Peter Voorhoeve leaves Australia next week to take up the top job at Volvo Trucks North America.
Speaking as the Volvo Group Australia (VGA) cut the ribbon on an all-new headquarters, Mr Voorhoeve (pictured) paused to not only look back at his time in charge of the local operation, but also to deliver a message to the industry.
That message – treat truck drivers with more respect.
Mr Voorhoeve, who has helped steer the three VGA brands (Volvo, Mack and UD) to a near 30% combined truck market share (up from just over 20% five years ago), said he can’t understand why Australian truck drivers aren’t held in higher regard.
He said in Europe truck driving was considered a trade and those who earn their living in a role that came with so much responsibility were highly regarded.
Yet in Australia, where tradies are very highly regarded, he lamented that the truck driving profession doesn’t get the same recognition.
The departing VGA boss has been one of the leading lights in the industry in regards to truck driving training.
Under his watch, VGA has backed programs such as the Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls and a Tafe NSW training course.
Mr Voorhoeve saying we are all familiar with the ‘Without Trucks, Australia Stops’ motto, but he said the truth is “without truck drivers, Australia stops”.
The popular executive also reflected on his time in Australia, saying one of his biggest achievement as the head of VGA was lifting the group’s customer satisfaction scores.
Under his watch, VGA implemented what is called a 7CC program and this focuses on giving the best possible customer service across the truck/bus buying/ownership experience.
Mr Voorhoeve saying over the past 5 years satisfaction scores for the three brands under his watch have risen from 72% to 86%.
“It has been my passion and will continue to be my passion,” he said.
While he also spoke glowingly of the local truck manufacturing team that has managed to lift production by 40% to meet the demand for additional trucks in recent times.
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