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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.

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