DAF ready for transport challenges in 2013 07 December 2012

DAF managing director Ray Ashworth concedes that the truck manufacturer faces challenges in the year ahead (2013), but believes he and his staff are ready.

That was the key message from the annual media 'state of the nation' address in London on the evening of Wednesday 5 December 2012.

"Everyone is faced with the decision between Euro 5 and 6, and we have a challenge to persuade people to think about that decision now, rather than part-way through next year," he said.

Reminding delegates that DAF's Euro 6 truck offers the same fuel economy as its Euro 5 predecessor, as well as the same maintenance costs, payload and cab space – although capex costs rise and driver comfort improves, he warned: "If they are thinking about Euro 5 models, they should order now, not in a year's time."

Part of Ashworth's reasoning for acting now on current models is the arrival of forthcoming next-generation CF and LF truck models, which, he confirms, will make their debut at the CV Show 2013.

The DAF man says these are key models for the organisation, likely to be instrumental in DAF UK maintaining a market share around the 30% mark in 2013 – meaning sales of 9,500 heavy trucks and 3,150 rigids over 6 tonnes.

"We are growing the business, even when the global market has been in turmoil," he maintains.

"The general economy is wavering, and remains a little unpredictable, but I see the truck economy remaining strong."

Ashworth also revealed his pride at recent dealer investments, which have seen several new builds as well as refurbishments.

"Almost one quarter of our 134 dealers now has an ATF [Authorised Testing Facility] lane, which shows how the network has embraced the initiative," he said.

John Challen

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