As of September there will be a new boss for Volvo Group Australia. The move has been made as the current President of VGA, Peter Voorhoeve has been announced as the next President of Volvo Trucks North America.
Scotsman, Martin Merrick, will take over as the new President of Volvo Group Australia on September 1. He is a 30 year veteran of the Volvo Group and moves down under from the position of Senior Vice President Retail Development Volvo Trucks in Sweden.
“Like many colleagues at Volvo, I have kept a close eye on what has been happening in Australia and New Zealand as they continue to be lead markets for us in areas such as R&D, particularly in developing products to suit the quite unique needs of local customers,” said Merrick. “Without a doubt the key to Volvo Group Australia’s success has been its drive to work in close partnership with its customers, and I look forward to continuing to build on the Group’s achievements with the support of a great local team around me.”
Voorhoeve’s move to the US represents a substantial change in task for him. He is leaving a role where he has had responsibility over the three brands in VGA, Volvo, Mack and UD Trucks and is moving to the organisation in North America which concentrates solely on the Volvo brand. The position became vacant earlier this year after the previous incumbent, Göran Nyberg, jumped ship to move across to MAN Trucks in Germany
The structure of the Volvo organisation in the US sees the brands, Volvo and Mack run as largely separate organisations, with an integrated Volvo Group looking after assembly plants and global administration.
The sheer scale of the task in North America is much larger. While the entire Volvo Group of three brands in Australia sold just under 3,000 trucks last year, in the States Volvo alone sold 17,098 trucks, which represents an 8.89 per cent share of the heavy duty truck market. This year has seen that share rise to 10.4 per cent.
Voorhoeve will leave a lasting legacy in the Volvo organisation in Australia from his five years here. His time has seen the group mature into a stable organisation with its own identity which sees clear dividing lines between which part of the organisation is dedicated to the separate brands and which is working for the overall group.
Since 2013 the market share held by the three brands under the Volvo umbrella in the Australian heavy duty market has grown from 22 per cent up to over 27 per cent in 2017.
There is also the proposed training academy initiative started by Volvo a couple of years ago but starting to come into fruition as a positive influence in getting bright young qualified people interested in working in the trucking industry and remaining in it.
“Martin Merrick brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience, having started his involvement with Volvo from the very outset of his career in sales while working in a Volvo truck and bus dealership in Scotland,” said Heléne Mellquist, Senior Vice President Volvo Trucks International. “This early grounding means he fundamentally understands the needs of our customers, which he has translated to drive invaluable customer-focused initiatives in his numerous leadership roles at Volvo.”