With announcements on when and how Navistar AusPac will re launch the International brand in Australia expected very soon, speculation is rife in the industry about how the company will implement the distribution of the brand down under.
Transport & Trucking Australia has been told by two reliable sources that Navistar has made approaches to both Penske and Iveco in Australia, with the view to reaching an agreement for either of the two companies to handle the sales and distribution of International trucks In Australia.
Local Navistar marketing boss, Glenn Sharman has told T&TA that no deals have been done and that he was not aware of any meetings with Iveco or Penske.
“I would have been a part of any contingent and there has been no contingent,” Sharman said.
“We’re hoping to make an announcement in the next month or so, I suppose you could say we have been looking at a lot of different options,” he said.
“There are lots of rumours out there, let the rumours flow as far as I am concerned,” Sharman added.
The Navistar AusPac marketing man said that there are a lot of dealers who would like to have access to the Navistar International range.
However despite Sharman’s denials an Iveco insider has told T&TA that a deal is definitely on the table and the expected to be announced in the next month, lining up with the timing that Glen Sharman stated.
As wild as the rumour may seem Iveco Australia handling the sales and distribution of International Trucks does have some logic to it.
Iveco Australia grew out of what was originally the International operation in this country and many of its dealers would love to see the International nameplate back in play as part of their portfolio. It would give the it more US derived product to balance its Euro offerings and give a much broader range particularly at the heavy end.
While the Iveco scenario seems the more likely and to some degree has been confirmed by an Iveco insider, the Penske situation also holds some water. This is given that the US owned operation in Australia has seen less than stellar sales volume results in terms of with its Western Star and MAN brands since arriving and taking over TransPacific’s truck distribution business.
Stories persist that Daimler would like to see Western Star as a part of its sales stable in Australia, it is after all a Daimler owned brand and could give the local operation a valuable new brand to work with.
Penske’s other brand MAN is now part of the VW group like its Swedish rival Scania and despite denials from local executives there could be some serious economies of scale and benefits by moving the MAN brand under the aegis of the highly capable and successful local Scania management team. Separate sales and marketing operations could be run with back of house responsibilities such as parts, IT, HR and accounting being shared.
If either of those two situations occurred, Penske would be seriously short of truck product to sell here, potentially making an alliance with Navistar’s International brand very valuable indeed.
Of the two, logic would suggest the Iveco situation would be the most likely.
While no one is prepared to go on the record to confirm any of these scenarios, the persistence of the rumours and the obvious economies of scale and efficiencies that would flow adds weight and logic to the equation.
We’ve been in this business long enough to have seen many improbable and unlikely marriages and arrangements come into play and our motto continues to be ‘never say never’. Watch this space it might be an interesting time ahead.