Current Iveco Managing Director, Stuart Webster, introduced some new initiatives for the Iveco dealer network during a January press conference.
There’s always plenty to report from an Iveco press conference. Last year was one of change for the business. Now part of the CNH Industrial group that makes agricultural and construction equipment, in addition to trucks, fire engines and powertrains, Iveco has moved to the group’s tractor factory in Basildon, Essex.
Last year also saw Webster take up the top job of Managing Director, and the departure of Sales Director, Stuart Beeton to MAN, freeing the business for a reorganisation. Webster took the opportunity to follow Mercedes-Benz down the ‘specialist’ line, and reorganised the business into a truck and a van business line. With Ian Lumsden heading the van line and Nick Pemberton concentrating on trucks, the company believe they are now focussed in the right area.
The reorganisation is currently in phase one, which involves just the sales and marketing of new vehicle sales. According to Pemberton, there are plans afoot to develop the roles further, with the second phase covering product and logistics and the final phase including aftersales. As yet there are no timescales for the subsequent phases – the progress will no doubt be linked to the success of the initial phase.
Keen to overcome the impression that there has been a series of people in the Iveco Managing Director’s seat over recent years, Webster introduces his, “name of the Iveco Game.”
- Consistency, stability and continuity.
- Webster declared, “These are – and will always be – the hallmarks of Iveco under my watch.”
- This will, no doubt, be music to the ears of Iveco dealers across the UK.
- There are certainly plans afoot for the UK dealer network, concerning both van and truck specialists.
Truck Network Changes
The increasing focus on the separate business lines has identified a need to increase the number of heavy truck specialist dealers. Iveco have christened this initiative ‘Cathedral Dealers’. These dealers must meet additional standards in terms of facilities and training, including the provision of facilities for drivers, as well as the equipping of workshops. The target number of cathedral dealers for the UK is 23 from a total of 280 across Europe.
In addition to the Cathedral dealer status, Nick Pemberton is working with the dealer network in an attempt to recruit an additional twenty five truck salespeople. Pemberton commented, “Whilst we would like to take on sales staff with truck sales experience, we are also considering sales professionals with experience in other capital equipment markets.”
Iveco will not be employing the extra staff along MAN Truck & Bus lines, but wants to work alongside the dealers in the recruitment process.
It’s not just at dealer level that jobs are hoping to be created, head office sales positions are also being created in a push for growth.
This growth is a result of the aspiration to match Iveco‘s typical share of the tractor unit market – somewhere around 8% – up from their current 2.7% in the UK in 2015.
The sales team will be asked to target ‘brand snobbery’- according to Webster, “The Stralis had fallen off operators shopping lists – it doesn’t fail the test, it simply doesn’t get a look in.”
Van Dealers Wanted
The van network has not escaped scrutiny. Five new “Iveco Daily” sales points were added to the network in 2015, and this year sees a similar target.
To achieve these numbers, Iveco is approaching authorised repairers with a low cost entry plan which involves employing sales specialists.
Rather than alienating the existing dealers, the intention is to allow them to work together with the new ‘Daily Dealers’, with sales counting towards franchise area targets.
Target areas are in and around large conurbations, although there are no plans afoot for working with Fiat Professional dealers.
On the back of a 50% increase in registrations of the Daily in 2015, Iveco are seizing the initiative and, “increasing the dealer footprint digitally.” This means an integrated campaign using search engine optimisation, pay per click and database telemarketing to identify target prospect customers. As much as 77% of sales leads in 2015 were generated through the web and, according to Lumsden, the dealers are now starting to embrace this marketing channel.
Like all other van makers, Iveco too are chasing the holy grail of the retail sale.
The new Daily appears to be making a difference, and the outward appearance of the new Eurocargo sets a bold design statement.
Improved aerodynamics of 2% sees fuel consumption reduced by 1%, thanks in the main to new cab corner deflectors. Inside the truck sees new power outlets and mounting points for tablets and phones, a new ‘office’ module, and the option of specifying seats from the Stralis range.
Much is made of Iveco’s Hi-SCR approach, especially for urban running, where temperatures rarely rise high enough for EGR to operate effectively without ‘active’ DPF regeneration. Lighter weights, good fuel consumption, and a broad range of lengths, cabs and engines means that Iveco should make progress in sales to urban operators.
The range has been extended further with the availability of a shortened wheelbase version at just 2,790mm, reducing the turning circle by one metre plus a 22 tonne 6×2 version and an urban artic available from 18 to 35 tonnes GVW.
Iveco appear to be thriving under the new CNH Industrial banner, working alongside other successful brands, rather than operating alone in Watford.