after curiously revealing to a journalist that his ambition was to run General Motors or Ford. Following the departure of Mr Tavares, Mr Ghosn promptly promoted Jérôme Stoll to chief performance officer and executive vice president in charge of sales and marketing. Mr Stoll, 59, is a long-serving Renault executive, in charge of light commercial vehicle sales and marketing for four years until last September's promotion.
Mr Wertans, 46, began his motor industry career with Ford of Europe in 1994, progressing through various sales and marketing jobs in France, the UK and Germany. He was managing director of Ford's Swiss subsidiary before moving to BMW's Munich head office to run corporate and direct sales. Then came a spell as chairman and chief executive of BMW's French sales and marketing operation before he moved to PSA Peugeot-Citroën, initially as international sales boss, then head of the Peugeot brand and finally as group vice president in charge of the Asian operation. Mr Wertans left PSA to set up an independent car retailing business based in France and Germany.
In his new job at Renault from 1 March he will report to Mr Stoll.

 

Tom Stover, technology boss at Eaton Corporation's vehicle division, last month began a three-year term as vice president of SAE International's commercial vehicle division. SAE International is a big US-based standard-setting and professional membership body formerly called (until 2006) the Society of Automotive Engineers. The name was changed to reflect growth in the body's international activities. It now has around 138,000 members worldwide and three broad divisions: aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle, each headed by a vice president elected by the entire SAE membership. Mr Stover was elected last November to succeed Bharat Vedak, a vide president at the Deere & Company agricultural machinery manufacturer. He headed the SAE International commercial vehicle division from 2011 until the end of last year.

 

Wendy Williamson is to be the next chief executive of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), a Birmingham-based, not-for-profit trade body representing independent suppliers of vehicle parts and maintenance and repair services. Ms Williamson works at present for The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), heading its aftermarket division. She is to join the IAAF early in April, preparing to take on the chief executive's responsibilities fully when Brian Spratt retires in June. Mr Spratt has worked for the IAAF and its antecedent ADF (Automotive Distribution Federation) for 21 years. His plans to retire this June were announced last year. Ms Williamson is no stranger to many IAAF members, having worked at the Unipart group for several years before moving to the SMMT. Her jobs at Unipart included director and general manager of the TTC (Truck & Trailer Components) division, and customer marketing director at Unipart Automotive's main parts distribution operation.

 

David Rowlands, technical services director at the Wincanton group, has been elected chairman of the Freight Transport Association's national road freight council. The Tunbridge Wells, Kent-based trade association runs several regional freight councils throughout the UK. Members of those regional councils are elected to the national one to formulate FTA policy in its dealings with the government and other authorities. Mr Rowlands already chairs the association's West Midlands council. As national council chair he succeeds Eric Fisher of DS Smith, a big paper and packaging firm, after a two-year term.

 

Apprentices in the motor industry provide a stronger, faster return on investment than many employers realise. That is the gist of the conclusions of research by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and paid for jointly by the institute and the government's Commission for Employment and Skills. The research involved 30 apprentices and what is described as "a cross-section of businesses from micro-independents to franchised dealers across the whole of the UK."
More information from www.theimi.org.uk/roi.

 

Expansion of the Keswick Enterprises logistics and packaging group founded ten years ago by former Tibbett & Britten supremo John Harvey continues apace. Andrew Austin has just been appointed as the first Keswick Enterprises senior executive officer. Mr Austin, 50, also becomes deputy chairman of Keswick's Spatial Global division, specialising in mail, logistics and courier services.  For three years until last year, Mr Austin was Priority Freight chief executive. Logistics companies at which he previously held senior posts include Schneider Logistics, FedEx and Lynx Express.

 

JANUARY

The sales management team at Imexpart, a big independent West Yorkshire-based supplier of truck and bus replacement parts, has been restructured and expanded. Founder and managing director Arthur Pinkney is confident of further business development this year, including office and warehouse expansion, despite what he describes as the “fragility” of the parts aftermarket, as evidenced by the recent collapse of Intertruck and Manchester Commercials.
Scott Henshaw joined Imexpart last month as its fourth area sales manager. Nottingham-based Mr Henshaw’s patch is Wales and the midlands. Sales in the rest of the country have been redistributed between Richard Davy, John Howorth and Steve Mulley, all of whom have worked for Imexpart for some time. Mr Henshaw, 35, has 19 years experience in the commercial vehicle aftermarket. Before joining Imexpart he worked temporarily for a commercial vehicle refinisher in Nottingham. Previous employers include Cambridge-based Marshall Fleet Solutions, which claims to be the largest independent commercial vehicle service organisation in the UK, and Dawson Rentals.
Imexpart has around 70 employees and five depots in addition to its main Castleford, West Yorkshire base. They are in Glasgow, Warrington, Birmingham, Weybridge and Bristol.

 

No sooner had a new managing director been appointed at Volkswagen Group (UK) Ltd than another has had to be found in double-quick time. Paul Willcox became boss of the Volkswagen group’s UK sales and marketing operation, based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, less than three months ago, filling the vacancy created by Simon Thomas’s promotion to VW’s global head of marketing, based in Wolfsburg, Germany. But almost before there had been time to change the name on the boss’s office door, Mr Willcox decided that an offer from his previous employer was too good to refuse. Last month he was appointed chairman of Nissan Europe, reporting to the carmaker’s global chief performance officer, Trevor Mann.
VW meanwhile has wasted no time in finding someone else to head its UK operation, currently enjoying a 20 per cent share of the UK car market when registrations of Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars are totted up. He is Paul Willis, at present sales and marketing chief operating officer at VW’s Skoda operation in China. Mr Willis starts his new job in the UK next month. He is no stranger to many Volkswagen group employees and dealers in the UK, having been a director here between 2000 and 2008 when he left to head VW’s Irish Republic operation.
Before his brief time at VW, Mr Willcox had spent two years in charge of Nissan sales and marketing in Europe. Like Simon Thomas, he originally worked at Nissan for more than 20 years, mainly in sales and marketing, before moving to VW. Mr Willcox was appointed Nissan Europe’s marketing vice president in 2005, returning to the UK three years later as managing director of Nissan Motor GB. He was senior vice president in charge of Nissan’s European sales and marketing from June 2011 until last September. His new post as Nissan Europe chairman has been created as part of a global top management restructure masterminded by Nissan/Renault alliance boss Carlos Ghosn.

Ron Armstrong is to become chief executive at Paccar, the US-based parent group of Daf Trucks, Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, from 27 April following Mark Pigott’s decision to step down from the post and become executive chairman. Mr Armstrong, 58, has worked for Paccar for 20 years, latterly as president. He has a degree in accountancy and was a senior manager with a big accountancy firm, Ernst & Young, before joining the Washington state-based truck-making group. Mr Pigott has been Paccar chairman and chief executive since 1997.

 

Materials handling equipment supplier Jungheinrich UK has a new managing director this month. He is Jan Lorenz, filling the vacancy created by Hans-Herbert Schultz’s promotion to sales chief for the Jungheinrich group’s entire north-west Europe region. Mr Schultz has been managing director of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire-based Jungheinrich UK for seven years. Mr Lorenz has worked for the German group for ten years, latterly as head of group marketing and sales. Before that he worked on a Jungheinrich dealer development project in the US and Canada.

 

Staffordshire-based earthmoving equipment manufacturer JCB has a new chief executive this month. He is Graeme Macdonald, who has worked for JCB for 16 years and has been chief executive officer designate for six months, since Alan Blake’s retirement at the end of last year was announced. Mr Macdonald, 45, previously was chief operating officer. Before that he was managing director of the firm’s backhoe loader division, based at its Rocester, Staffordshire head office. Mr Macdonald also has been president of JCB‘s North American operation, based in Savannah, Georgia.
Mr Blake was JCB chief executive for four years, starting on 1 January 2010.

There is also change at the top of JCB’s North American operation this month, with Arjun Mirdha starting his new job as president and chief executive following the retirement of John Patterson.
Mr Patterson is a former JCB group chief executive who started with the company 43 years ago as a field service engineer. He has headed the US business since 2008.

A JCB engineer, Victoria Hutson, is one of two new appointments confirmed this month by the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), an Ascot, Surrey-based trade association representing forklift truck manufacturers and suppliers. Ms Hutson, JCB’s principal standards and legislation engineer, has been elected chair of BITA’s technical policy committee (tpc). Steve Stewart, Crown Lift Trucks managing director, meanwhile is joining BITA’s management board in what is described as a “general governance role.”

 

Truck fleet managers in the oil distribution sector are being urged to nominate their top drivers for a high-profile award scheme aimed at promoting road safety and excellent customer service. The driver-of-the-year award is part of a long-running annual scheme run by the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) with presentations made in April at the annual FPS Expo show, in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The closing date for entries this year is 17 February.
“If the standard of last year’s entries was anything to go by, the judges are going to have an even harder task to decide on the winner for this year’s awards,” says Andy Dix of OAMPS (Oil Agents Mutual Provident Society) Petrochemical, the insurance company which has sponsored this award for the past 15 years. “These awards recognise the high standards being set by drivers in the UK and Republic of Ireland and we hope the awards will continue to encourage oil distributors to promote an ethos of safe driving, cleaner deliveries and outstanding customer care to create more drivers capable of winning this award.”
First prize this year includes a crystal trophy and a £1,000 cheque. Two runners up each receive £250. The 2013 award was won by John Bussell of Moorland Fuels.
“The FPS is looking for the best tanker driver among its members, the one that stands out among his or her peers in terms of effort or who has a great safety record, great customer service and who sets an example,” says FPS marketing and events manager Dawn Shakespeare. “The driver of the year award always receives bumper entries and it is always a hard task for the judges to choose the finalists. If you believe you have the best tanker driver in the UK or Republic of Ireland, the one who makes sure your customers are happy and goes that extra mile, then nominate them for the award.”
More information, including nomination forms, at www.fpsshow.co.uk.

 

The Irish Republic’s Road Safety Authority (RSA), a government body with similar responsibilities to those of the UK’s Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), has  a new chief executive this month. She is Moyagh Murdock, former chief operating officer and chief mechanical engineer at Bus Éireann, an Irish state-owned bus and coach operator. Ms Murdock fills a vacancy at the RSA created by last October’s departure of Noel Brett. He is now working for an Irish bank federation. John Caulfield was promoted to temporary RSA boss following Mr Brett’s resignation.
Like all Irish government departments, the RSA has been under intense pressure to cut costs, without compromising road safety. But Ms Murdock’s appointment has been widely welcome. “She clearly has the ability to consolidate the road safety gains made up to now, as well as improving Ireland’s road safety performance into the future,” says Neil McDonnell, general manager of Freight Transport Association Ireland."Ms Murdock’s technical qualifications will be most welcome in her new role at the RSA, particularly as the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness (CVR) legislation comes into effect in the Irish Republic.”
Ms Murdock has a Batchelor of Engineering (BEng) degree in mechanical engineering from Belfast’s Queen’s University, and an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Dublin City University. She worked for Aer Lingus and Johnson Controls before joining Bus Éireann.

Commercial Vehicle Engineer managing editor Tim Blakemore is among the award-winners in the latest annual Seahorse Club international awards scheme for transport and logistics journalists. Blakemore won the feature journalist category, with Stephen Spark from Fairplay Solutions magazine as runner-up. Other Seahorse Club award-winners this year include Asia-based Mike King from The Economist newspaper: news journalist of the year; Eric Kulisch from US-based American Shipper magazine: supply chain journalist of the year; and Johanna Parsons of UK-based Logistics Manager magazine: journalist of the year.
The London-based Seahorse Club celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with a record number of entries to the journalists awards scheme: 182 from 72 journalists.

This is the fifth major award won by Commercial Vehicle Engineer editors in five years. Former editor David Wilcox (now Commercial Motor technical editor) took the Cummins/Guild of Motoring Writers (GOMW) Commercial Vehicle Writer of the Year title in 2008, followed by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) logistics and transport journalist of the year award in 2010, the same year in which Tim Blakemore won the Cummins/GOMW commercial vehicle writer award for the first time. Blakemore won the GOMW commercial vehicle writer award for a second time in 2012.
The 2013 winner of the Cummins/GOMW commercial vehicle writer award is James Scoltock of Automotive Engineer, with Richard Simpson of the www.truckingtopics.co.uk website earning a commendation. 

 

 

DECEMBER

 

The manager of a newly-opened Europa Worldwide Group office in West Yorkshire is expecting to recruit up to 12 sales and marketing staff over the next two years. Miles O’Donnell from Huddersfield started his road transport career as a graduate trainee at RH Freight, the Nottingham-based firm which in March 2011 became part of the giant Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) group of Switzerland. Latterly Mr O’Donnell, 29, has been senior account manager at K+N’s Leeds, West Yorkshire branch. But now he has been recruited by former RH owner Andrew Baxter, who bought Europa and became managing director four months ago (Commercial Vehicle Engineer September), to run a newly-opened 230 square-metre (2,500sq ft) office at Calder Business Park, near junction 29 of the M1 motorway between Leeds and Wakefield. “In the new year we’ll start our recruitment drive to enable us to build a sales and customer service team to fully service all clients across Yorkshire,” says Mr O’Donnell.
Erith, Kent-based Europa has nine UK branches, an office in Hong Kong, and 500 employees. Annual turnover in 2012 was £73 million. But this is the first time there has been a Europa office in West Yorkshire. The company’s northern hub is at ProLogis Park, Birmingham.

 

A senior management restructure at bus-builder Optare is in the offing as a result of the imminent departure of commercial director Chris Wise. Mr Wise, 55, has been appointed UK sales and commercial director at the Aunde group. Its divisions include Esteban and Isringhausen, two huge multinational suppliers of commercial vehicle seats. Mr Wise starts work next month as the group’s first UK sales director. There are 85 Aunde manufacturing plants globally, including one in Wrexham, North Wales, making seats for buses, trucks and off-road vehicles. A newly-developed range of seats is expected to go into production at Wrexham soon, following what is described as “substantial investment.”
Mr Wise has worked in the bus industry for nearly 40 years, starting as a bodybuilder apprentice at what then was Leyland Bus’s bodybuilding division, Charles H Roe, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Following his apprenticeship he moved into the drawing office and began to specialise in bus engineering design. A management buy-out of this business led by Russell Richardson in 1985 resulted in the formation of Optare. Mr Wise was one of the new company’s first two employees and has seen its ownership change hands several times since then. Optare has been owned by the Ashok Leyland group of India since January 2012.
At Aunde Mr Wise reports to Esteban UK managing director Julian Grzesiczek

 

Dawn Shakespeare is the new marketing and events manager at the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), the Knutsford, Cheshire-based trade association for the oil distribution industry. Filling the vacancy created by the departure earlier this year of Vanessa Cook, Ms Shakespeare has wasted no time in getting to grips with plans for the next big annual FPS show and awards presentation, in Harrogate next April. “Although this is my first FPS Expo, the FPS has been hosting this exhibition for over 30 years now, and year-on-year interest continues to grow as more and more companies want to showcase their new technologies to the market and more and more people want to witness the innovations,” she says. “The continual growth is no doubt down to the show’s relevance for everybody working in the oil distribution market, including manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and technology firms that want to exhibit as well as visit, and general visitors curious to find out what’s new in the industry. Companies have told us that they experience a big boost in business after exhibiting at the show, so it’s understandable that so many firms are in a rush to book their space.” More than 100 exhibitors are expected at next year’s two-day show, on 9 and 10 April at Harrogate International Centre.
Ms Shakespeare is no stranger to the oil distribution sector, having worked for six years as a depot manager at Evesons Fuels of Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Evesons was bought by NWF Fuels of Nantwich, Cheshire in January 2011 in a £3.3 million deal. The NWF group also includes Boughey Distribution and several other fuel distribution operations, trading under names such as Dragon Petroleum, Lincolnshire Fuels and Knutsford Domestic Oils.
Ms Shakespeare joins FPS from Avon Freight Group of Redditch, Worcestershire, where she was business development manager. At FPS she reports to chief executive Mark Agnew.
More information on FPS Expo 2014 at www.fpsshow.co.uk.

 

Continental is stepping up its commercial vehicle tyre sales and marketing drive in the UK and Irish Republic with two new appointments as part of a management reorganisation. Tom Edwards is the new retread and brand manager at Continental Tyre Group’s Middlesex head office, filling the vacancy created by Grant Willman’s promotion to southern region sales manager, a new post. Mr Edwards, 33, reports to commercial marketing manager Tracey Hyem. One of his top priorities is management of the transfer of Conti retreads away from Bandvulc to Continental’s own newly established in-house retreading operation. Meanwhile in Ireland former Michelin area sales manager Gabriel O’Keefe has joined Continental as truck tyre sales manager for Northern Ireland and its bordering Irish Republic counties, succeeding Noel McGrath who has been promoted to sales manager for a big region encompassing the whole of Ireland and the north of the UK. Mr O’Keefe, 43, worked for Michelin for four years. Before that he was Latin American sales manager for an Irish civil engineering firm.
Mr Edwards has about ten years tyre sales and marketing experience behind him, including five at Cooper Tire & Rubber.

 

Fresh emphasis on overseas manufacturing is at the heart of a reshuffle of Hateley family directors at Grayson Thermal Systems, a big Birmingham-based manufacturer of commercial vehicle heating and cooling systems. Group managing director Stuart Hateley has taken on responsibility for all European manufacturing operations, hiring two additional people to help him. They are process manufacturing manager David Greaves, who previously worked for weighing scale manufacturer Avery Berkel; and operations manager Steve Park, formerly retail development projects manager at HMV, the now-defunct high street retailer.
James Hateley (brother of Stuart and formerly Birmingham-based manufacturing director) becomes chief executive of the company’s Florida-based North American division, Grayson Thermal Systems Corporation. David Wright, vice president of this corporation, now reports to him.
Ian Hateley, brother of James and Stuart, continues to head the group’s aftermarket and service divisions. Graham Hateley, father of the three brothers, continues as group chairman, and Bernard Szypulski continues as group finance director.

 

The UK’s National Tyre Distributor Association (NTDA) is to have a new director from the end of next month (Commercial Vehicle Engineer September). He is Stefan Hay, taking over from Richard Edy who is retiring after 25 years in the post. Mr Hay has extensive experience of senior posts at trade associations, latterly as head of membership development at the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) and head of the Fire and Security Association (FSA).

 

O’Donovan (Waste Disposal), a big London-based tipper truck fleet operator (page 3) is this year’s winner of the commercial vehicle management category of the “fleet heroes” awards scheme run annually by the Energy Saving Trust (EST). The scheme, now in its eighth year, is designed to “identify public- and private-sector organisations that are successfully reducing fuel bills and cutting carbon emissions through better transport policies and improved fleet efficiency.”
This year’s runner-up behind O’Donovan (Waste Disposal) in the commercial vehicle management category is BT Fleet, ahead of shortlisted entries from Arla Foods UK and Job Worth Doing, a company specialising in domestic energy efficiency, including jobs such as double-glazing installation.
Among the other EST “fleet hero” award-winners this year are the Environment Agency (best public sector fleet); Red Bull Company (best business sector fleet); City of York Council (“grey fleet” management); Ford Motor Company (industry supplier award); and GreenRoad (innovation in fleet services and systems).
“This year’s winners have shown just what is possible in terms of running efficient fleets, or supplying innovative products and services,” says EST chief executive Philip Sellwood. “The awards also illustrate that the role of the Energy Saving Trust is now more important than ever. Many fleets have picked the low-hanging fruit in terms of sustainability and need our advice and guidance on taking innovative action, whether that is investing in their first plug-in vehicle or eliminating their grey fleet entirely.” 

More information from www.energysavingtrust.org.uk.

 

A team of two technicians and one technical trainer representing Isuzu Truck (UK) is back home after claiming a creditable eighth place last month in the latest global technical skills competition run annually by Isuzu Truck in Japan.
There were 29 teams in last month’s finals in Tokyo, with a team from Japan taking first place, followed by teams from Australia and Israel, in that order.
Isuzu Truck (UK)’s general manager of training, Tim Hicks, admits to being a little disappointed with this year’s eighth place, following a seventh place last year, but is full of praise for the skills and effort of the two technicians representing the UK this year. They are Brian George from Imperial Commercials’ Glasgow site and Alan Cottingham from TIM Commercial Vehicle Services of Ilkeston, Derbyshire. The team was led in Tokyo last month by Isuzu Truck (UK) technical trainer Tony Hicks (Tim Hicks’ father).

John Biggin, managing director of the independently-owned TruckEast Scania dealer group, based in East Anglia, has been elected chairman of the Retail Motor Industry Federation’s National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA). Former NFDA chairman David Grant, managing director of the Orwell Truck and Van Mercedes dealer group, has retired. 

 

 

NOVEMBER 2013

 

CORRECTION

Last month we reported on senior management changes at Volvo Bus UK, including confirmation of Ian Downie’s appointment as coach sales director following Nick Page’s promotion to managing director. Volvo points out that Mr Page, 52, now reports to Ulf Magnusson, head of Volvo’s European bus division, and not, as we reported, to Volvo Group UK managing director Arne Knaben.

 

 

Less than a month after succeeding Hans-Christer Holgersson as managing director of Scania’s UK sales and marketing subsidiary (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May), Claes Jacobsson has made clear how highly he values the company’s apprenticeship scheme. Speaking last month at Scania’s well-equipped training centre near Loughborough, Leicestershire, Mr Jacobsson described apprentices as “the lifeblood of our organisation.” He was at the training centre together with aftersales director Mark Grant not only to present graduation certificates to 39 youngsters from Scania dealers becoming qualified technicians this year following successful completion of a four-year apprenticeship managed by Skillnet, but also to present prizes in the annual Scania (Great Britain) apprentice awards scheme. Four finalists from each intake year from 2009 to 2012 were faced with a series of written and practical tests at the training centre last month to determine the four top prizewinners. Practical tasks included brake inspections and engine valve clearance setting for year-one apprentices to fault diagnosis on an Irizar coach and a marine engine for those in year four. 
Emerging from these tests as the 2012 intake year Scania GB apprentice of the year is Ciaran Blakemore from the company’s Heathrow dealer site, beating Mark Russell from Glasgow, Craig Moore from Grangemouth, and Jake Dehal-Clarke from Normanton. The 2011 intake year winner is Jacob Ward from Sheffield, ahead of Matthew Roberson from the Truck East site in Kings Lynn, Joe Sweet from the Keltruck site at Tamworth, and Aaron Rix from Purfleet. The 2010 intake year winner this year is James Finigan from West Pennine Trucks at Trafford Park, Manchester, ahead of Bradley Saynor from Sheffield, Ashley Davies from West Pennine Trucks at Telford, and James Hopwood from West Pennine Trucks at Stoke-on-Trent. This year’s top Scania GB apprentice from the 2009 intake year is Matthew Goodwin-Emerson from Keltruck at Droitwich, ahead of Laurence Farrell from Purfleet, Joe Titcombe from Swindon, and Rich Baker from Keltruck Nottingham.
Prizes for the top apprentices this year include a trip to Scania’s main factory and head office in Södertälje, Sweden.
“Simply being here today means that each and every one of you is a winner in your own right,” said Mr Jacobsson at Loughborough last month.

 

Scania apprentices were not the only ones being presented with awards last month. At Volvo Group UK’s Warwick base prizewinners in the truck- and bus-maker’s latest annual training awards presentation included Alfie Collins, a technician working for Volvo Truck & Bus London. Mr Collins is this year’s winner of the Jim Keyden award, set up in 2008 in honour of the man who, together with Jim McKelvie, co-founded Ailsa Trucks of Barrhead, Scotland, the first company to import Volvo trucks to the UK and Irish Republic.
Volvo’s Jim Keyden award is made annually to the graduating apprentice who displays “outstanding dedication to both practical and academic studies.”
Other Volvo apprentices among the prizewinners this year include Matthew Hebb from Crossroads Group, winner of the “highest academic achiever” award; and Garyn Rees from Truck & Bus Wales and West, “most improved student”.

 

 

John Neill, Unipart Group chairman and chief executive, is the latest winner of the Sir Robert Lawrence award, presented annually by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, CILT (UK), to “recognise an individual’s outstanding and sustained contribution to the profession of logistics and transport.” The award is named after a highly-regarded National Freight Consortium boss of the late 1970s and was first presented by the Institute of Logistics and Distribution Management (ILDM) before it merged with The Chartered Institute of Transport (CIT) to form CILT. Recent winners of the Sir Robert Lawrence award include Transport for London commissioner Sir Peter Hendy, Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler, and Pall-Ex network founder Hilary Devey.
John Neill joined Unipart in 1974 when it was the parts division of state-owned British Leyland. By 1976, aged 29, he was Unipart boss and ten years later led a controversial management buy-out of the company. Since then Unipart has diversified into manufacturing, logistics and consultancy and now has an annual turnover around the £1 billion mark, with about 10,000 employees worldwide. As well as continuing to head Oxford-based Unipart Group, Mr Neill is now a vice president of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and a non-executive director of Rolls-Royce. He was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1994 for services to industry and last year an honorary doctorate by Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde, where he studied back in the early 1970s for his BA (Bachelor of Arts) and MBA (Master of Business Administration) degrees.
Among the other CILT (UK) award-winners this year are Paul Clifton of BBC South Today, “logistics and transport journalist of the year”; Neil Cartwright, Argos operations manager, “young manager of the year”; and United Biscuits, “freight transport best practice”.

 

 

 

An expanding Midlands-based truck bodybuilder has teamed up with a neighbouring vehicle repair and refurbishment specialist as part of a growth and diversification plan. Bevan Group of Halesowen, West Midlands has acquired a shareholding (of unspecified size) in A&R Vehicle Services of Wednesbury. A&R chairman Trevor Rushworth is one of the co-founders of the firm which started trading in 1989. Now it repairs and refurbishes trucks, trailers, buses and vans for some of the UK’s biggest fleet operators. Mr Rushworth remains in his post following the Bevan Group deal, as does A&R group managing director George Simpson.
The A&R site at Wednesbury boasts a 3,700-square-metre (40,000sq ft) workshop including a shot-blast bay, chassis-straightening equipment, paint preparation booths and three low-bake paint ovens, as well as a sizeable parts store. Eighteen months ago a £60,000 “hydro test centre” for tankers was added.
Negotiations between Mr Rushworth and Bevan Group managing director Anthony Bevan are thought to have started about 18 months ago. Bevan Group meanwhile has been expanding from its traditional mainstream business. manufacturing boxvan, curtain-sider and platform bodies, with a growing fleet of mobile workshops and a deal with trailer-maker Schmitz Cargobull of Germany under which Bevan manufactures Schmitz refrigerated bodywork for rigid trucks in the UK. Only two months ago Bevan Group director Martyn Reeves acquired a 50 per cent stake in Handistep, a Hampshire-based manufacturer of light commercial vehicle steps. Further close co-operation between Bevan Group and Handistep (Commercial Vehicle Engineer September) is expected to follow. Now the deal with A&R takes Bevan into yet more commercial vehicle market sectors.

 

 

 

Aquila Group managing director Gary Mullaney evidently was not exaggerating when he declared it would be “full steam ahead in growing the business further” following his acquisition five months ago of Iveco truck dealer sites in Avonmouth, Swindon and Gloucester formerly run by the Bristol Street Commercials division of Vertu Motors (Commercial Vehicle Engineer June). Mr Mullaney wasted no time in recruiting two senior managers from MAN Truck & Bus UK to run his group’s newly formed Aquila Truck Centres (Italia) company. First Roy Morton, former head of bus and coach sales at MAN Truck & Bus UK was appointed dealer principal of the three West Country Aquila Truck Centres (Italia) sites. Then on 1 July he was joined by Shane Bowen, the former head of operations at MAN’s military vehicle contract with the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Mr Bowen, 42, is now Aquila Truck Centres (Italia) aftermarket manager, based at Avonmouth. At MAN Truck & Bus UK’s Swindon base the new head of bus and coach sales is Ian McLean, transferred from truck sales. No direct replacement for Mr Bowen is needed because the delivery of MAN trucks to the MOD is now complete. That five-year contract involved 7,500 vehicles.
Mr Bowen now reports to Mr Morton at Aquila and has a team of 30 reporting to him. Before moving to MAN he spent eleven years at the Wincanton group’s Pullman Fleet Services where he started as a technician and ended up as operations manager, running several depots in south eastern England. Mr Bowen’s career started with an engineering apprenticeship at BRS, where he worked as a technician for four years before joining Pullman. 
Aquila is now seeking to recruit additional technicians at its newly-acquired West Country sites.

 

 

The managing director of Xtrac, a Berkshire-based engineering firm specialising in motorsport drivelines, last month came away with two awards from the latest annual Institute of Directors (IOD) awards presentation in London. Peter Digby has won not only the “global director of the year” category of the IOD scheme but also the overall top prize as “director of the year.” This goes, according to the institute, to the director who has “shown outstanding leadership in the face of either difficult internal issues or tough market conditions, and who is able to point to outstanding achievements in their business  during the course of the previous twelve months.”
Mr Digby began his engineering career with British Airways before joining the Williams Formula 1 racing team, aged 21. Six years later he was production manager. From there Mr Digby moved to another Formula 1 team, Haas, and then joined Xtrac in 1986, two years after it had been set up by Mike Endean. In 1997 Mr Digby led a management buy-out of the firm involving all its employees. Xtrac is still owned entirely by employees and now claims to be the world’s leading motorsport transmission company. Last year’s turnover was its highest yet, £40 million.
Xtrac has two sites in the US, in Indiana and North Carolina, as well as its base in Newbury, Berkshire.

 

The keenness of the new  Volvo Bus UK top management team to grow its aftermarket services business with bus and coach operators in the UK and Irish Republic has been underlined by the appointment of Martin McEntee as the company’s first “soft products” development manager.Mr McEntee, 41, joined Volvo last month from Avery Dennison, a big US-based multinational best known for printer labels, where he had been UK and Irish Republic sales manager in its graphics division. Before that Mr McEntee had worked in aftermarket sales support at a joint fork-lift venture between Caterpillar and Mitsubishi, and before that in the parts  division of Yanmar, a big Japanese manufacturer of diesel engines. At Volvo Group UK he reports to bus and coach aftermarket director Andy Kunze.

 

 

Tony Pain, who retired last month as Daf Trucks marketing director in the UK (Commercial Vehicle Engineer July) has joined Automotive PR (APR), a big London-based public relations firm as commercial vehicle industry consultant. “We are delighted that Tony has agreed to join us and look forward to benefiting from his wide experience in an industry sector where we already have a strong and growing client base,” says APR executive chairman Martin Hayes. Mr Pain, 63, was appointed Daf marketing director in the UK shortly after the Netherlands-based truck-maker was acquired by Paccar of the US in 1996. His 45-year career with Leyland, Leyland Daf and Daf began in 1968 with a student apprenticeship at Leyland Motors.

 

 

Four Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company directors start new jobs next month. Executive vice president and chief financial officer Darren Wells has been appointed president of the tyre-maker’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division, succeeding Arthur de Bok who becomes a senior vice president in charge of global sales and marketing. Mr de Bok, 51, has headed the EMEA division, including Goodyear Dunlop in the UK, for the past twelve years. Mr Wells, 47, joined Goodyear in 2002 and has been financial supremo since 2008. His sucessor in this job is Laura Thompson, at present financial boss of Goodyear’s North American division. That job goes to Damon Audia, currently business development senior vice president.

 

 

 

OCTOBER 2013

 

At Skills for Logistics (SfL), the Milton Keynes-based training and skills-development organisation that is the government-appointed “sector skills council” for freight and logistics, the chief executive’s post has become vacant following the surprise resignation of Mick Jackson. A new five-year SfL business plan involving “a greater emphasis on deeper commercial activities” seems to be behind Mr Jackson’s decision to quit. His deputy, Ross Moloney, has been promoted temporarily to acting chief executive while the SfL board, headed by chairman Paul Brooks, seeks to recruit Mr Jackson’s successor.
Mr Jackson was promoted from SfL operations director to acting chief executive in May 2008, following the early retirement of Ian Hetherington. Confirmation of Mr Jackson’s appointment as SfL boss came five months later. He had first joined the organisation in 2004 as director of skills development, later becoming operations director.
Mr Jackson’s career in logistics began at what then was the NFC/Exel Logistics group which he joined after graduating from Cranfield University. He worked for Exel Logistics for 14 years, in jobs such as project management, global network management and operational management in Russia and the former Soviet Union. He also worked for the Allied Pickfords removals division of NFC.  After a spell as a self-employed logistics consultant working on transport systems in central Asia and then for the International Road Transport Union (IRU) in Geneva, Mr Jackson was head of logistics at the Freight Transport Association for seven years before moving to SfL. 

 

 

Pat Dowsett retires this month after a 37-year career with Cummins. Mr Dowsett, 65, joined the engine manufacturer in 1976 from Blackwood Hodge, a big generator set supplier and repairer, where he had started as an apprentice and progressed to workshop supervisor. At Cummins initially Mr Dowsett worked on the Daventry, Northamptonshire production line. But within six months he had been promoted to product engineering to work on development of the KV16 generator set engine. From there Mr Dowsett moved into international training, working mainly in the Middle East and dealing with service and repair training on the entire range of Cummins engines. In the mid 1980s he spent a year working in the Cummins international operation based in Athens, Greece, before returning to Daventry as quality controller. Mr Dowsett has been manager of the Daventry service training school since 1998.
His successor in this post is Ian Eustace, promoted from instructor. Mr Eustace, 50, joined Cummins three years ago. Before that he had been a lecturer at Warwickshire College. Mr Eustace’s career in road transport engineering began with an apprenticeship at BOC. Later, as a technician, he gained extensive experience in commercial vehicle maintenance and repair in fleets including Freightliner, Wincanton and Ryder.
Now Mr Eustace heads a school responsible for training Cummins service agents and customers in all aspects of the service and maintenance of a range of diesel and gas engines with swept volumes ranging from 1.3 to 95 litres. Six instructors and four administrative staff are based at the Daventry school but Mr Eustace reckons that the instructors spend about one third of their time working abroad. The school is responsible for service training throughout the Cummins’ Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

 

 

At Volvo Bus UK & Ireland’s Warwick head office the appointment of Ian Downie as coach sales director has been confirmed. Former coach sales director Nick Page was promoted to managing director in February, filling the vacancy created by the early retirement of Steve Dewhurst
Mr Downie, 46, has been Volvo bus and coach product director in the UK since 2007. Before that he was operations director and before that strategy development manager. Now he has taken on coach sales director responsibilities in addition to his product director job.
From this month, Mr Page reports to Arne Knaben, a 55-year-old Norwegian and former Volvo Group Australia president who has succeeded Ulf Magnusson as managing director of Volvo’s truck and bus operations in the UK and Irish Republic. Mr Knaben has degrees in mechanical engineering and economics but worked as a mechanic and truck driver before joining Volvo in 1992. Since then he has worked in the group’s sales and aftersales divisions in India, Denmark, Norway and Sweden as well as in Australia.
Mr Magnusson has been recalled to the Volvo Group head office in Gothenburg, Sweden to take charge of its ailing European bus division. This move follows the appointment in June of Håkan Agnevall as president of the entire Volvo Buses division.

 

 

 

Another chapter in the story of the fragmentation of the RH group of Nottingham is written this month with the acquisition of RH Rentals for an undisclosed sum by Prohire, a fast-expanding Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire-based company specialising in contract hire and fleet management.
“RH Rentals has a significant rental and contract hire commercial vehicle fleet which is a perfect complement to Prohire’s,” says Prohire chairman and chief executive David Barlow. “The RH fleet includes rigid vehicles, tractor units and vans and these will be added to the range of vehicles available from Prohire to further enhance our offering to the commercial vehicle sector.”
RH Freight was bought for around £69 million in March 2011 by Kuehne + Nagel (K+N), a giant logistics group based in Switzerland. Last month one of the former joint owners of RH Freight, Andrew Baxter, bought a 90 per cent shareholding in Europa Worldwide Group, one of the UK’s biggest privately-owned transport companies. Mr Baxter is now Europa managing director. A Renault trucks dealer in the RH group was sold last year by K+N to a management buy-out team.

 

 

Kuehne + Nagel‘s UK operation is to have a new boss from next month. He is Marcus Bennett who succeeds Yngve Ruud as UK national manager. Mr Ruud has been promoted to the K+N western Europe head office in Hamburg, Germany where he is now deputy regional manager. 
Mr Bennett, 45, has worked for Kuehne + Nagel for the past 24 years, including operational and management jobs in air- and road-freight in the Irish Republic. He has been K+N Ireland national manager for ten years.  Kuehne + Nagel UK now has around 10,000 employees in more than 100 sites.  The entire Kuehne + Nagel group has around 62,500 employees in over 100 countries.

 

 

Colin Blunt is the new Optare sales manager for Scotland and northern England, filling the vacancy created by John Hartley’s move to rival bus-builder Wrightbus. Mr Blunt, 48, joined Yorkshire-based Optare last month from Scania (Great Britain) where he had been body liaison manager, working with body suppliers for Scania bus and coach chassis. His road transport engineering career began at Lipe Clutches at Rossendale in his native Lancashire. Lipe then was part of the huge Dana corporation of the US but was sold to Gujarat Setco of India in 2005.
After completing an engineering apprenticeship based at Accrington and Rossendale College, Mr Blunt moved into earth-moving plant maintenance and repair for a  while before returning to trucks and buses by joining a local Scania dealer, West Pennine Trucks, in 1996 as a technician. When that post was made redundant in 2004 he joined the aftersales department of MAN Truck & Bus UK. From there he moved to Scania (Great Britain)’s bus and coach division based at Worksop, Nottinghamshire. At Optare Mr Blunt now reports to sales director John Horn.

 

Giant Chinese tyre-maker Giti has underlined its determination to continue growing and competing head-on with established European and American rivals such as Michelin, Continental and Goodyear by establishing a new European technical centre in Hannover, Germany and a second in Akron, Ohio, US.
The Hannover technical centre is headed by Stefan Fischer, poached from Hankook where he managed the Korean tyre-maker’s European technical centre in Hungary. Mr Fischer is now research and development director of the Giti Tire European technical centre, reporting to both Richard Lyons, the former Goodyear executive who is now managing director of Giti’s European division, and to Wai Yeen Phang, Giti Tire’s tresearch and development director.
The new Giti North American technical centre is headed by Hamid Aboutorabi, who previously worked for Kumho, a  Korean tyre-maker, and before that for Goodyear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Gunner has left Isotrak, a Milton Keynes-based vehicle tracking and fleet management software company, to join the fast-expanding European division of DriveCam, a US-based corporation specialising in in-cab video recording and vehicle risk management software. Mr Gunner, a 38-year-old former professional cyclist, worked for Isotrak for seven years, latterly as sales and marketing director. Isotrak has around 120 employees based in Milton Keynes and San Diego, California. The company was sold by one private equity firm, Saints Chamonix Private Equity, to another, Lyceum Capital, for an undisclosed sum two months ago. UK truck fleet operators using Isotrak vehicle tracking and fleet management include Asda, Eddie Stobart, Robert Wiseman Dairies and Sainsbury’s.
San Diego-based DriveCam has had a European subsidiary based in London since April, with Paul Jones as vice president and general manager. Volvo Group became a DriveCam shareholder two months before the London office was opened.
Mr Gunner is now a DriveCam sales executive. “Cameras are a hot topic in transport and logistics right now,” he says. “And this organisation is very focused on the subject.”

 

SEPTEMBER 2013

Optare, part of the Ashok Leyland group of India, has a new chief executive. He is Enrico Vassallo, formerly president of the Latin American division of FPT Industrial, the Fiat Industrial group subsidiary that makes diesel engines, axles and gearboxes.

Ashok Leyland has been looking for an Optare boss since Jim Sumner quit at the end of last year (Commercial Vehicle Engineer December 2012). Since then the Yorkshire-based bus-builder has been headed by Ashok Leyland's head of international business Per Gustav Nilsson, a 57-year-old Swede who likes to be known as "PG". Glenn Saint was promoted from Optare chief technical officer to deputy chief executive to support Nilsson until the vacancy at the top could be filled more permanently. He now remains deputy chief executive.
Enrico Vassallo's international and bus industry experience would seem to make him well suited to his new job, not least because Ashok Leyland has ambitious plans for growing Optare's export business.
Vassallo, 45, has been in charge of the FPT Industrial Latin American operation, with 680 employees and manufacturing plants in Argentina and Brazil, since April 2011. For four years before that he was general manager of the Italian sales and marketing company of Irisbus, the Iveco bus and coach division recently renamed Iveco Bus.
Vassallo has a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Genoa in his native Italy. He started working for Iveco in 1996 and since then has had a string of increasingly senior sales and marketing jobs at the Fiat group's commercial vehicles division. He was sales and marketing manager for Iveco trucks in Australia for a year ending in December 2004, and Irisbus sales and marketing director in France for two years following that.
Former Optare chief executive Jim Sumner is now executive chairman at James Briggs, an Oldham, Lancashire-based supplier of aerosols and chemicals, where he led a management buy-out two months ago (Commercial Vehicle Engineer July).

 

The government's Swansea-based Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is to have a new boss from November. He is Oliver Morley, currently chief executive and "keeper" of The National Archives in London, an "executive agency" of the Ministry of Justice and the official archive of government in England and Wales. Morley has worked at The National Archives since 2008, originally as marketing and business development director. Before that he worked for Thomson Reuters, a big international publisher and research group, latterly as "global head of customer experience, desktop products". A former colleague of Morley's at Reuters describes him as "frighteningly intelligent and scrupulously organised." He speaks French and Norwegian and has a degree in economics and politics from the University of Cambridge.
There has been a temporary chief executive, Malcolm Dawson, at the DVLA since May following the departure of Simon Tse, who had been in the job for five years. Tse is now contracted customer services director at the Department of Work and Pensions.

After more than 25 years in the post, Richard Edy is to retire as director of the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) at the end of next January. The recruitment process to find his successor is now "in train", according to the Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire-based association which represents tyre suppliers in the UK.

 

Matthias Matic starts a new job this month at the Frankfurt base of Germany’s Continental group, as head of its hydraulic brake systems business unit. Mr Matic, 46, has been promoted from chassis components business unit head to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Peter Laier early this year. Mr Laier is now chief technology officer and a management board director at Osram, the Munich-based Siemens group subsidiary specialising in lighting. Mr Laier, 44, had worked for Continental for twelve years, as head of the 12,000-employee hydraulic brake systems division since August 2011. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and began his career at Stuttgart’s Fraunhofer Institute. At Continental he worked on electronics and sensors as well as various brake systems, including a four-year spell in Asia, based in Japan.
Mr Matic has worked for Continental since 1993 in posts including project manager for electronic and hydraulic brake systems and strategic planning director for wheel-brakes.

 

Europa Worldwide Group, one of the UK’s biggest privately-owned transport companies, is under new ownership this month. A 90 per cent shareholding in Europa has been bought by Andrew Baxter, the former joint owner of RH Freight, the Nottingham based firm which in March 2011 became part of the giant Kuehne + Nagel group of Switzerland. Erith, Kent-based Europa has nine UK branches, an office in Hong Kong, and 500 employees. Annual turnover in 2012 was £73 million. Mr Baxter is now managing director.
The company was bought by three long-serving employees, Russell Keep, Andrew Kennedy and Grenville Turner, in a 2007 management buy-out. Now Mr Keep, finance director, has bought the 10 per cent shareholding not owned by Mr Baxter. The new owners are already planning to hire extra staff and invest in information technology.
“I have spent some time looking for the right opportunity and am very excited about the potential here,” says Mr Baxter. “The company has an excellent reputation and a good track record and I want to build the business to become the clearly recognised, number one groupage operator in the UK. I also believe the company has great potential outside of its European operations, in air, ocean and logistics, and we will be looking at what we can do to further develop these businesses. It will be business as usual for the next few months while we take time to evaluate the current set-up. We already have plans to invest £1.5 million in new it infrastructure to help improve efficiencies and communication. There is a strong branch network which could be boosted further with other new sites to give a denser coverage of the UK.”

 

Handistep, a Ringwood, Hampshire-based supplier of light commercial vehicle steps, is under new ownership this month and has taken on a prominent transport engineer as sales and technical director. Handistep was set up in 2001, owned jointly by Mike and Rosie Wood and Harry Bradshaw, owner of Walker Scott, a Ringwood-based supplier of automotive battery cables and wiring harnesses. Now the Woods have sold their 50 per cent stake in the Handistep business to Martyn Reeves, a director at Bevan Group, a big bodybuilder based in Halesowen, West Midlands. Mr Reeves emphasises that he continues to work for Bevan Group and that the Handistep shareholding has been acquired personally by him and not by the company. But he nevertheless sees great potential for productive co-operation between Handistep and Bevan Group.
The new Handistep sales and technical director is Ken Brewis, a well-known figure to many commercial vehicle fleet managers in the UK following a long and distinguished career in the engineering departments of Ford, Daf Trucks and Iveco. Mr Brewis specialises in type approval and for the past five years has been running his own engineering consultancy, following a brief spell working for AssetCo, the infamous and controversial leasing group specialising in emergency services vehicles and equipment.
Mr Brewis sees great potential for growing sales of Handistep rear steps and impact-absorbing systems for vans and light commercial vehicles. He points out that they are already specified by many big UK fleet operators and that selling points include exceptional durability and compliance with International Standards Organisation ISO 9001 standards on manufacturing quality.

 

Beck & Pollitzer Engineering, the Dartford, Kent-based specialist transport and engineering firm with a history going back to 1863, has a new chief executive this month. He is Andrew Hodgson, recruited to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Tony Percival. Mr Hodgson was previously managing director of Sulzer Dowding & Mills, a Birmingham-based international group specialising in service and repair of high-voltage generators and motors. Before that he was a director at Flowserve Corporation, a US-based manufacturer and repairer of pumps and pumping equipment.
Beck & Pollitzer specialises in machinery installations, electrical and mechanical services, heavy haulage and plant hire. The company was set up in London in 1863 as a general carrier, importer and warehouse operator. Between 1961 and 1994 it was part of the TDG (Transport Development Group) cluster of road transport and logistics businesses. Beck & Pollitzer has been privately owned since a management buy-out of 1994. It operates a sizeable fleet of heavy-haulage tractive units and semi-trailers as well as mobile cranes and lifting gantries, and operates in 13 other countries as well as the UK.

 

At Palfinger, a Salzburg, Austria-based multinational group specialising in load-handling and lifting equipment, the four top management board members have had their employment contracts renewed until the end of 2018. Herbert Ortner has been on the Palfinger management board since 2003 and was appointed chief executive in 2008. Christoph Kaml has been chief financial officer since 2009, Wolfgang Pilz chief marketing officer since 2003, and Martin Zehnder chief operating officer since 2008.
Ratcliff, one of the UK’s top-selling tail-lift manufacturers was bought by Palfinger in 2005. Two years later Palfinger acquired MBB, a leading German tail-lift maker. 

 

The first winners of an apprentice award scheme just started by Cartwright Group, the Altrincham, Cheshire-based bodybuilder and trailer-maker, were presented with their prizes last month. Bradley Kyte, 19, is Cartwright’s apprentice of the year. Second place goes to Robson Thomas (20) and third place to Josh Redfern, 19.
Cartwright has taken on 80 apprentices since starting its scheme, in partnership with nearby Stockport College, last September. “Selecting just three apprentices out of the first year’s intake was a tough decision,” says Cartwright Group joint managing director John Cartwright. “They have been a fantastic group, playing an important role during their first year.”

 

AUGUST 2013

It is all change again at the top of the Volvo group's UK base in Warwick. Less than a year after he became Volvo Group UK managing director, Ulf Magnusson has been recalled to the group's global head office in Gothenburg, Sweden to take charge of the ailing European division of Volvo Buses. The move appears to have been prompted by the appointment in June of Håkan Agnevall as Volvo Buses president. Mr Agnevall previously worked for the Bombardier group of Canada, as president of its transport propulsion and controls division. His appointment at Volvo has allowed Håkan Karlsson to return to his job as head of Volvo Group business areas. Mr Karlsson has been temporary Volvo Buses president since Per Karlsson suddenly quit the post a year ago.

 

In the UK Mr Magnusson's successor from 1 October will be Arne Knaben, a 55-year-old Norwegian who is currently Volvo Group Australia president.
Meanwhile Ian Mitchell, Volvo Trucks commercial director in the UK, has been appointed acting managing director until Mr Knaben arrives.

 

 

Pete Murphy has been promoted from general manager sales to managing director designate at Isuzu Truck (UK), preparing to succeed Nikki King when she retires at the end of October.

Mr Murphy has worked for Isuzu Truck (UK) since 1998, two years after the Hertfordshire-based company was established by the RAC group (formerly Lex Service). He joined ITUK as fleet sales manager from Lex Transfleet, where he had been contract sales manager. He was promoted to general manager fleet sales in 2005 and then to general manager sales in January this year. Mr Murphy says that he is "honoured, hugely excited and more than a little terrified at the faith Isuzu Motors and Nikki, the most inspirational leader I have met, have shown by appointing me in this new role."

As managing director Mr Murphy will report to Isuzu Motors Europe and Isuzu Truck (UK) chairman Yuki Murata. Isuzu Motors took full control of Isuzu Truck (UK), acquiring the 85 per cent of shares it did not already hold, in March this year (Commercial Vehicle Engineer March).

"This is the most important decision we have made since ITUK became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Isuzu Motors," says Mr Murata. "After some months' evaluation, we are confident we have made the right decision and are pleased to see Pete in his new role. I do regret seeing my friend Nikki go, though she will still be around and in touch with us all (as honorary chairman)."

Bob Haughton, who as deputy managing director had appeared to be in line to succeed Nikki King as Isuzu Truck (UK) boss, left the company shortly after the Isuzu Motors takeover was finalised. He is now business development director at HaulTech, the fleet management and telematics software division of HTC Solutions of Staffordshire (Commercial Vehicle Engineer April).

 

 

Steve Price has been appointed group sales and marketing director at Skan Group Holdings, the West Midlands-based parent group of Boughton Engineering and Oldbury UK, filling the vacancy created by last month's retirement of Allan Burley. Mr Price starts his new Skan Group job next month, joining the company from Specialist Fleet Services (SFS), a Northampton-based Rothschild banking group subsidiary specialising in contract hire, fleet management and workshop management, mainly for local authorities. Mr Price has been SFS sales director since 2008. Before that he was commercial director at the UK arm of Otto Waste Solutions of Germany (now called ESE), and before that he was UK and export sales director at Applied Sweepers, a Falkirk-based road-sweeper manufacturer.
Boughton Engineering was formed when the assets of waste-vehicle manufacturer Reynolds Boughton were bought from administrators by Skan Group Holdings two years ago. Oldbury UK, a Wolverhampton-based engineering firm specialising in trailers such as low-loaders, step-frames, extendibles and hook-loaders, was then already part of the Skan group. Reynolds Boughton, established in 1897, was best known for waste-management equipment such as ejector trailers, hook-loaders and skip-loaders. Its sites in Staffordshire and Devon also made military trailers and airfield fire-tenders. The Staffordshire site was closed two years ago, with its operations transferred to Oldbury at Wolverhampton.

 

 

The Volkswagen group's UK sales and marketing operation is to have a new boss from next month. He is Paul Willcox, appointed managing director of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire-based Volkswagen Group (UK) Ltd to fill the vacancy created by Simon Thomas's promotion to VW's global head of marketing, based in Wolfsburg, Germany. Mr Willcox has been in charge of Nissan sales and marketing in Europe for the past two years. Mr Thomas, 53, takes on responsibility for all Volkswagen Group marketing worldwide from 1 September, succeeding Jürgen Stackmann who has been chairman of VW's Seat division since May.
From next month Mr Thomas will report to Christian Klingler, VW group board member for sales and marketing.
Mr Thomas started his motor industry career as an apprentice technician. He joined Austin Rover in 1985 as a technical adviser and then worked in various service, sales and fleet field-based jobs.
After joining Nissan GB in 1991, a string of promotions took him to marketing director and then sales director before he moved to Canada to head sales and marketing of Nissan and Infiniti cars. In 2007 Mr Thomas returned to Europe as Nissan Europe's vice president in charge of sales, based in France. From 2008 to 2011 he was based in Switzerland as Nissan Europe’s senior vice president. VW poached him to become boss of its UK sales and marketing operation in September 2011. 
Mr Willcox starts his new job as Volkswagen Group (UK) managing director on 16 September. Like Mr Thomas he has worked at Nissan for more than 20 years, mainly in sales and marketing. Mr Willcox was appointed Nissan Europe's marketing vice president in 2005, returning to the UK three years later as managing director of Nissan Motor GB. He has been senior vice president in charge of Nissan's European sales and marketing since June 2011.

 

 

Mike Johnson, one of the best known names in the lubricants business, has announced that he is to retire from BP at the end of this year. Mr Johnson, 59, has been running the BP Lubricants business, including Castrol, since late 2007. He joined Castrol, then an independent lubricants company, in 1993. Before that he had been chief executive of St Ivel, the UK's biggest dairy company at the time.
When BP bought Castrol in 2000, Mr Johnson was chief executive of Castrol UK and its global marketing director. Following the takeover he became a BP marketing vice president before being appointed vice president of the BP Lubricants Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore, in 2001. Mr Johnson returned to the UK in 2005 and has headed BP's entire lubricants division for the past six years.
Mr Johnson's successor as BP Lubricants boss, starting the new job last month, is Paul Waterman. He ran the BP Lubricants "business-to-business" division (encompassing the marine, industrial and aviation sectors) from 2009 until 2010 and for the past three years has been running a BP fuels division in Australia and New Zealand. Mr Waterman, 48, joined Castrol in 1994. His 20 years working in the oil industry's "downstream" sector include 11 in the lubricants business.

 

The UK subsidiary of French tyre-maker Michelin has a new boss. Wayne Culbertson has been appointed managing director of Michelin Tyre plc, based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. He fills the vacancy created by the promotion of Eric Le Corre to Michelin group head of public affairs, based in Paris.
Mr Culbertson has worked for the tyre-maker for 39 years, latterly as executive vice president in charge of the personnel function at Michelin North America. He joined the company in 1974 after leaving South Carolina's Clemson University with an engineering degree. Since then Mr Culbertson has managed Michelin tyre manufacturing plants in the US and headed marketing and sales operations in Europe and Australia.

Group Lotus, the Norfolk-based sports car manufacturer, is on a recruitment drive, seeking applicants for around 100 new posts, including 45 "specialist engineers" and 18 graduates. The engineers and graduates will work on new product development at the group's Lotus Engineering division. The new posts have been created, according to the company, as part of a £100 million investment in response to growing sales of Lotus cars and growing demand for the firm's engineering consultancy.
Group Lotus was bought in 1996 by Proton of Malaysia. In October 2011, Lotus received £10.4 million of UK government funding and announced plans to create 1,000 jobs as part of a five to six-year expansion plan. Proton was itself acquired by the giant DRB-Hicom group of Malaysia in 2012. There have been repeated rumours since then about Lotus being up for sale or even on the point of going into administration. Now DRB-Hicom seems determined to quash those rumours with its latest investment and recruitment drive.

 

More information from www.lotuscars.com

 

The principles of good design and engineering are just as applicable to truck and bus lamps as they are to car and commercial vehicle seats. That is the firmly-held view of Jamie Carr, and he must be gratified to know that his new boss at Truck-Lite Europe's Harlow, Essex base seems to agree. Mr Carr, 34, left his job as programme manager at the seat design and manufacturing division of the giant Johnson Controls group three months ago to join Truck-Lite Europe as a programme manager, replacing David Rowles, who has left the company. Mr Carr is now part of an engineering team of ten reporting to Robert Richards, Truck-Lite Europe's head of engineering.
“Jamie is already proving a great addition to the team," says Mr Richards. "Coming from similar Tier 1 automotive background makes it a pleasure to work with him. He has a vast amount of knowledge of working with high-level accounts, within a high-end, continually-evolving industry: experience which will help Truck-Lite to continue moving forward as a global brand.” 
Mr Carr joined Johnson Control twelve years ago with a degree in product design and marketing from Southampton Solent University (Southampton Institute of Higher Education at the time). His decision to leave the company was prompted by the transfer of its vehicle seating design and engineering operation to Germany following Johnson's acquisition of two big German seat manufacturers, Keiper (including Recaro) and C Rob Hammerstein two years ago.
Truck-Lite Europe is owned by Truck-Lite Company of New York, itself part of the giant US-based Penske Group. Truck-Lite's presence in Europe was strengthened greatly just over six years ago with the acquisition of Essex-based Flexible Lamps, including the Rubbolite and FL brands.

 

JULY 2013

Tony Pain
, Daf Trucks marketing supremo in the UK, is to retire from the company in October. Mr Pain, 63, has been Daf’s UK marketing director since shortly after the Netherlands-based truck-maker was acquired by Paccar in 1996, and is widely regarded as one of the top truck market gurus in Europe. He is credited with having played a crucial role in taking Daf to the top of the UK’s six-tonnes-plus truck sales league table, a position it has now held firmly for several years. In the first six months of this year Daf’s LF, CF and XF ranges, assembled mainly by Paccar group sister company Leyland Trucks of Lancashire, took nearly 28 per cent of the UK’s six-tonnes-plus market, according to registration statistics from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). With nearly 5,000 registrations between January and June this year, Daf remains well ahead of its nearest rival Mercedes with 2,772 registrations, followed by Scania with 2,441 registrations.
Mr Pain’s retirement was announced at the Daf Trucks Ltd head office in Thame, Oxfordshire last month by managing director Ray Ashworth. “After 45 years with Leyland, Leyland Daf and Daf, Tony has decided that he has probably learnt enough about the truck market, so it is with some sadness that I have to announce that he will retire on 4 October,” said Mr Ashworth. “Tony is recognised as one of the most knowledgeable people in the truck industry not only by his colleagues at Daf but also by the media, dealers, customers and even competitors. His expertise and contribution will be greatly missed.”
Eight years ago Mr Pain recruited Phil Moon as Daf Trucks product marketing manager in the UK to fill the vacancy created by Chris Haynes’ move to AdBlue supplier GreenChem Solutions. Now, following news about Mr Pain’s impending retirement, Mr Moon has been promoted to marketing manager.
Before joining Daf, Mr Moon had been product marketing manager at another Paccar subsidiary, Foden Trucks of Sandbach Cheshire. Paccar had decided to wind up the Foden operation. Production of Fodens at the Leyland assembly plant ended in August 2006.
Mr Moon, 46, has a degree in automotive engineering and design from Loughborough University. His first job was as a management trainee at BRS Northern, working in various operational and engineering roles including trailer rental. He joined Foden Trucks in 1994 as an applications engineer. Promotion to product marketing manager came three years later.
Now Mr Moon is preparing to take on full responsibility for all Daf Trucks marketing management in the UK. www.daf.eu/uk

 

 

Following his appointment last month as chairman of the commercial vehicle board of ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles), a big Brussels-based European association of vehicle manufacturers, Daimler’s combative new truck and bus division boss, Wolfgang Bernhard, has wasted no time in getting stuck into the European Commission over its contentious proposals on changes to EU rules on truck weights and dimensions (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May).
“Aerodynamic improvements have greatly contributed to reducing fuel consumption and increasing efficiency,” says Mr Bernhard. “However, the industry needs flexibility to design the safest and most fuel-efficient vehicles according to their usage, rather than imposing a fixed design. A revision of the weights and dimensions direction based on only a derogation from total vehicle length will provide little opportunity to improve truck cabs. It should also not be forgotten that the greatest fuel savings (5-6 per cent) can be achieved through improvements to the rear of the truck, which could be implemented across the fleet within three to four years. We have to explain these facts more clearly and effectively so that they are taken into account in the current political debate.”
As a result of the two Daimler executives having swapped jobs a few months ago, Mr Bernhard takes over from Andreas Renschler as ACEA’s commercial vehicle division chairman.
At a Daimler board meeting in February it was decided that Mr Renschler, 54, should take over from Mr Bernhard as head of Mercedes production and purchasing while Mr Bernhard, 52, should become boss of the Daimler truck and bus division. These two are now seen as the front-runners to succeed Dieter Zetsche as Daimler group chief executive in three years time. At the same February board meeting Mr Zetsche’s contract was extended for three years rather than the five that had been expected. www.acea.be

 

The new managing director of Renault Truck Commercials (RTC), the network of 13 UK dealer sites wholly owned by Renault Trucks UK, is Chris Sharp. He has been promoted from commercial aftersales director to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Christophe Blazere. Mr Blazere had been RTC boss since May 2010. He has now left the Renault Trucks group and is understood to be working in Belgium.
Mr Sharp, 53, began his commercial vehicle industry career over 20 years ago in truck rental. He joined Renault Trucks in 1996 as a sales manager. A series of promotions then took him to head of the used vehicle sales division. In 2008 he was promoted from that job to aftermarket director, succeeding Khalid Wazir, who had moved to iFleet, a fledgling, independent commercial vehicle fleet management company based in Luton, Bedfordshire. Now, as Renault Truck Commercials managing director, Mr Sharp heads a £92 million turnover operation with around 200 employees. Mr Sharp’s successor as Renault Trucks UK commercial aftersales director is Ian Wrench, formerly general manager at Pullman Fleet Services, a Wincanton group subsidiary specialising in commercial vehicle maintenance and repair. Mr Wrench, 46, joined Pullman in 2007. But he is no stranger to Renault Trucks UK, having been national fleet account manager 13 years ago before being appointed group service manager at Renault Trucks Midlands in 2004. Mr Wrench’s commercial vehicle industry career began with an engineering apprenticeship when he left school in 1983.

A management restructure at ATS Euromaster, the big Michelin-owned tyre distributor group, means that Simon Tattersall’s responsibilities have been widened from big UK truck fleets to include car and van fleets as well. Mr Tattersall, 59, is now head of national accounts instead of head of national truck. He continues to report to ATS Euromaster group sales director Peter Fairlie and is still based at the company’s head office and central call centre in Aston, Birmingham.

 

Mark Ellison, group engineering manager at Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council in Greater Manchester, has won the title “fleet engineer of the year 2013” in the high-profile annual awards scheme run by Motor Transport, a long-established fortnightly road transport magazine. The judges are said to have been especially impressed with how Mr Ellison “showed a great use of technology and new ideas and had met and surpassed challengin cost reduction targets.” There are 480 commercial vehicles in the Tameside Council fleet, including refuse-collection vehicles (rcv), road-sweepers, vans, backhoe loaders and diggers. Mr Ellison and his team of 17 have managed to make huge cuts in the cost of operating the rcv fleet in particular.
Last year’s winner of the Motor Transport fleet engineer of the year award, Andrew Davis of Carlsberg UK, is back among the award-winners again this year, with a team that won the training award. “Beer delivery is traditional and we have been working to reduce fuel use, accidents and lost-time days,” says Carlsberg UK distribution director Mark Groves. “The next step for us is zero accidents by 2020. We want to be the number-one provider for brewery logistics and to achieve that we need to continue to invest in our business.”
Other Motor Transport award-winners this year include Elddis Transport, haulier of the year; David Cooke of Fowler Welch, transport manager; Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, fleet van of the year; Daf XF 105, fleet truck of the year; BT Fleet, best use of technology, and the HRVS MAN dealer workshop at Sheffield (part of the Lockwood Haulage group), repair & maintenance workshop of the year. www.mtawards.co.uk

 

 

 

Road transport and commercial vehicle engineering people in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List include:

 

CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)

Hilary Devey, Pall-Ex network chief executive for services to the transport industry and to charity.

 

OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire)

Jonathan Frost of Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells for services to innovation.

 

Norman McBurney, founder and director of McBurney Transport Group, for services to the haulage industry and to the community through Ballymena United Football Club.

 

MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire)

Carolyn Dolan at the Department for Transport for services to transport during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

 

Christopher Elliott, owner of Pitchill Consulting, for services to engineering. 

 

Margaret Everson of Bus Users Wales (UK) for services to bus users and to transport in Wales.

 

David Hill, director at the Olympic Operational Logistics and Facilities division of the, Metropolitan Police for logistical services to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

 

Lynn Kerfoot, managing director of Newland Engineering Company, for services to business in Tameside. Newland Engineering makes and exports telescopic and boom conveyors for truck loading and unloading.

 

Margaret Lawson, rural transport officer at Badenoch and Strathspey Community Transport Company, for services to the community in Badenoch and Strathspey.

 

Michael Ward, curator at Grampian Transport Museum, for services to tourism and cultural heritage in Aberdeenshire.

 

A team from Finland, Team Harju, last month won the 2013 finals in Sweden of the biennial global skills competition for Volvo truck and bus technicians. A team from MC Truck and Bus of West Thurrock, MC Hammers, took third place in the finals. This is the first time a UK team has finished in the top three of a Volvo Vista competition.The members of this year’s record-breaking MC Hammers team from West Thurrock are Darren Sladen, John Walker, Stuart Hall and team captain Ryan Garrett.

 

JUNE 2013

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has found someone to fill the chief executive vacancy created by Paul Everitt's move six months ago to ADS Group, an aerospace and defence trade association, where he is now chief executive. The newly appointed SMMT boss is Mike Hawes, currently worldwide director of public relations at Bentley Motors, the Crewe-based luxury car-maker owned by the Volkswagen group. Mr Hawes is to start work at the SMMT in the autumn. He is a New Zealander whose first job in the UK was in the civil service. He later worked in public relations at Toyota in the UK and at its European based in Brussels. Mr Hawes joined Bentley in 2008 as head of corporate and government affairs. He was promoted to his current post in November 2009. www.smmt.co.uk

 

Iveco truck dealer sites in Avonmouth, Swindon and Gloucester are under new ownership this month following completion of a deal between Aquila Group and Vertu Motors. Aquila has bought the three-site Bristol Street Commercials business from Vertu Motors for an undisclosed sum, thought to be around £1.5 million. Aquila Group, established ten years ago by managing director Gary Mullaney, already has commercial vehicle dealer franchises from MAN Truck & Bus, Isuzu and Neoplan, as well as an earth-moving plant franchise from Caterpillar. Vertu Motors was established in 2006 and now claims to be the UK's seventh largest car retailing group. Bristol Street Motors has been part of the Vertu group since 2007. 
A strategic review by the group's board of directors last year led them to decide to move into several new car franchises and to move out of commercial vehicles. Vertu's latest Nissan car dealer site is due to open next month. The group also has dealer sites selling Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën, Hyundai and Mazda cars, among others.
Vertu Motors turnover in the year to the end of February this year grew 16 per cent year-on-year to £1.26 billion, with operating profit up 31 per cent to £11 million. But Vertu's Fiat Professional (commercial vehicle) franchise was ended in February. Losses from the Iveco dealer sites in Avonmouth, Swindon and Gloucester are put at £600,000 on a turnover of £18 million in the financial year to the end of February 2013.
The Iveco dealer cluster in the West Country "has no marketing or management synergies with the group’s expanding motor retail activities," according to Vertu's latest annual report. Aquila Group managing director Gary Mullaney evidently can see just such "synergies" in his business however.
“We’re delighted to conclude the deal with Vertu Motors," he says. “Since we formed the business in February 2003, we have enjoyed considerable growth as a MAN dealer and we now boast six thriving retail sites and two vmu (vehicle maintenance units) within the West Midlands region. These sit alongside our Caterpillar, Isuzu and Neoplan businesses. The purchase of the Iveco dealerships will enable us to expand further south and add to our portfolio of businesses. Now the deal has concluded, it’s full steam ahead in growing the business further." Aquila already runs an Iveco "authorised repairer" site in Worcester. A new company, Aquila Truck Centres (Italia) Ltd, has been formed to run the group's newly acquired Iveco franchises.
“Aquila’s previous experience as an Iveco authorised repairer and in-depth knowledge of the heavy truck sector is in line with Iveco’s strategic plan to grow heavy truck sales in the UK market," says Claudio Zanframundo, shortly after starting his new job as Iveco UK managing director last month (Commercial Vehicle Engineer May). "In the last 12 months we have made substantial progress in increasing our truck performance and this is part of our network development plan to support future growth.”
www.aquilagroupltd.com 

 

 

 

Peter Barber, founder and chairman of WH Barley (Transport and Storage) of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire is the new national chairman of the Road Haulage Association (RHA). Mr Barber was elected to the post, succeeding Richard Fry of Shepton Mallet-based Framptons Transport Services, at the UK trade association's 2013 annual general meeting in Peterborough last month. Mr Fry has been RHA chairman for the past two years.
Mr Barber's company runs a fleet of trucks from 3.5-tonners to 44-tonne gcw artics, has a five-acre Milton Keynes site with 9,000 square metres (100,000 sq ft) of warehousing space, and is a member of the Palletline network. Mr Barber has been an RHA director since 2010.
The latest RHA annual report and accounts, signed off at last month's agm, show that the association has a membership of 6,834 companies (down from 7,056 the year before). The accounts show a surplus for the year ended 31 December 2012 of £412,838, compared with £352,476 in 2011.
Around £152,000 of the RHA income last year came from its one third share of profit from the Birmingham Commercial Vehicle Show. The other two partners in The Commercial Vehicle Show LLP, each taking one third of the event's profit or loss, are The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE).
www.rha.co.uk 

 

Transport for London boss Sir Peter Hendy was last month elected UITP (Union Internationale des Transport Publics) president at the association's latest biennial congress and exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. Sir Peter takes over the UITP presidency from Ousmane Thiam of Senegal. The Brussels-based public transport association has a membership of around 3,400 organisations in 92 countries.

 

The Volvo bus and coach sales and marketing operation in the UK and Irish Republic has a new marketing manager following the retirement of Don Johnston in April. She is Pam Matthews, promoted from personal assistant (pa) to the managing director. Ms Matthews joined Volvo in 2001 as used truck director pa. She moved from trucks to buses and coaches in 2003. 

 

 

 

Commercial vehicle operators in Scotland are being encouraged to enter an award scheme designed to help the country meet ambitious targets for carbon emissions cuts. The VIBES scheme (Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland Awards) is now in its fourteenth year and is run by a partnership including the Scottish Government, Scottish Water, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the Energy Saving Trust. “The aim of VIBES is to recognise businesses operating in Scotland that are trying to help make the country more environmentally aware, and that are working towards Scotland’s 2020 carbon reduction targets," says VIBES chair Gillian Bruce. “All our awards are judged on set criteria which focus on commitment and innovation as well as environmental and economic benefit. The transport award is open to businesses in any sector in Scotland. I’d encourage businesses that have made a real effort to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from our transport infrastructure to apply.”

There is no entry fee for the VIBES awards.

The closing date for entries this year is Friday 5 July.

More information at www.vibes.org.uk.

 

 

 

 

The latest winners of an annual awards scheme designed to encourage more women to pursue careers in road transport and logistics were presented with their prizes in London last month. The Everywoman transport and logistics awards scheme is now in its sixth year, backed these days by the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
The eight category winners this year are Jacqui Gavaghan, Reading Transport performance director, "woman of the year"; Charlotte Laval, supplier performance service manager at Wincanton, "rising star of the year"; Shauni O'Neill of London Underground, "driver of the year"; Lindsay Haselhurst, Wincanton development and marketing director, "director of the year"; Adele White, a DHL Supply Chain general manager, "warehousing award"; Ruth Waring, managing director of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, "industry champion award"; Danielle Kozlowska, Stanley Black & Decker's process improvement manager, "innovaton and sustainability award"; and Marion Roberts, a Network Rail station manager, "team leader of the year."

Isuzu Truck UK managing director Nikki King picked up another award to add to her considerable collection when she was presented with the first "spirit of Everywoman award".

 

www.everywoman.com

 

Obituary 

Noel Penny 

In June 1950 a a new kind of car was being tested by a group of north London engineers. It had no pistons, cylinders, carburettor or crankshaft. But it did have performance. It could accelerate from standstill to 60mph in 14 seconds and reach 90mph without effort.

By coincidence, at about the same time, a 10-ton truck was cruising the highways near Seattle on the west coast of the US, powered by another, equally novel engine. Like the car in London, the truck carried a faint whiff of kerosene about it. Both vehicles were powered by gas turbine engines. The car in London was designed and built by the Rover car company of Solihull. The engine in the Seattle truck was built by Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer.

Nothing came of Boeing’s effort. It was a very different story with Rover’s endeavours.

The British public first heard of the mysteriously silent Solihull car when the News Chronicle of Friday 14 May 1948 carried an item headed ”Car firm is testing gas turbine engine”. And so began to unfold the story of a gas turbine which later also powered several Leyland trucks, the first of which was the Comet.

The architect of this engine died last month, aged 87. Noel Penny had been managing director of Leyland Gas Turbines Ltd (LGT), a company formed by Leyland boss Lord Stokes to design, develop and manufacture gas turbines for commercial vehicles.

In the 1960s, as editor of The Engineer, I had the great fortune to be as close to Noel Penny as any journalist was allowed to be. He was a private man who disliked the idea of journalists following development of his engines, especially when testing was not going according to plan.

Not the least of the challenges facing LGT was finding the best way to use a highly innovative Corning Glass ceramic heat exchanger to extract heat from the exhaust and transfer it to the incoming air. When mysterious white powder appeared in the engine during testing, journalists were the last people Penny wanted to get wind of any such "technical hiccup".

Later, when we were both retired, Penny and I became good friends, to the extent that he allowed me to edit his autobiography, My Story, written about 10 years ago.

Penny and his team at LGT were pioneers, treading a path taken by few others. In the US, mighty companies like Chrysler, Ford and General Motors wrestled with a similar mountain of technical issues to bring gas turbine cars and trucks to fruition. By comparison, LGT was doing its work on a shoestring. Penny was less that happy when Ford Motor Company brought its gas turbine truck (developed under the guidance of another technical genius, Watford-born Ivan Swatman) to Britain to show it off to journalists.

Penny was not only a brilliant scientist and engineer but also an extremely shrewd businessman whose energy and enthusiasm for gas turbines was infectious.

The LGT engine was a much more powerful version of the power unit fitted to the Rover-BRM driven so successfully in the 1965 Le Mans 24-hour race by Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. Smaller versions of these engines powered Rover’s prototype cars in the 1950s and 1960s – the T3 and the T4. But perhaps the most famous Rover gas turbine car of all was JET 1. In 1950 it reached a speed of 151mph on a Belgian motorway.

Penny arrived at the Rover Company in May 1952 from the Atomic Energy Authority where he had worked as a scientist. The Rover department he joined was called “Water Pumps” but this was just a disguise for secretive gas turbine development. Penny started as technical assistant, responsible for high-speed bearings and fuel systems.

After working his way up through the ranks, one day he was approached by Bertie Fogg, Leyland's director of engineering. Dr Fogg wanted Penny to set up a company to design, develop and manufacture gas turbine engines for trucks.

Although engine development proved successful, several external factors led to a change of course for Penny. Lord Stokes wanted to move Leyland Gas Turbines from Solihull to Leyland’s Lancashire base. Penny disliked the plan so much that he tendered his resignation in 1971. In July 1972 Noel Penny Turbines Ltd of Coventry began trading.

Soon General Motors and Caterpillar were among those calling on him. But Penny was no keener to move to America than he had been to go to Leyland. Nevertheless, NPT won a Caterpillar contract for research into a 350hp gas turbine engine for off-highway application. 

I visited NPT’s Coventry offices many times, though Penny and his engineers and scientists were never willing to reveal any Caterpillar secrets. Indeed he would not even confirm that he was working for Caterpillar, which eventually decided not to put the gas turbine into production. 

Penny and his team switched their attention to aircraft engines. But he never lost his enthusiasm for the potential offered by gas turbines in automotive industry applications. 

And to this day there are engineers who agree with him. Bladon Jets of Coventry has begun working with Jaguar Land Rover on development of small gas turbine engines for cars. Noel Penny would be pleased at the news.

John Mortimer

Editor and publisher of

www.autoindustrynewsletter.blogspot.co.uk

 

 

MAY 2013

Scania's truck and bus sales and marketing operation in the UK is about to get a new boss, following Hans-Christer Holgersson's announcement late last month that he is to retire in September. Mr Holgersson, 60, has been managing director of Milton Keynes-based Scania (Great Britain) since September 2007. His successor is Claes Jacobsson, a 55-year-old Swede who is currently based at Scania's head office in Södertälje, near Stockholm, Sweden as senior vice president in charge of financial services. Mr Jacobsson joined Scania in 1999 from IBM Financial Services, where he had headed its Nordic region operation since 1988.
In the UK he will take the helm of a company which Mr Holgersson is credited with having skilfully steered through unprecedented truck market turmoil following a slump in demand for new vehicles in 2009 and 2010. Registrations of Scania tractive units grew especially strongly in the UK last year, up 23 per cent in a sector of the market which shrank by seven per cent, though last year's sales figures for Scania rigid trucks are lacklustre. Keen to emphasise that Scania these days is about much more than simply making and selling trucks, buses, coaches and engines, Mr Holgersson masterminded the introduction of a Scania fuel card in the UK a few months ago. He has also given the go-ahead for a ground-breaking co-operation between Scania and Alexander Dennis in gas-powered buses, the first of which were delivered in Reading this month. 
Mr Jacobsson is expected to move to the UK within the next couple of months to allow for a handover period at Milton Keynes before Mr Holgersson steps down in September.

 

 

 

Iveco's Watford-based UK commercial vehicle sales and marketing operation has a new boss this month. He is Claudio Zanframundo, appointed Iveco UK managing director following Luca Sra's surprise return to the Fiat Industrial group's commercial vehicle division's base in Turin, where he now heads Iveco operations in the Middle East and Africa region.
Mr Sra, 41, has been at Iveco UK for a little less than two years. He came here in June 2011 from his native Italy, where he had been sales director, to succeed Henk van Leuven following his promotion to Iveco global network director, truck and bus. Before joining Iveco in 1997 Mr Sra had worked for Arthur Andersen, a big accountancy firm. 
In the UK Mr Sra is credited with having halted a long-running slide in Iveco's share of the heavy truck market, though it remains to be seen whether last year's growth in Iveco heavy truck sales in the UK can be sustained in the face of intensifying competition as rival Euro 6 ranges are introduced. Marta Nappo, who worked closely with Luca Sra on innovative truck marketing schemes in the UK, has now returned to Italy to give birth to her first child. Mrs Nappo's successor as Iveco UK marketing director is Ian Lumsden (Commercial Vehicle Engineer March). He now reports to Mr Zanframundo, 38, who for the past two years has been general manager of an Iveco-owned dealer, Iveco Acentro, on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. The dealers sells and services Fiat Industrial's Case New Holland construction equipment and Irisbus buses and coaches as well as Iveco trucks and vans.
For three years before moving to Sardinia, Mr Zanframundo was sales and marketing director in Italy at the Fiat group's Iveco Capital finance and leasing division. For two years before that he was customer service sales manager for Italy. Between 2004 and 2005 Mr Zanframundo was marketing manager for the Daily light commercial vehicle range in Italy.

 

At the International Road Transport Union (IRU), a Geneva-based organisation representing bus, coach, taxi and truck operators, Umberto de Pretto has been appointed secretary general. He takes over next month from Martin Marmy, IRU secretary general for the past twenty years. IRU members include 173 road transport associations from 73 countries, including the UK's Freight Transport Association. Associate members include manufacturers of vehicles, fuels, components and information systems.
Mr de Pretto, 52, has been Mr Marmy's deputy since 2002 and has worked for the IRU since 1995. Before that he worked in the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, and before that in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Mr de Pretto has dual Canadian and Italian citizenship. Mr Marmy meanwhile has been made IRU secretary general emeritus.

 

 

There surely can be few more deserving recipients of support from cyclist fund-raising events than Richard Hewitt. For the past 20 years Mr Hewitt has been a fitter at the Doncaster, South Yorkshire bodybuilding plant run by Gray & Adams. Nine months ago he was thrown over the handlebars of his bike and left with spinal damage that confines him to a wheelchair. Doctors says that regular physiotherapy gives him a chance of recovering the use of his arms and legs but it is unclear how long this will take and what the extent of the recovery will be. Mr Hewitt spends weekdays at Doncaster's Tickhill Road Hospital because he cannot afford the ground-floor building working needed to allow him to stay at his family home. “I can’t reach the bathroom and bedrooms, because they’re upstairs,” he explains. “I get home at weekends but all I can have is a bed-wash, and it makes life very difficult for all concerned. We really need a ground-floor extension with a bedroom and bathroom but that’s going to cost more than £20,000, which is a great deal of money.”  
Step forward Doncaster-based Gray & Adams operations manager Tom Taylor. Together with four fellow members of the town's Sugarcane Velo cycling club he is riding 430 miles in three days this month as part of a fund-raising campaign to pay for Mr Hewitt's ground-floor conversion. The route will take the team from the Gray & Adams’ headquarters in Fraserburgh, north of Aberdeen, past another of the company's plants in Dunfermline, Fife, and back to Doncaster.
“Richard is one of the best workers we’ve had, very reliable and popular with his colleagues," says Mr Taylor. "He’s a real loss to the business. All of those who know him at Gray & Adams are keen to do what we can to help. We’ve also had some very generous pledges of support from suppliers while my cycling club team-mates have been raising funds too. One of them, Jason Goulty, works for Greencore Group, a customer of ours. The longest ride I’ve ever done in a single day is 132 miles, but we’re aiming to complete 168 miles on day one. If we average 18mph that’s nearly nine and a half hours in the saddle, and then we have another 262 miles to cover over the next couple of days."
But Mr Taylor is determined to complete the ride and raise as much cash as he can for Mr Hewitt in the process. "I remember some years ago being asked by one of our directors whether I thought I could cycle from Fraserburgh to Doncaster," he says. "I’ve never had a good reason to try it, until now.”

For more information on sponsoring this event contact Samantha Hogg at Gray & Adams of Doncaster on 01302 787755, e-mail: samantha.hogg@gray-adams.com.

 

 

As part of an ambitious plan to grow turnover by 50 per cent between 2009 and 2015, a "skills academy" scheme was announced last month by Mira, the independent Nuneaton-based engineering, research and testing firm which started life in 1945 as the Motor Industry Research Association.
There is long-established Mira development scheme for apprentices and graduates. Now around 100 training courses are being offered through the Mira Academy.
“We recognise the need to encourage and develop the future generations of engineers and technicians," says Lisa Rowles, Mira Academy senior manager. "We have therefore already developed a number of partnerships with local education providers offering support in stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects and additional work readiness activities in local schools and colleges.”
In separate move, two senior Mira managers have been promoted. Geoff Davis has been promoted from business development director to chief commercial and technical officer. Declan Allen meanwhile goes from operations director to chief operating officer. Both report to chief executive George Gillespie.

Ian Veitch, managing director of Yusen Logistics UK, last month became president of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Tunbridge Wells, Kent-based trade association with a membership of around 10,000 companies. He takes over from Stewart Oades, the former Salvesen chief executive who is now a director of Palmer & Harvey, a big wholesale distribution firm specialising in convenience stores and garage forecourts. Mr Oades has been FTA president for four years.

Operators and suppliers in the controlled-temperature road transport sector are being invited to put forward nominations for the first awards scheme attached to the Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution (TCS&D) show. Award categories include "refrigerated fleet manager of the year" and "refrigerated trailer of the year". The closing date for nominations is 1 July. The TCS&D show is being held in Peterborough on 18 and 19 September.

More information from www.tcsanddshow.com.

After seven years as group managing director of ATS Euromaster, the big Michelin-owned tyre distributor, Ian Stuart retires this month. His successor is Peter Allen, currently commercial director of Michelin's Canadian operation.

 

 

Four weeks of semi-final rounds have resulted in 32 teams of Volvo truck dealer workshop staff from around the world being selected to compete in the 2013 Vista final at the Volvo Truck Corporation base in Gothenburg, Sweden next month. The one UK team in this year's Vista finals comes from MC Truck & Bus of West Thurrock, Essex.
Volvo first started a skills competition for its truck and bus mechanics in Sweden in 1957. The Vista name was adopted in 1977. Now the global biennial competition is claimed to be the biggest of its kind anywhere. The starting point this year was 17,000 people in 4,471 teams from 93 countries.

 
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