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.”
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.”