It’s been just over nine months since Penske Commercial Vehicles took over the business of importing Western Star, MAN and Dennis Eagle trucks and buses into Australia. At the time, it was clear, Roger Penske was not going to stop there. If the one of the world’s largest automotive dealership groups, Penske Automotive Group, was going to engage with the Australian market it was bound to be on a much larger scale.
We have already seen the introduction of the Penske Truck Rental operation, but now negotiations to expand the operation are beginning to come to fruition. Some events this week were predicted by many after news of the arrival of Penske in Australia.
This week has seen the announcement of the acquisition of MTU Detroit Diesel Australia by the Penske Group. It was purchased from the company’s distribution partners, Daimler and MTU Friedrichshafen. The operation runs a network of branches throughout Australia, New Zealand and the wider Pacific region.
“MTU Detroit Diesel Australia represents some of the most innovative and well-respected brands in the industry, including MTU, Detroit Diesel, Mercedes-Benz Industrial, Allison Transmission and MTU Onsite Energy,” said Roger S Penske, Chairman of the Penske Automotive Group, when announcing to acquisition.
“As we considered opportunities to grow and enhance our business in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, coupling engine and power systems with our existing Western Star, MAN Truck and Bus and Dennis Eagle truck distribution business provided an opportunity to scale our existing operations in an efficient manner.”
Another of Penske’s passions is the car racing business, he has long been a major player in the motor racing world in North America. Starting off as a driver in 1958, Penske Racing has been involved in both Indy Car and NASCAR competitions, winning many championships on the way.
Penske’s arrival in Australia meant involvement in V8 Supercars would be bound to follow. The second news event of the week has seen Team Penske announce its partnership with an icon of the Australian motor racing scene, Dick Johnson Racing.
The team will compete in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship with Marcos Ambrose returning, after nine years competing in NASCAR, to the sport as a driver for the renamed team. DJR Team Penske will compete with Ford Falcons and Ambrose, already twice V8 Supercars champion, will be behind the wheel of the No 17 Ford for DJR Team Penske.
This week has also seen John Crennan, who recently resigned from management of the Nissan V8 Supercar team, taken on by Penske as a consultant. Crennan is expected to be involved in strategic planning for the Penske organisation as it engages further with the Australian market. Watch this space.