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Philosophy behind DAF Trucks GB . . .

9th October 1982, Page 30
9th October 1982
Page 30
Page 30, 9th October 1982 — Philosophy behind DAF Trucks GB . . .
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

A statement by Mr. Phil Ives managing director DAF TRUCKS (GB) LTD.

g By the end of 1982, OAF Trucks will have been selling heavy commercial vehicles in this country for almost ten years, and in that time, the company has recorded a tremendous pattern of growth and market success. From just over one percent market share in 1973, DAF Trucks became number two importer in the heavy truck market (14.5 tons plus gvw) in 1976 and today that position is maintained in over 13 percent of the tractor market (28 tons) and 8.8 percent of the overall heavy truck market achieved in the first 8 months of this year.

To achieve this level of success there are a number of key features of our company and its products on which we have placed great emphasis. Starting with the model range itself, this has changed beyond all real recognition over the decade. In 1973, we were essentially selling vehicles purely designed for the continental market, whereas today we have a range specifically designed for UK operations and practice. From a product viewpoint, we aim to be well aware of any current and anticipated market development and that includes Armitage. Whether or not the proposals for heavier weights ever become law, and in whatever final form. DAF Trucks have planned for each and every chassis to meet any potential operator's need.

However, that is for the future, but does go a long way to explain our commitment of today. As a company, we obviously look to the future and means of securing the present, not just in vehicle specification but also in our day to day sales and marketing policies. It was at an early stage that we realised that ultimate success in the UK market depends on gaining a good hold on major fleet business, and accordingly, we have placed much emphasis on this sector of the market. Indeed, the effort and investment in this sector in the early days have been of tremendous rewards to us in recent years and the recession has hit the truck market very hard indeed. In these conditions, it has been virtually the big fleets alone who have kept buying — particularly in the key ownaccount sector. Driving down the motorways today, you can easily see the results of our efforts.

In August 1982 we achieved a record 17.8 percent of the UK heavy tractor market, and of these 187 registrations, an impressive proportion came from the big fleets, such as Waitrose, Fairclough, MFI, Bejam, Superdrug, Carryfast, A S Jones and Bensford to name but a few!!

However, although we place great emphasis on both the steady development of our UK model range and its associated sales effort with the fleets, we have also placed much importance on the development of our own internal and organisational capabilities. DAF Trucks is, after all, a very young company; young in spirit and dynamic in its activities. Accordingly investment in our people is of great importance, and hence we make maximum effort in this area with a policy of giving many of our young people a real degree of management responsibility. The end result is an exceptional degree of motivation, which in turn gives us a tremendous capacity for activity.

Because the UK operation is relatively small, it does allow us to be fast on our feet. That kind of instant reaction to operators' problems is something that has been noted and appreciated by all our customers throughout the UK. Four basic elements make up our UK operational philosophy: activ Ity, strength, the will to succeed and independence. It is these four elements that form the backbone of our company and the launching pad for the future.

As an example, our activities in the marketplace span a variety of commitments. From a dealer show in Devon to a police "teach in" in Northumberland, every member of the DAF Trucks team is dedicated to providing support where and when it's needed.

This kind of activity takes time and it takes money. We have already committed a considerable investment in both people and hardware and will continue to do so for the future. During the course of this year, we have launched three support vehicles under the names Showtrekker, Partstrekker and Servicetrekker. These mobile units continually tour the country, assisting dealers at local shows and generally bringing the DAF Truck's name and products to the forefront in an ever-demanding market place. In developing our activity in this way, we aim to provide a depth of overall service that will allow DAF Trucks and the dealer network to further grow from a position of strength. One of our main objectives must be to develop the already strong base on which we have successfully built over the past ten years. The established management team at Marlow has a tremendous understanding of what is required, the way in which people work together to achieve pre-determined objectives is a positive benefit to all concerned, including customers. Another tremendous strength of the Marlow organisation is the "back-up" package offered to all DAF Truck operators. From 94 percent instant parts availability through individually prepared repair and maintenance schemes, the package is complete in every sense. We consider the back up that we offer the most effective and certainly the most comprehensive in the truck industry. We've led this field since 1973 and have every intention of staying out front in the future.

Success is something that we have grown used to. Not only here in Marlow and throughout our UK dealer network, but alsr on a corporate multi-nationa basis.

Despite the recession, as have already said, DAF Truck: (GB) Ltd. have continued to mak( sound progress over the year Success has also been recorde< through the increase of interna tional market share. In the Middl( East and Africa, and in DAF'i home market the Netherlands pleasing increases have beer achieved.

This success has come through DAF Trucks' ability tc read market situations, and ther react in a positive and dynamic manner to each and every oppor. tunity. The fact that we had retain. ed our corporate identity and ar( able to concentrate on the desigr and manufacture of commercia vehicles alone has undoubted!) helped in our successful growth pattern. Today, we still have on( of the founder's sons at the top o the DAF Trucks tree. I considei this to be one of our key benefits If I need to speak to Mr. var Doome I just have to pick up th( telephone and we can sort ou any problems there and then Just try to telephone "Mr. Merce. des"! This is a positive advantag from where we sit and we try tc reinforce this DAF Trucks family attitude from the Chairman of th( Board through to the newest joining dealer salesman.

Although we've now been ir the UK for a decade, we still get C tremendous amount of fun frorr our activities. The Marlow head• quarters has a happy but totally professional air. It is this satisfy. ing working environment that has encouraged people to give theii best over the years. It would bE naive to look at the future and seE things only through rose tintec glasses. There are difficult times ahead for sure. However, with mil sound organisational base anc strong product identity we arE better armed to cope with a difficult market situation than the majority of our competitors. We believe our company has some significant advantages aye' the great majority of our competitors in facing whatever the future has to offer. We are a company committed to success and success alone.


Organisations: Marlow
People: Phil Ives

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