Webster took the helm in April last year and, speaking at yesterday’s (12 January 2016) Iveco ‘State of the Nation’ event at its new home with parent CNH Industrial in Basildon, he said that the company views itself less as a vehicle manufacturer and more a service provider.
Accordingly, last October the firm split its sales and marketing operations into light and heavy business lines, with Ian Lumsden and Nick Pemberton, respectively, in charge.
That move, he said was in response to operators “increasingly polarising towards vans – in simple terms, to avoid the hassles and costs associated with trucks – and heavy trucks, to minimise cost-per-tonne moved and maximise efficiencies”.
For him, it’s about being close to customers and understanding their needs in order toi provide focused services.
“Re-organising our operations along business lines allows us to get even closer to the customers we serve,” said Webster.
“It allows us an even deeper appreciation of what they want. And it allows us to tailor our customer support package - from marketing and sales, right the way through finance, service, repair and maintenance, parts and every aspect of what we offer.”
On the vans side, Webster promised more prominence as a retail brand. “We’ll be continuing our policy of growing our sales point footprint and building a more local retail presence, at the same time as strengthening our success in the high-visibility fleet business,” he said.
“In trucks, we are growing our sales teams and looking to develop closer relationships with customers,” he continued, acknowledging its quite separate challenges on the medium- and heavy-duty truck sides.
“Our new truck business line gives us the tools to ... attack and disperse the brand snobbery that still exists in the heavy truck sector,” insisted Webster – adding that today’s “more financially measured buying processes” are on Iveco’s side when it comes to proving total cost of ownership.
Would-be purchasers Iveco trucks can also look forward to 23 “cathedral dealers” in the UK, with tools, technicians, support and opening hours designed specifically to match the service and maintenance requirements of intensively operated medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
“The key word is consistency,” insisted Webster. “Consistency of approach, of policy, of style and of decision making... The same network, expanding, developing, training for the future and strengthening...
“It’s a strategy that is already winning new friends, most especially at the heavy end.”