FREIGHTLINER HAS NEW MAN AT THE WHEEL IN AUSTRALIA Daimler Truck and Bus has had another coup in snaring the talented former Paccar Australia manager Stephen Downes who will join the German owned group as the general manager for the Freightliner brand in Australia and New Zealand from this January. Downes, 33 forged a strong reputation at Paccar and is sure to give Freightliner some aded oomph and guidance with the position having been vacant since Kristy Walker’s hurried departure back to the USA for family reasons, only months after taking up the role. It is another example of Daimler Truck and Bus MD Daniel Whitehead taking a strong management position across the Daimler Truck brands since he arrived to take control in early 2014. In announcing the appointment, Daniel Whitehead said Stephen Downes brings wide ranging knowledge and experience to the company. “Stephen has excellent knowledge of the Australian and New Zealand truck market. Importantly, he is home-grown and therefore able to immediately relate to our customers when discussing product requirements and applications,” he said. “Stephen has both an engineering degree and a commerce degree, and when you combine those with the management and sales experience he has gained over the last decade he is the ideal person to further increase Freightliner’s market share,” he added. “We are elated that a man of Stephen’s experience, knowledge and expertise has come on board at Freightliner and is a great reflection on our brand and its standing in the market,” Whitehead said. Stephen Downes most recent role has was as the general sales manager of Kenworth trucks. He started his career in the local truck industry a decade ago with PACCAR and was the general manager for DAF Trucks up until the April 2014, where he increased market share and volumes to record levels before switching to his general sales manager role at Kenworth.
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