Sometimes truck makers seem to renew a model just for the sake of having something new to say, but sometimes they have something new to say without needing a major update. At Fuso it would seem the latter is the case, with many changes to the brand without much cosmetic change to the trucks on offer.
The world of the Japanese truck manufacturers in Australia is a very clear-cut one. Often the trucks are a commodity, it is difficult to differentiate between them, from the customers point of view. This sector of the market relies a lot less on the kind of emotional and traditional buying decisions we see occurring in the heavy-duty line-haul prime mover sector.
The vast array of models from the Japanese are much more task specific, with each model designed to meet a particular task, or group of tasks. As a result, the specifications available from the Japanese in light- and medium-duty are very closely aligned from manufacturer to manufacturer. Sometime it would be hard to get a cigarette paper in between the model specs.
What we end up with is a truck market where the buying decision is based on something else – often price, but not exclusively. Very often it is all the other things which come along with the cold hard metal of the truck.
Now, Fuso is revamping its offering to the truck buyers of Australia, without changing the basic truck in any mechanical sense, simply moving forward with all of the ancillary features, be it cosmetic on the truck, in the control and entertainment systems or how the truck is purchased and serviced.
This move comes after a radical shake-up of the Fuso organisation itself. The changes follow the arrival of a new leadership team. Long-time boss Richard Eyre remains part of the set-up but in a less hands on and more strategic role. In his stead we have Justin Whitford, fresh from a stint running Mercedes Benz trucks during its transformation from a bit player in the market to a brand offering completely new truck models throughout its range.
As the new Fuso Truck and Bus Director, Justin brings a fresh approach to the truck game and has the kind of enquiring mind to question any assumption. His arrival has seen the face of Fuso, both literally and metaphorically, go through a major change.
One of the faces which has changed is that of the new Fuso Product Management and Engineering Senior Manager, Romesh Rodrigo. Coming from a truck engineering background including Iveco, Mercedes Benz and Isuzu, Romesh also brings a fresh eye to the Fuso range and can use his broad based experience to develop the next generation Fuso models.