Hap Seng Trucks Distribution Chief Executive Reveals Rationale Behind MBM CV Business Acquisition & Strategies

Hap Seng Trucks Distribution Chief Executive Reveals Rationale Behind MBM CV Business Acquisition & Strategies
Hap Seng Trucks Distribution

HSTD is now the exclusive distributor of Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans, and Mitsubishi Fuso trucks in Malaysia.

Interview with Roland Schneider

Roland Schneider, Chief Executive, Hap Seng Trucks Distribution Sdn Bhd (HSTD), revealed the rationale behind the acquisition of commercial vehicle general distribution in a recent exclusive interview with Truck & Bus News.

Following the completion of the takeover on 1st November, 2018, HSTD is now the exclusive distributor of Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans, and Mitsubishi Fuso trucks in Malaysia. This includes the handling of the import, assembly, wholesale distribution and after-sales service of both brands.

“We are pretty fresh since the ‘D-Day’, which was about 2 months ago. In fact, we are following a timeless strategy to separate the passenger car and commercial vehicle operations, which is quite a common practice in many countries. HSTD is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hap Seng Consolidated Berhad, a public listed company on the main market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd. As a business with strong local roots and more than 40 years of experience in the commercial vehicle sector, we have not only the expertise, but have also established close relationships based on trust with our customers.”

Staff & Dealers Retention

HSTD had retained about 95 per cent of the staff from Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Commercial Vehicle (MBM CV), he said, which ensured a smooth transition as well as secured the expertise and experience of the existing staff. Thus, in Schneider’s own words, HSTD was a ‘green field’ company with expertise.

He also revealed that the company added additional staff in various departments. He pointed out that this was because the company was now completely independent. It would need to have its own dealer network manager, finance manager, just to name a few, to operate efficiently.

“In regard to the Mercedes-Benz and Fuso dealers, we are very happy that all of them decided to stay on. New dealership contracts were signed and we would take it from there. Of course, we have to improve the performance of the dealer’s network as we need to provide better products and after-sales services for the customers. However, we would work on that in a partnership approach.”

He stressed that this was not a defensive takeover and HSTD was willing to invest in the business. “We clearly believe that by having our operation split from passenger cars, which is a totally different business, it would help us to be more focused and committed to the customers and their needs. We are taking a mid-term approach and my immediate focus would be on customers, products and dealers.”

He pointed out that the company had to do more such as providing better services and training to dealers and enhancing their expertise and skill as well as product knowledge. “We also took over the training activities for commercial vehicles and the after-sales training would be run by us. We would continue carrying out and extending our training programme for our dealers and customers as well as technicians to ensure that they are well equipped to better serve their customers.”

As for new products, he said the company needed to look at different segments in the market and see what Daimler and Fuso could offer. “Singapore is the only country in the Asean region that has moved to Euro 6 diesel. With the current Euro 2 standard, we are not at the forefront of technology, which makes it a little difficult to use products from other countries. However, we are quite positive as this applies to the rest of the markets in this region, which is an opportunity for us. The Daimler Group is a leading global vehicle manufacturer and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach, and Fuso is an integral part of it. Thus, we are confident that we would able to provide new products for this region.”

Ready for B10 biodiesel

The Malaysian government has decided to use B10 biodiesel, which increases the minimum bio-content from 7 per cent previously to 10 per cent. This B10 biodiesel programme would be implemented in the transport sector and other subsidised sectors in stages from February 2019.  

Commenting on this, Schneider said this was the Malaysian government’s initiative. He admitted that technically it was not easy for the whole industry, but they had to manage it. “It is complicated because we have different engines, different components and systems. This covered not only the trucks that you sell right now, but also the trucks that are already in the market for many years. Yes, all our current Mitsubishi Fuso trucks are compliant with B10 biodiesel. As for the older models, it would have to depend on what year that you referring to. If you are using a 20-year-old Fuso, you probably have a different engine and now we are using a different biofuel. Although it also doable, it is not easy and would probably need some kind of treatment.”

What are his views on the current market situation? He replied that 2019 would not be an easy year. He expected a slight slowdown in the market, especially in the construction segment as many big projects were kept on hold.

“The logistics and distribution segment would continue to be dynamic, triggered by the growth of online shopping sales for the last-mile delivery. This would lead to a higher demand for smaller trucks. We do not expect huge and positive developments this year.”

Despite the challenges, Schneider, who brings with him 28 years of experience and expertise dealing with Daimler commercial vehicles in various functions, is confident that the company would achieve its targets.

“Although we are a new player, we are well rooted in Malaysia and have considerable expertise and experience in the commercial vehicles business. We understand the market and have a clear ambition to grow; these are our strengths,” he concluded.

 

合成卡车经销首席执行长

谈收购大马马赛地商用车业务原由与策略

合成卡车经销私人有限公司(HSTD)首席执行长罗兰●施耐德(Roland Schneider)近日接受本刊独家专访,透露该公司收购大马马赛地商用车批发分销业务。

随着2018年11月1日完成收购后,HSTD目前是马来西亚马赛地卡车、马赛地货车及三菱扶桑在马来西亚的总经销商。这包括了负责这两大品牌的进口、组装、批发及售后服务。 

“自两个月前的那个‘D-日’以来,我们仍然很新。事实上,我们跟随着一个长期有效的策略,将轿车和商用车的运营分开来,这在许多国家是相当普遍的一个做法。HSTD是马来西亚交易所主板上市公司合成统一的全资子公司。作为一家拥有强大本土根基和超过40年丰富商用车领域经验的企业,我们与客户建立了基于信任的密切关系。” 

成功挽留员工和代理 

他说,HSTD成功挽留了马赛地商用车(MBM CV)大约98%的员工,获得他们的专业知识和经验,以确保顺利渡过这个过渡期。用施耐德自己的话说,HSTD是一家具备专业知识的‘待开发’(greenfield )公司。 

他也透露说,该公司在各个部门添加了新员工。作为完全独立的一家公司,他指出公司需要有自己的代理网络经理、财务经理等,以便有效地运作。 

“至于马赛地和扶桑代理,我们很开心他们全部都决定留下来。我们与他们签署了新的代理合约,而我们从这里开始做起。当然,我们需要改善代理网络的表现,因为我们需要为客户提供更好的产品和售后服务。然而,我们将采用伙伴关系的方式来实现。” 

他强调,这不是个充满防卫性的收购,HSTD愿意继续投资在这个业务上。“我们确信将我们的业务从轿车运营中分开出来,可协助我们更专心更致力于满足客户需求,更何况这是两种不同性质的业务。我们拟定了中期计划,而我目前将重点放在客户、产品及代理上。” 

他指出公司要做得更多,比如为代理提供更好的服务和培训,提升他们的专业、产品知识及技能。“我们也接管了商用车培训和售后服务培训活动。因此,我们将继续为客户和代理,以及技术人员提供和扩展我们的培训课程,确保他们拥有更好的装备,更好地为他们的客户服务。” 

至于新产品,他表示公司需要观察市场的各个领域,看看戴姆勒和扶桑可提供什么样的产品。“新加坡是东盟区域中唯一采用欧6柴油的国家。目前仍在采用欧2柴油的大马,显然不是处于技术的前沿,这使我们在采用来自其他国家的产品时碰到了一些小困难。然而我们很乐观,因为这区域里的其他市场也一样,也就是说充满着商机。戴姆勒集团是领先的全球汽车制造商,也是世界最大和最具影响力的商用车制造商,而扶桑是其业务的一部分。因此,我们有信心能够为这个区域提供新产品。” 

准备好面对B10 生物柴油 

马来西亚政府决定采用B10生物柴油,也就是将过去的生物柴油燃料中的7%生物含量提高到10%。从2019年2月起,政府将在运输业及其他受政府‘补贴’部门分阶段落实B10生物柴油计划。 

谈及这个课题,他说这是大马政府的倡议。他坦言,对整个行业来说,技术上确实不容易,但是他们必须处理和面对。“这很复杂,因为我们拥有各种不同的引擎、组件及系统。这不仅包含你目前在卖的卡车,还有已经在市场多年的卡车。是的,我们目前的三菱扶桑卡车都可兼容B10生物柴油。至于那些较旧的车型,就要看你指的是哪一个年份的。如果你采用的是20年前的旧款扶桑,你 的引擎可能与现在的车型不同,而目前我们采用的是不同与过去的生物燃料。虽然能够做到,但是不容易,需要一些处理。” 

他对目前的市场情况有什么看法?他回答说,2019年并不容易。他预期市场会轻微放缓,特别是建筑领域,因为有许多大型工程被暂停。 

“物流与配送领域因线上购物销售的最后一哩运送而持续活跃,这将带来较高的轻型卡车需求。我们不期望今年会有巨大和积极的发展。” 

尽管未来充满挑战,在戴姆勒商用车拥有28年各项职能专长和经验的施耐德却对达到公司目标充满信心。 

“虽然我们是一个新的行业参与者,我们在大马拥有深厚的根基,丰富和专业的商业车行业知识与经验。我们了解市场并拥有明确的成长野心,而这些都是我们的优势。”他总结说。

 

 

 

 

About the author

Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.

Phone: (60) 3 7781 1323

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