NZ Truck & Driver News

 
Fuso boss: Happy to be here

Fuso boss: Happy to be here

NZ Truck & Driver News

 March 2018   
The global boss of Fuso Trucks has visited New Zealand – paying tribute to the new distributor for its "unexpected" achievement in selling 1000 trucks and buses in its first year.

Marc Llistosella, the president and CEO of Fuso Trucks and head of Daimler Trucks Asia, says he told the newly-annointed NZ reps Keith and Kurtis Andrews that, if they cracked that target, he'd come.

"I could not foresee that this would happen in exactly one year!" he says with a laugh. And, he adds, "you have to keep your word – both sides."

The Andrews and their team, says Llistosella, are truck people: "With this family on board, we have people who know exactly what they are talking – they know exactly this kind of wheelbase is not working here for whatever reasons, and this kind of acceleration is not acceptable.

"They have passion for the trucks – they love it. And they like the customers. And then we come to the last topic, relationship. As a trucker, you sell to t...

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The global boss of Fuso Trucks has visited New Zealand – paying tribute to the new distributor for its "unexpected" achievement in selling 1000 trucks and buses in its first year.

Marc Llistosella, the president and CEO of Fuso Trucks and head of Daimler Trucks Asia, says he told the newly-annointed NZ reps Keith and Kurtis Andrews that, if they cracked that target, he'd come.

"I could not foresee that this would happen in exactly one year!" he says with a laugh. And, he adds, "you have to keep your word – both sides."

The Andrews and their team, says Llistosella, are truck people: "With this family on board, we have people who know exactly what they are talking – they know exactly this kind of wheelbase is not working here for whatever reasons, and this kind of acceleration is not acceptable.

"They have passion for the trucks – they love it. And they like the customers. And then we come to the last topic, relationship. As a trucker, you sell to the person not once – you know the person for 10, 15, 20, 25 years. It's not like cars – hit and run…."

Because of their knowledge of the product and the NZ market, Fuso NZ will get new technology suited to this market, he indicates – like lane departure warning and active braking systems.

"So all these kinds of safety features will come – based on their request. So this is the good thing, we have a capable team here now…"

He credits Ilan Elad, director of international sales operations for Daimler Trucks Asia (who accompanied him on his whistlestop visit), with choosing the right people for the NZ distribution role.

"Changing a business system in Daimler is not something which you easily decide, so it took a lot of convincing power, but this gentleman (nodding at Elad) said: 'We have to do something, otherwise we will be diminished over the next 10 years.'

"And I think he's right: We have chosen the most successful and most dynamic dealer, and at the end of the day, it's a people business, it's a product business….a people business and a processes business."

He added that "if you have the right people they will fix the processes" – and the products.

The candid, forthright Llistosella says that the injection of new life into Fuso in NZ has coincided with a big remake for the brand: "To say it very clear, we have put a lot of effort in the last three years into the quality. We have a lot of new products done because the funding in this company was not I would say at the competitive edge– actually it was 'let it run.'

"And it was very clear, when you 'let it run,' the competition is not sleeping – so they see that you're getting weak or sleepy and then they step into the boxes where you are not."

He gives an example – the lack of a 500 horsepower model: "The Europeans are completely pacing us out. We have to think about that…so eventually we have to strengthen this."

And yes, Llistosella had good news for Kiwi operators who'd like a 500hp Fuso: "That is the target and yes – we're working on that as we speak. That's going to come out."

No sign of group orders that specify no competing brands here: In Daimler Trucks Asia, he says, "so far we had a high degree of freedom…" He says that in 2015 DTA was given the freedom "to do everything what is needed" to lift the brand.

It has proven a success, with a succession of years in which revenue is up and "quality-related costs" are down. And now, says Llistosella, "I would say we're in a good way."

The effect of all this here in NZ? "Now we have to proceed to push and then we have good chances here to see in one, two years…well, let's see who is the market leader, let's see. It's not God- given…"


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