Highway Hero, Hino Expansion, VW Plan and Cummins Getting Batteries

Highway Hero, Hino Expansion, VW Plan and Cummins Getting Batteries

We hear about a Highway Hero, Hino Expansion, VW Plan and Cummins Getting Batteries in Diesel News this week.



Capability and confidence is at a high for Hino with increased involvement from five of Australia’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle retail groups.


“During 2017 and 2018, we will open three new Hino dealerships and upgrade four existing sites to meet increased demand,” said Bill Gillespie, Hino Australia’s General Manager Brand and Franchise Development. “It is significant that we have increased investment from five of Australia’s largest automotive and commercial vehicle retail groups in key locations across the country, namely Automotive Holding Group/AHG (Coffs Harbour), Sci Fleet (Eagle Farm, Brisbane), CMV Group (Laverton, Melbourne), AP Eagers (Mascot, Sydney) and the Suttons family-owned group (Arndell Park, Sydney).


“To cope with increased demand for truck sales, parts and service in western Sydney, we recently opened a brand new dealership in Arndell Park.”


Highway Hero, Hino Expansion, VW Plan and Cummins Getting Batteries
Toll Group employee, Steve Bolton.

Highway Hero


Melbourne-based truck driver Steve Bolton is the latest recipient of the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award, which was presented at the Australian Trucking Association (ATA)/Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) Technical and Maintenance Conference (TMC) this week.


Steve is an employee of Toll Group and is a senior leader on the Coles South East Queensland contract.


The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian award recognises his swift action and invaluable assistance to emergency services after witnessing a car roll into a river on the Tweed Valley Highway.


Steve was praised for his cooperation with police and other attending services in recovering the driver of the vehicle.


Steve has been with Toll Group since 2008 and over that time has boasted an exemplary driving record. He is also one of Toll Group’s driver trainers and plays an active role in the accreditation of drivers.


VW Plans for the Future


Volkswagen Truck & Bus claim their pioneering technology and products will transform the entire logistics chain in a sustainable way. The Group, which includes brands such as MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen, has set itself the goal of increasing efficiency and improving environmental performance in the world of transportation, as well as making it safer.


VW is focusing on three trend-setting fields, namely automated driving, connectivity, and alternative drive systems. On the development side, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is pooling its brands’ resources with the aim of leveraging synergies and incorporating the strengths of the individual brands in an optimum way. The concept of lead engineering plays a key role in this process.


“We are organising collaboration and by doing so apply lead engineering which delegates responsibility for common development projects to one brand,” said Anders Nielsen, CTO at Volkswagen Truck & Bus. “This is to avoid duplication and leverage synergies by re-using technologies across the brands. This will allow us to free up research and development resources to focus on new technologies as well as to be faster to market in a cost-efficient way.”


‘Global Champion Strategy’ is the concept under which Volkswagen Truck & Bus and its brands of MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus have given their commitment to achieve the mission of “driving transportation to the next level.” These are the words used by Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, describing how the young company envisages its dynamic role with regard to the future. “In the here and now,” he adds, “we’re demonstrating the Group’s power of innovation in a number of different ways.”


VW reckons it heads the European field in the connectivity of trucks. Planned expansion of the shared cloud-based platform being jointly developed by MAN, Scania, and RIO will continue. The North American cooperation partner, Navistar, will shortly be joining this platform, as recently announced at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta.


The next step will involve the integration of truck convoy operations across all brands, in other words putting together platoons made up of different brands of vehicles. Development continues with projects ranging from autonomous vehicles in mines, through platooning on Singapore’s public roads, to driverless safety vehicles on German highways.


Cummins Buys Battery Maker


Cummins has announced it is acquiring the assets of Brammo, which designs and develops battery packs for mobile and stationary applications. Adding Brammo’s battery pack expertise and resources could be an important milestone in Cummins’ efforts to become a global electrified power leader.


“To be a leading provider of electrified power systems just as we are with diesel and natural gas driven powertrains, we must own key elements and subsystems of the electrification network,” said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins. “By adding the expertise of Brammo and its employees to Cummins, we are taking a step forward in our electrification business and differentiating ourselves from our competition. As always, when markets are ready, Cummins will bring our customers the right power solution at the right time to power their success.”

Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team

The latest from Diesel News this week includes a Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team, plus 3D Printing and Strong Truck Sales.


Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team
Terry Quinnell


Terry Quinnell has been appointed Linfox President – Retail after 40 years’ experience in the logistics industry. Quinnell began his career as a Linfox driver in 1978, and has managed some of Linfox’s largest customers as Vice President – Retail, plus spent nine years as General Manager – Woolworths. He recently led the development and implementation of Linfox’s new subcontractor management system FOXLink.


“Terry is an accomplished leader with a proven track record in people management and customer relationships,” said Annette Carey, CEO Linfox Australia and New Zealand. “Please join me in congratulating Terry on his appointment.”


Toomey to Scania

Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team

Martin Toomey has been appointed in the role of Sales Director at Scania. Departing Managing Director, Roger McCarthy’s dual role has been split between Toomey and incoming Managing Director, Mikael Jansson. Toomey has 17 years of industry experience, working for a number of component suppliers, including Eaton, at General Manager level, both locally and across Asia.


“I am excited to be joining Scania at this stage in the company’s history,” Martin said. “Over the past few years, Scania’s rise under Roger McCarthy’s leadership has been resolute and admirable.”




The Technical and Maintenance Conference (TMC) 2017 will be held at the Automotive Centre of Excellence, Kangan Institute, Docklands, Melbourne, 16–18 October. Organised by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), in conjunction with the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA), it has launched the TMC website and is open for registration.


With expanded exhibition space and additional product training workshops, the event is relevant to everyone from apprentices to fleet managers. The focus will be on knowledge sharing and learning from others; getting factual and relevant information directly from the trainers, speakers and regulators.


Strong Truck Sales


According to the figures released by the Truck Industry Council (TIC) for July, all four vehicle sectors – heavy-, medium- and light-duty truck as well as the van segment – posted gains over July 2016 sales. Heavy and medium trucks lead the charge, up 18.8 per cent and 19.6 per cent respectively over this month last year.


Total truck sales for the month were 2,936 units, up 13.2 per cent over the same month last year, and year-to-date sales continue to track above those of last year to the end of July by 8.0 per cent.


VW buy more of Navistar


Volkswagen has increased its stake in Navistar, buying 300,000 more shares. This is an extension of the VW Group’s holding in the US truck maker, after its first investment earlier in 2017. The holding now stands at 16.6 per cent of the Chicago-based company’s total equity.


Hydrogen Powered Trucks


A Victorian garbage truck fleet is planning to go emissions-free. The Moreland City Council is investing in hydrogen powered trucks and will build a hydrogen filling station powered by wind and solar power, as part of a $9 million project.


Tesla Trucks Coming


According to Tesla founder, Elon Musk, the company will be demonstrating its electric powered truck prototype at the end of September. He first announced the fact this truck existed earlier this year and claims the concept has been well received by trucking industry companies involved in the project.


3D-Printed Parts

Linfox Appointment, VW/Navistar, Tesla, TMC, Hydrogen Trucks and a New Scania Team

Mercedes-Benz Trucks has taken 3D printing a stage further, with the first printed spare part made of metal, a thermostat cover for its truck models from older model series, passing all the stages of the quality assurance process at Mercedes-Benz.


According to Benz, 3D printing of high-quality plastic components has now successfully established itself as an additional production method, and is particularly suitable for the production of smaller batches.

More leadership changes

The musical chairs at the head of European truck manufacturers continues with another new CEO being appointed. This week it is Scania who have announced the appointment of a new CEO, just a few months after the previous incumbent took up the job.


Henrik Henriksson new CEO of Scania


Scania has appointed Henrik Henriksson as the new President and CEO of Scania. He is set to take up his position in the new year. He succeeds Per Hallberg, who was only appointed to the position in April.


Hallberg’s appointment came in the wake of the shock resignation of Martin Lundstedt, who jumped ship, across to a role as CEO at Volvo, whose CEO had also resigned abruptly. These changes came just before major structural changes in the relationship between Scania and its owner Volkswagen, and its stablemate MAN, were announced.


Andreas Renschler, formerly truck boss at Daimler Trucks, had been appointed by the VW board to make those structural changes only a few weeks before, and now welcomes another CEO.


“Henrik Henriksson is a capable and experienced person, with great entrepreneurial spirit and visionary leadership,” said Andreas Renschler, Chairman of the Scania Board of Directors. “He has the right profile to lead and develop the company in the long-term,”.


The 45 year old Henriksson has been a member of Scania’s Executive Board since 2012 and is currently Executive Vice President and head of Sales and Marketing. He joined Scania as a Management trainee in 1997 and has held a number of senior positions in the company’s marketing organisation.


“I look forward to the task of continuing to develop Scania in accordance with the goals and strategies established by the company management and the board,” said Henriksson. “We will continue to broaden the offering of products and services that drives profitability for our customers and us, as well as our efforts to become the leader in sustainable transport.


“An important task for Scania is to also utilise the potential to develop brand-specific customer solutions, made possible through the cooperation within Volkswagen Truck & Bus.”


Per Hallberg will resign from his operational positions during 2016. He has been employed at Scania since 1977 and joined the Executive Board in 2001.


“I would like to 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 being motivated during those times of changes,” said Renschler.

Musical chairs at the top of Scania

The ramifications which have followed the swift departure of its CEO to take up the post of CEO at Volvo continue to play out for Scania. Martin Lundstedt left his role as Scania CEO in the days before a major restructure of the truck making businesses owned by the Volkswagen group, Scania, MAN and VW trucks in South America.


Andreas Renschler
Andreas Renschler, newly appointed Chairman of the Scania Board



The latest changes see the man who has been tasked, by the board of VW, with the job on integrating its diverse truck building portfolio, Andreas Renschler, take over as chairman of the Scania board. He has long experience in the truck world, having served as the global boss at Daimler Trucks for many years, before jumping ship to come across to German rival VW.


Per Hallberg, new Scania CEO and President



The latest changes see Per Hallberg take up the position of President and CEO at Scania. His name was announced around the time of Lundstedt’s departure as acting President and CEO. However, the 38 year Scania veteran, previously the Executive Vice President, Head of Production and Logistics, has officially started working in the role, following the latest board meeting.



A number of other changes see three members of the board retain their places at the same time as two new ordinary members, two new employee representatives and two new representatives from within the VW structure move onto the board. These changes come on top of the appointment of Renschler to the chairman’s position.

Musical chairs at VW explained

The probable reason behind a couple of big moves at the top of Volkswagen and the two truck brands it owns, Scania and MAN, is explained by an announcement this week. VW has announced it is creating an integrated commercial vehicles group to be called Truck & Bus to become the holding company for its commercial vehicle brands.



In recent weeks, Scania CEO and anointed successor of long term boss Leif Ostling, Martin Lundstedt precipitously resigned to move across to Swedish rival, Volvo, ousting immediately Olof Persson from the role. A few days later, one of the most powerful names on the VW board, Ferdinand Piëch, resigned his role as Chairman with a statement from VW stating, ‘the mutual trust necessary ‎for successful cooperation no longer exists’. Piëch was the last link from the Porsche family on the VW board.


Andreas Renschler
Andreas Renschler



The proximity of the two announcements suggests neither Lundstedt or Piëch agreed with the plan driven through by the man who is to take charge of the new organisation overseeing the truck making group for VW, Andreas Renschler. He is a former CEO of the Daimler truck division who is used to getting his own way and has been in charge of coming up with a plan for the development of the VW owned truck brands.



The shares in Scania held by Volkswagen will be transferred to the new Truck & Bus operation, which already holds 75 per cent of the voting rights in MAN. Truck & Bus will control the commercial vehicles brands, with the task of realising the synergy potential between the brands.



Renschler is already a member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen and he will be joined on the board of the new entity’s Supervisory Board, by Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen globally.



“Our goal is to take the commercial vehicles holding to the top of our industry in terms of profitability, technologies and, above all, customer satisfaction”, said Renschler. “Bringing together our commercial vehicle brands under one roof means we can focus more strongly on the needs of the truck and bus business and can therefore accelerate the decision-making process. In so doing, the MAN and Scania brands retain their independence, in line with Volkswagen’s basic principle.”



It would appear both Lundstedt and Piëch felt the, previous, separate branding strategy, keeping Scania and MAN at arms length from each other, would avoid any dilution of brand strength. Clearly, neither were able to stop Renschler from forcing the issue and jumped ship as a result.

Where to for VW?

News this week has stirred up speculation about Volkswagen’s plans to expand its truck manufacturing business. By coincidence, Navistar sat down with the US truck press to talk about the company’s performance at around the same time as Andreas Renschler was taking the reins of the Volkswagen truck business.


Andreas Renschler
Andreas Renschler


Renschler’s task in the coming months and years will be to take Volkswagen forward. Currently, the commercial vehicle business consists of Scania in Sweden, MAN in Germany and a VW branded truck operation in South America. The global automotive giant will be looking for further integration of its existing holdings and, perhaps, an expansion into the North American market. China could also be on the radar for Renschler.


Speculation last year was all about VW being interested in acquiring the Paccar organisation, with its Peterbilt, Kenworth and DAF brands. Any such merger would certainly have run into regulatory trouble in the European Union, owning three of the bigger brands in the market.


Navistar are shaping up to be the most likely target. The company is no longer the debt-heavy basket case it was a few years back and the new management has made the tough decisions and got the Chicago-based truck maker back on track.


Renschler was formerly the head of Daimler Trucks globally, overseeing Mercedes Benz, Freightliner, Western Star and Fuso. He has experience of dealing with the truck market both in North America and in Asia, suggesting these are the areas targeted for expansion. He must be examining Navistar as a potential target.


Navistar has come through its turnaround period. The company reckoned it has achieved, ’10 years of progress in two years’, when talking to industry analysts last week. The company has managed to cut costs all across the operation, structural costs dropping from 15 to 12 per cent of revenue from 2013 to 2014.


Engine exhaust emission control technology has now transitioned, fully, across to the SCR technology it had famously rejected in the run up to the US EPA 2010 emissions rule change. The Cummins engine brand is back in many of the International Trucks being produced for the US market.


There is still one cloud hanging over Navistar, an investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission into statements made by the company around the time of the engine emissions debacle. The SEC is still seeking the disclosure of a number of documents.


There can be little doubt Renschler will be following events with interest. International is not quite the force it was in the past but the truck maker still holds 14.65 per cent of the heavy duty market in the US, as well as another 27.19 per cent of medium duty sales, selling just under 53,000 trucks in the US in 2014.


This makes them a serious player in the US, and the acquisition of Navistar by VW would make the German automotive giant a rival to the Daimler and Volvo groups globally. Watch this space!

New in Hannover

Once every two years the trucking world descends on Hannover for the IAA. This is, probably, the world’s biggest truck show and subject to a lot of attention. Global launches of trucks and trailers abound and everyone has something new to sell. This year, Daimler have introduced their Future Truck 2025 concept, the self driving truck in this video.


The show also sees the announcement of the Truck of the Year for 2015 in Europe. This year the honour goes to Renault for the new T Series of trucks, shown in this video. The new design is unlikely to see the light of day here in Australia, so we must make do with some spectacular video imagery.



MAN have gone all arty on us, commissioning artists to design custom paint jobs for the trucks at the show. The Tattoo designs were the result of an international design competition entitled ”Can you make travel-ing works of art from songs?” The first prize of $17,500 went to Sebastian Bieler for his design,  judged on colour composition, artistic interpretation of the songs of German singer Peter Maffay, visual effect, creativity, and workmanship


140922_SE_Tattoo Trucks copy


Here is a video of the artists at work:



For Scania, being at the IAA is all about being the greenest at the show. The company has put a major emphasis on fuel economy with the Streamline range of trucks, minimising drag and maximising efficiency.



It’s not all just trucks, here’s a round up of the new vans on show, including a new concept and shape from Volkswagen and the New Daily from Iveco.


Where now for VW?

Volkswagen have announced it now has bought enough shares in Scania to enable the German vehicle maker to buy out all of the existing shareholders. Swedish law requires any entity which controls 90 per cent of a company’s shares to buy out the remainder.


event 09 of the 2013 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series

This marks the end of a drawn out process whereby Volkswagen initially bought a relatively small number of shares in Scania before persuading some the major investors to sell their more considerable holdings to hand over control of Scania. In 2014, VW set out to reach the 90 per cent trigger point whereby the last remaining shares out of VW’s control could be secured.


The question now for the trucking world is how Volkswagen will take this process forward. The VW organisation now controls a VW truck business in South America as well as two of the big five truck makers in Europe, MAN and Scania. It will be important to maintain some separation between the two European brands but increased co-operation is certainly on the agenda behind the scenes.


There is also speculation Volkswagen’s ambitions do not stop there, with the suggestion they are negotiating with a US truck maker with a view to extending into the North American truck market. There has been no formal confirmation of these moves but observers await developments with interest


The Volkswagen announcement confirmed the offer to Scania’s shareholders has been accepted to the extent that Volkswagen will hold more than 90 percent of the shares in Scania. After the confirmation, Scania’s President and CEO Martin Lundstedt made a statement.
“Volkswagen has been our main owner since 2000 and has consistently given strong support to Scania’s strategies, business model and investments,” said Lundstedt. “Following the clarification of the ownership structure, Scania and its management team welcomes the opportunity to accelerate our cooperation projects with Volkswagen and MAN without restrictions and thereby create a successful, global commercial vehicle alliance with strong identities for each brand.
“With the new opportunities to use the common resources and competencies in the Volkswagen Group, our ability to deliver profitable and sustainable solutions to our customers will be improved further. This will also support our growth strategy up to 2020. At Scania we will continue to develop our position as a centre of excellence for commercial vehicles, services and solutions going forward. I am also convinced that all of our employees will benefit from becoming full members of the Volkswagen family.”

Volkswagen to take bigger Scania stake

In a bid to further integrate Scania into the Volkswagen business, the German car maker is making an offer to buy out the remaining shareholders in the Swedish truck builder. An offer has been publicly made offering a premium of over 50 per cent on the existing share price for any shareholder and amounts to a total spend by VW of $11.75 billion.

Currently VW own 62.6 per cent of Scania shares with 89.2 per cent of voting rights. The deal brokered when these initial shares were purchased included legal restrictions to keep the control of Scania at arms length from the VW owners. The German company now wants to increase the level of integration between itself, Scania and MAN, which it also owns. The statement put out by VW suggests a possible $1.1 billion improvement in profit for the integrated group when compared to the current structure.


Leif Ostling


“The plan to fully integrate Scania into the Volkswagen Group follows a compelling industrial logic,”said Leif Östling, member of the VW Board of Management responsible for Commercial Vehicles, and former Scania CEO. “It will significantly improve the capabilities, efficiency and flexibility of the commercial vehicles group comprising Scania, MAN and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, for example by implementing a common toolkit strategy similar to the one used in our passenger cars.”


The statement from VW insists the Scania structure, both for production and development, will remain largely untouched if these ownership changes take place.


“Volkswagen has a long and successful tradition of carefully integrating strong brands into the Group while safeguarding their identity, their traditions, their unique strengths and a high degree of independence,” said Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen. “What we have achieved with either Audi or Porsche we will attain with Scania. This means that Sweden, Scania’s locations, and above all the employees of Scania, will play a central and strategic role in the integrated commercial vehicles group.”


Scania shareholders have until April 25 to make up their mind and they have set up a committee to evaluate the offer, as a group, before handing down a decision as to whether they will sell to VW.


The implications of these ownership changes are not likely to have any major impact on the truck offering from either MAN or Scania in Australia, in the short to medium future. The group are heavily involved in the South American truck market where some further integration may take place. The clear distinction between the two heavy duty brands will be maintained to retain market share in the European market. However, a large integrated truck manufacturer, like VW/Scania/MAN may be eying the US truck market, with International Trucks as an obvious takeover target.