Iveco has announced a restructure of its Australian Bus and Coach operations providing additional responsibility to national bus manager, Steve Heanes while also increasing the involvement of the Iveco Dealer Network in its mini-bus program and affirming that it will continue to manufacture bus chassis in Australia at its Dandenong facility in Melbourne.
The changes will see greater centralised management of the Bus and Coach business from Iveco’s Melbourne head office which it says it will allow Heanes and his team to ‘become more closely involved in product support functions’, while also maintaining general oversight of the bus department as national manager.
Heanes told www.truckandbusnews that the company is committed to making heavy bus chassis locally despite some perceptions and rumours in the industry that it would cease local bus manufacturing.
“The nature of our bus and truck manufacturing lines at Dandenong means that we make our buses in bulk batches and sit on that inventory,” said Heanes.
“We manufactured a batch mid to late 2018 and now have inventory so we will not need to make more buses until that stock has been sold,” he added.
“We only make bus chassis in minimum batches of ten for reasons of efficiency and cost effectiveness of purchasing, so while some may think we have stopped making buses, it is not the case, its just the way we manage production and inventory,”Heanes added.
“Iveco is still in the middle of a global restructure and we have seen a commitment to local truck making here with the new Stralis X-Way and the new Acco along with a large scale multi-million dollar investment in our manufacturing facility so we are definitely still manufacturing here,” he said.
Iveco also says its Daily Minibus will now be more accessible to prospective retail customers, with the dealer network given additional opportunity to directly promote and market the product range.
Iveco says the restructure is part of a broader global initiative to streamline Australian bus operations to bring them into line with other markets.
Steve Heanes has extensive experience in the truck and bus markets and is the vice chairman of the Bus Industry Confederation Council (BIC Council).
Steve Heanes said he looked forward to further strengthening his already close relationship with clients while playing a greater role – together with the product support team – in ensuring the ongoing performance of Iveco bus models for existing and prospective customers.
“For our customers the main change from these adjustments is that they’ll now be dealing more directly with Bus and Coach area service manager, Victor Barrett, and myself on all bus matters,” he said.
“As far as the Daily minibus product is concerned, I’ll still be heavily involved in this area managing the dealer channel – we’re confident that these changes will result in an even higher customer experience for our bus owners.
“I’d like to thank all of our bus customers for their ongoing support of the Iveco brand and I look forward to continuing this partnership into the future.”