The latest in the world of transport, including…. longtime Fuso dealer
Keith Andrews scores new successes in the NZ new truck industry; Transport Investments adds NZL and Move Logistics to its businesses; giant German trailer maker Schmitz Cargobull moves into NZ
LONGTIME FUSO/MITSUBISHI DEALER KEITH Andrews has now also become a Mercedes-Benz dealer – continuing a remarkable recent expansion in New Zealand’s new truck industry.
e Mercedes-Benz appointment sees Keith Andrews Trucks (KAT) – the country’s biggest Fuso dealer – join long-established Auckland-based Merc and Freightliner dealer Trucks & Trailers in selling the German brand’s trucks throughout the North Island.
e deal comes hard on the heels of Andrews being appointed the new distributor of Fuso trucks in NZ.
And the Mercedes-Benz arrangement began the same month that the Andrews-owned Fuso NZ operation managed to top longtime market leader Isuzu in monthly truck sales – just seven months after it took over the representation.
Fuso achieved it by registering 101 trucks in May – becoming the rst make to top Isuzu’s monthly sales in 18 months. Isuzu has dominated the market for 17 years – taking over the No. 1 spot from Fuso in 1999.
Last year, Fuso ranked third, with a share that had slumped from its 28.5% in the late ‘90s to just over 10%, prompting the declared longterm aim of Fuso NZ MD Kurtis Andrews (Keith’s son) – to “re-establish Fuso as the No. 1 truck brand in NZ.”
Pieter eron, senior manager Daimler Truck & Bus NZ, says that adding a second North Island Mercedes-Benz dealer is “the right thing to do for our customers. It’s the right time.
“We’re growing – we’ve got new products. We’ve got growth plans and market share aspirations.” e appointment coincides with early sales of the long-awaited new-generation M-B Actros and Arocs models – expected to boost the make’s sales dramatically.
eron says that Mercedes has enjoyed “a very good start to the year. It’s coming o a lower base, obviously, but we’re living up to the expectations we’ve set – and exceeding them.”
He says that Trucks & Trailers is “a strong partner – and they’re doing very well at the moment….. We’re working with them very closely and it’s in our interests that our dealers are successful.”
And he points out that, even shared by two dealers, the North Island is bigger than any Daimler Trucks prime marketing area (PMA) in Australia. An unusual aspect of the arrangement is that KAT is limited to putting new Mercs only on its Whangarei dealership…. and not at its branches in Auckland, Hamilton (where a new dealership is under construction) and Mt Maunganui.
And Keith Andrews says that the company is establishing a standalone M-B sales sta , separate from its Fuso sales network.
He says of the M-B dealership: “We just see it as a very complimentary addition to the Fuso range – it gives us a range of trucks in the higher horsepower… And it gives us access to trucks that Fuso don’t have – like big 4x4 products.”
Trucks & Trailers owner Mark Wright says that Mercedes-Benz now has “amazing product that we need to do more volume in.”
And he adds: “ e reality is that our business is built on relationships and a clear understanding of what our customers need to do their business.
“Trucks & Trailers is 30 years (in business) this year and we’re the longeststanding Mercedes-Benz dealer in NZ.
“We believe that we have the people, the product knowledge and the facilities, and have made the investment into the brand and product to be able to provide the very best to our customers.
“It’s not about the experience in the showroom – it’s about the experience over a ve, 10, 15, 20, 30-year period with us – working with our customers and the Mercedes-Benz product.
“We’re very con dent in our ability to look after our customers as we’ve always done.”
Keith Andrews Trucks’ Whangarei dealership is the only KAT branch where new Mercs will stand side-by-side with new Fusos
Keith (left) and Kurtis Andrews