Equally keen for a first stint behind the wheel of Cascadia at Anglesea was Freightliner Australia’s newly appointed sales and operations executive, Rob Griffin.
A no-nonsense, straight-talking individual, Griffin spent the previous decade or so in Paccar’s ranks, including high profile stints as Kenworth national sales manager and most recently, general manager of DAF.
It was his resignation from Paccar while in the DAF role, just a few weeks before the first locally assembled DAF rolled off the same Bayswater (Vic) production line as Kenworth, which caught many industry insiders by surprise.
With some wondering whether his departure was caused by problems at Paccar or poached by an offer too good to refuse from Freightliner, a typically succinct Griffin says simply, “Neither.”
In a good-natured explanation during a quick catch-up at Anglesea, he says he’d just grown stale after 10 years with the same company and had simply decided to retire. “It was as simple as that,” he says with a broad grin. “I had no plans at all to go to any other brand.”
Soon after, however, Freightliner director and former Paccar colleague Stephen Downes heard of Griffin’s decision to retire at just 55 years of age and asked if he’d be interested in a senior position on the ground floor of something entirely new and exciting.
The short answer was ‘yes’ and it was an adamant Griffin who said the opportunity to come in at the first phase of the Cascadia program was the big attraction. It’s unlikely the role would’ve been accepted otherwise, he remarked.
True to form, a smiling Rob says candidly: “Sometimes we all need a spark to light the fire again.”
We sure do!
Rob Griffin. Straight to the point.