It’s a marriage that probably, in hindsight should never have happened and was doomed from the start but on the 3rd of January it was officially ended. We aren’t talking about some fatuous Hollywood celebrity couple, but the marriage of European truck maker Iveco to CNH Industrial.
The marriage meant the truck making came under the control of the Agnelli family-controlled FIAT group’s tractor and agricultural machinery organisation, Case New Holland or CNH Industrial.
Over the next few years that control increased, triggering many an Iveco employee to remark that things were going from bad to worse under what they referred to as the ‘tractor salesmen’ they had to answer to.
It seems however that sense has been seen and Iveco is now its own entity with the separation of CNH Industrial’s ‘on-highway’ assets, meaning the Iveco Group now has complete control of the way it ‘manages itself and develops in the future’.
Iveco has been given a shake-up in recent times by way of its global CEO, Gerrit Marx.
Marx is reputed to have injected more discipline and rigour into Iveco since he joined CNH Industrial at the start of 2019.
A German management specialist, Marx came to CNH Industrial to run Iveco with 20 years experience in management roles at a variety of organisations including McKinsey, Daimler, Skoda and private equity giant Bain Capital.
Marx has spent the past three years restructuring the lumbering commercial vehicle company and the split from CNH Industrial is seen as a major step forward for the truck maker as it plots a course to be a part of the zero emission revolution the transport industry has to embrace.
The splitting of Iveco away from the CNH Industrial Group to stand as a separate entity follows a similar move by Daimler to establish its truck operation as a separate corporation as well as the establishment and partial float by VW of its truck operations under the Traton name.
Iveco Group brands will now be spearheaded by the core Iveco and FPT (Fiat Powertrain) businesses, while sub brands Iveco Capital, Heuliez, Iveco Bus, Iveco Defence Vehicles, Astra and Magirus will also form part of its on-highway offering.
According to Iveco a key benefit of the spin-off will be ‘the company’s renewed emphasis on better meeting the existing and future needs of on-highway customers, by taking a more targeted approach to their requirements’.
It says that among these areas of interest is to further develop the group’s alternative fuels and propulsion capabilities.
Iveco claims that it is already a proven leader in low emission natural gas technologies including CNG and LNG, as well as electrification with the its Daily Electric van, the Iveco Group’s new direction will also allow it to form closer ties with joint venture partners such as Nikola.
The two companies have been working together since 2019, and in September last year the partners unveiled details of their state-of-the-art Ulm, Germany manufacturing facility which last month completed the first of its new Nikola TRE battery electric (BEV) trucks.
Iveco Australia managing director, Michael May, said he saw only positives from the spin-off, for Iveco owners in Australia and New Zealand.
“This spin-off will unify Iveco and provide the added freedom to further develop the brand’s potential as an exclusive on-highway business,” May said.
“The change will also allow a more targeted management focus, which will assist in accelerating innovation goals and the rate at which new products are brought to market, while also responding more nimbly to customer requirements.”
Michael May said that along with these goals, he was confident that Iveco owners would now also enjoy enhanced levels of customer service and support.
“We’ve worked hard last year to elevate the Iveco customer experience – existing and prospective operators should see a further streamlining of these efforts in the 12 months ahead,” May said.
“In addition to providing a high-quality product, we want Iveco ownership to be as rewarding and cost effective as possible, by offering more value-added services, improved parts availability and other broader support offerings.”