Mack boss Dean Bestwick says the brand’s new Anthem will hit Australian roads around the third quarter of 2020 despite earlier expectations that it would be here in Q1 or Q2.
He says it is vital that the truck is properly validated and that has caused the slight delay.
“I had hoped to have them on the road in Q2 but it is all about the validation of those trucks and I am not going to speed up our validation and testing, so Quarter 3 it will be,” Bestwick added.
Bestwick says despite the delay everyone at Mack in Australia is super excited about celebrating the marque’s 100th anniversary in Australia this year.
The maker has been selling trucks in Australia since 1919 and is marking a century here with a range of celebrations including a pop up museum at Brisbane’s Archerfield aerodrome, using singer Jimmy Barnes in a ‘Working Class Man’ inspired truck, which is being auctioned for drought relief as well as in a promotional video and other celebrations.
Bestwick says the company is working hard on the program to introduce its new Anthem and adapting the Anthem cab design to other Mack products across the range.
Asked whether opponent Kenworth’s recent upgrades in the T360 and T410 following the success of its flat floor cab T610 in 2017, have or are going to make things difficult for the venerable Bulldog, Bestwick responded that Mack would continue to focus on its products as it works toward the Anthem.
“They are market share leaders with Kenworth, that’s what they do and I do what I do,” said Bestwick.
“I’d be ignorant if we didn’t look at what our competitors were doing that’s for sure, but the simple fact is we know what we have coming, our product is exceptionally good and I’m only going to compliment that offer next year when the Anthem hits the ground running,” Bestwick said.
“The big thing about the Anthem is not necessarily just the Anthem itself more than just one truck it is also what it brings, a sleeper, its telematics and electronic interface and better technology inside the cab,” he said.
“Our biggest challenge in the year ahead is containing our excitement ahead of the Anthem launch,” Bestwick said with a laugh.
Bestwick said he was also keen to see how rival Freightliner’s Cascadia was going to manifest itself in the Australian market and what models it will result in.
“I can’t control that I will control what I need to control, at the moment it is a bit of a two horse race between Mack and Kenworth in that conventional market and I am sure Freightliner will want to get back on track,” he said.
Bestwick says that despite some softening the Australian heavy duty market was still strong and on track for around 13500 sales this year , down around 800 from last year’s record but would still be a very good result.
“This time last year no one was picking a 14000 market last year and this year it will be over 13000 but we were normalised at 12000 a couple of years ago and 10000 a couple of years before that, so its a strong market and there is a demand for it,” he said.
The Anthem played as key role on the Mack stand at the Brisbane Show with a locally adapted display unit getting plenty of attention from punters allowing them to enter it and see the Bulldog’s first flat floor cab for themselves.
Its clear. Despite strong sales the new anthem can’t come quick enough for Bestwick