After a difficult few years, both globally and in Australia, things started to look a lot brighter for UD Trucks in 2017.
Locally, the new UD Quon landed in Australia last year and sales in our buoyant local market were strong with 917 customer deliveries (a better than 23% increase on the brand’s 2016 total).
Related: Geely buys stake in Volvo Trucks
Now, as 2018 gets underway, the global boss of Volvo Group, Martin Lundstedt, says the UD Trucks brand is expected to continue to blossom.
Speaking in Japan, where he met with executives at UD Trucks headquarters, Mr Lundstedt says things are looking up…
“I spoke directly with colleagues from different business areas, receiving valuable feedback and insights.
“I was particularly impressed with the strong improvements in colleague engagement and business performance.”
How does UD Trucks maximize its strengths in the Volvo Group?
“In 2016, we changed UD Trucks’ setup, decentralizing decision-making to the management based in Japan for the entire company.
“Now UD can more clearly and easily leverage the best of the two worlds – the strength as a Japanese automotive manufacturer and Volvo Group’s support.
“This change has generated a sense of unity among UD colleagues, encouraging cross-functional communication and heightening a sense of brand ownership.
“And we have seen a stark improvement in performance; UD Trucks’ gross income during the period of January to September 2017 increased by 30%, compared to the same period of last year.
“That has contributed to the Volvo Group’s third quarter performance which recorded its 11th consecutive profitability improving quarter.”
What is your view on the disruption currently happening across the automotive industry, and what business models do you think are necessary ‘to win’ in this era?
“The Volvo Group and UD Trucks sees disruption as a good opportunity to better serve its customer base with the trucks and services the world needs today.
“When automation, electromobility, and connectivity converge, we foresee an improved logistics efficiency and productivity, decreased environmental impact and increased traffic safety.
“UD Trucks is in a great position to leverage the Group’s technologies with whatever it needs, and also add local engineering to adapt to its needs.
“It is worth noting the technical requirements for heavy-duty trucks in Japan correspond to those for medium-duty trucks in Europe.
“That means that the Group can apply its already proven technologies in Japan. UD Trucks has already started discussing with its leading customers about their future needs.
“The key to going the extra mile for its customers, which is the UD brand promise, is to build a new business model that focuses on core competencies whilst establishing relationships across the industry in order to leverage available resources as effectively as possible.”
What does the future hold for UD Trucks?
“UD Trucks is poised to play an important role in the Volvo Group when developing new technologies as we jointly continue to invest in technology development, production, sales and service networks.
More short-term, competence development is another priority.
“UD Trucks will open its new competence development center during early 2018 as it believes people’s development is as equally important as technological development for sustainability over the long-term.”
Stay up to date with all the latest UD Trucks News at heavyvehicles.com.au through 2018.