The world of HCV and Trucks changes much faster than the one of the automobile!
The truck dealers – who are still snubbed as ‘truckers’ with spicy calendars by those who work in the chain of Passenger Vehicles – they are ahead of the “obedient car dealers”.
A forced change: the cataclysm feared by the Italian dealers federation is already a reality from some years among the dealers of trucks!
The dealers of trucks in Italy – in the mid 2000 – they were over 550.
Now they are less than 180, although many elude the census because they continue to do the same job but without the flags/insignia of a manufacturer.
180 dealers will be enough in Italy? The HCV and bus sector in Italy show a decline in the first half of 2012 by 38%, compared with the European decline of only 11%. Dividing the projection of 9,000 trucks provided by market estimates, for the number of the survivors dealers, we obtain a dealer sales average of less than 4 vehicles per month.
And the 58% of the dealer expects a further deterioration in demand.
The road transportation world is important for the system: the dealers sell the vehicles to companies that use them to supply the markets. In Italy 90% of freight moves by trucks! Railways and ships are still outclassed.
To understand the importance of the truckers, just remember when a few weeks of strikes and agitation of a hundred “car-transporter drivers” brought down the entire Italian automotive industry. Loss of revenue for many hundreds of millions and even a negative repercussion on the stock exchange for the collapse of the OEM’s market share.
The term “seven sisters” no longer indicates the biggest oil companies, but the western best known manufacturers of truck: DAF, Iveco, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Scania and Volvo. Around the corner, however, other “half-sisters” Chinese, Russian and Indian build tens of millions of trucks, buses and commercial vehicles that already are grabbing over the streets in Europe, Asia and North America.
Some manufacturers are experimenting new systems to distribute trucks and equipments: someone is cancelling underperforming dealers – or merely observes their agony – and sells directly to fleets and big companies, focusing – for service and maintenance – on the support of the authorized repairers that – in the world of trucks – do not depend on the dealer as in the automobiles but directly from the manufacturers.
Authorized Service Points are still many more than 1,300. They are competent, proud to represent a brand, and offer excellent services, ensuring coverage of the territory with minimal cost compared to those of the dealers.
Other manufacturers take over and manage dealerships in difficulty in order to patrol strategic areas. I do not think this is the solution: dealers and manufacturers have different goals and different tasks!
Elsewhere I saw “the dealer at home”: with trucks and vans they develop door-to-door sales, or maintenance in the yards of great companies and directly to the home of the truckers.
Financing options, training for the fuel consumption, revolving credit cards for the drivers, all-inclusive maintenance contracts, loans without interest in 84 or 96 months – even though in Italy the average operating life of a truck is only 4 years – and now those who work with Government or Public Institutions may transfer existing (or future) credits, turning them into new Iveco vehicles!
But dealers are choking for lack of sales, despite the Italian fleet is the most outdated in Europe!
How many trucks Euro zero and Euro 1 still circulate? No one knows for sure, but hundreds of thousands. they are still in use not because they are cheaper to maintain: the secret is in the control systems installed on the new-generation trucks (tamper-proof electronic tachographs) that on old truck … does not exist.
Associations and manufacturers are working to refurbish the fleet, and to resume selling trucks, trailers and equipments. Novelties and events are behind the corner.
It would be enough a few aimed interventions – at zero cost – to remove old polluting and dangerous vehicles from the roads. With an advantage for the entire community.
Written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters.
One represents danger, the other opportunity.
The recent purchase of 13 Kingong Chinese school buses by the city of Treviso is the demonstration that ‘the danger’ advances (in Italy have already registered more than 500 Kinglong Chinese buses), while the opportunities disappear …: Irisbus closes, Iveco will close 5 more plants and… other dozen of trucks & LCV dealers will be out of business!
But even in the trucks market… business is business!