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Volvo Trucks Media Briefing with Vice President Marcus Hörberg

Marcus Hörberg, who was recently appointed as the new Vice President of Volvo Group Southern Africa, had his first official press briefing on the 30th of August held at the Volvo Trucks stand at the Festival of Motoring, the only industry-supported national automotive show, taking place at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Johannesburg.

Volvo Group Southern Africa appointed new Vice President Marcus Hörberg on the 1st of July this year, and he is also taking charge at the helm of the Volvo Trucks brand operations for Southern Africa. Previously Vice President of Volvo Peru and Region North for the past five years, he boasts 20 years of experience in customer finance, business development, strategy and country management for Volvo Group in emerging markets.

Marcus began his speech by pointing out that management and staff have done great work and laid a good foundation to build on, also for their continuous efforts and ambitions to deliver on customer satisfaction.

“We have retained our number one overall position in customer satisfaction for a consecutive third quarter which is no small feat…”

“We have retained our number one overall position in customer satisfaction for a consecutive third quarter which is no small feat but, rather a reflection of all the hard work from our collective staff,” says Hörberg.

According to the latest Scott Byers report, Volvo Trucks has regained its number one position in sales, maintained the first position in parts and second in service delivery for Quarter 2 of 2018, which means that the company has maintained the first position overall.

Marcus and the Volvo Trucks team

A testament to being number one in sales is enhanced by the high demand for the FH series, specifically the Volvo FH440 6×4 Truck Tractor.  In 2017, it was the single most sold heavy-duty truck in South Africa alone according to Naamsa. Above and beyond the 25-year anniversary of the iconic Volvo FH series, Volvo Trucks is celebrating its 90th year anniversary.

Headquartered in Sweden, Volvo Trucks has been able to deliver on quality regardless of the climatic challenges some countries have.

“Ninety years on, you can easily trace the practical design, which also reflects honesty, dependability and simplicity.  Each Volvo truck continues to deliver on our heritage promises of quality, safety and environmental care,“ he says. “We sell and service professional heavy-duty vehicles in more than 130 countries, which makes us the only truck brand proven to withstand and deliver across all climates and relevant working conditions all over the world, our goal is clear, to be the worlds most preferred truck brand.”

South Africa is the 20th largest market for Volvo Trucks globally and recently saw an introduction of Active Safety features last year

South Africa is the 20th largest market for Volvo Trucks globally and recently saw an introduction of Active Safety features last year, in the form of a R6.5 million investment into its Durban SKD Manufacturing plant which allowed the facility to install and calibrate The Volvo Active Safety Package features that were previously not available to this market. “A standard Volvo truck is one of the world’s safest truck and when equipped with the Volvo Active Safety package, it is even safer for the driver, and other road users,” says Hörberg. Volvo Trucks’ overall vision regarding safety is to have zero accidents involving a Volvo truck.

In terms of Volvo Truck’s third core value, environmental care, Hörberg says that “yes, it’s true that the transport industry plays a crucial role in the development of our society and its economy. However, it also accounts for a significant portion of the emissions that have adverse effects on our climate and our environment. We are part of this problem and, are determined to be part of the solution”.

FH 25 year and the Iron Knight simulatorThe company is making continuous progress in the areas of energy efficiency and alternative fuels, the most recent being the sales and production of the Volvo FL and FE electric trucks that will be the first range of fully electrically powered Volvo trucks that will be available in European markets next year. Not forgetting the Volvo LNG, a Euro 6-compliant heavy-duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas. These trucks have the same performance, driveability and fuel consumption as Volvo’s diesel-powered models. Volvo Trucks is driving this progress and takes a holistic view that will carry the transport society into a sustainable future.

“The future looks bright, and we are planning for it.  I am happy to announce that we will be opening a new Durban Truck Centre in 2019, with an investment of R146 Million in a new state of the art dealership to better service our customers in the region,” he says. Volvo Trucks aims to grow their company’s profits in the demanding Long haul, Heavy Transport and Construction segments, expand the after sales, parts and service market potential and to help build a future business landscape through their electric and autonomous transport solutions. “To achieve our objectives, aim on continuing to deliver on a premium Volvo Trucks customer experience with more up-time and ultimately more productivity for them,” he said.

Other key focus areas to achieve the objectives is to collaborate across the Group, acquire the best talents and encourage an informative, proactive environment.

Volvo Trucks will enhance their efforts in contributing to the South African market through the following:

  • Youth employment and apprenticeship programs
  • Education programmes such as the Star for Life and New Driver Training programme
  • Traffic safety initiatives in the form of Stop Look & Wave, driver academies and product feature training
  • Environmental care and sustainable energy through continued EURO 5 lobbying, biogas and other alternative fuel development as in the LNG trucks, Electrical trucks and Solar panels in workshops

“At Volvo, we are 100% committed to doing our part to support sustainable development. What’s more, we have a clear, positive vision of the future – and we’re working hard to make it happen. It’s about the legacy that we leave behind. I am a strong believer in that value driven organisations with conviction for social responsibility which ultimately contributes to improving societies in emerging markets,” he concludes

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa