There’s been a few moves by high profile guys in the MAN Truck & Bus stable of late – but not to panic, there’s no palace revolt or anything like that.
The first to announce his move is Geoff du Plessis, current managing director and chairman of MAN Truck & Bus South Africa, who is moving onto the next chapter in his life. In other words, Geoff is retiring and going fishing with his wife and kids. Geoff will be leaving the organisation with effect from 31 December 2015.
Geoff has been with MAN since April 2005, having now been in the industry for more than 31 years. He has held various positions in the local and international organisation at MAN. Geoff is well known for putting successful teams together and has built up a formidable management team over the last two years in South Africa. Geoff has also ensured that the current team has the competency and experience to drive the organisation into the future, and that the baton is effectively passed onto his successor.
His successor will be announced in due course. However there is full commitment and support for a smooth transition for the business thereby maintaining the customer focus of the organisation.
Another guy who has moved on from MAN is Johan Cloete who has joined Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa, importer of Fiat Professional Light Commercial Vehicles, as Project Manager Fiat Development.
Fiat intends extending its light commercial vehicle brand reach locally during 2016 and beyond through a concerted brand awareness and vehicle introduction campaign. To head this, they needed someone with commercial vehicle experience and Cloete was chosen as that man.
Cloete has more than 40 years commercial-vehicle industry experience having previously worked in retail as well as at OEM level for Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, FUSO, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and most recently MAN Trucks.
Along with the launch of a completely new pickup in the competitive “bakkie” segment in 2016, Fiat Professional will also offer facelift derivatives of the existing Ducato and Doblo model ranges as well as the Fiorino Van, the Ducato Van, Minibus and Motorhome Chassis-cab derivatives.
Commenting on the future prospects for Fiat, Cloete says: “We’re serious about the future viability of the Fiat Professional brand in South Africa and believe its presence can be strengthened through the LCV development programme I have been tasked with heading up,”
Commenting on his move into retirement, Du Plessis says: “I’m serious about fishing.”
To both men, FleetWatch wishes you well as you head off on your new paths in life. Geoff, you’ve left a huge thumb-print on the trucking industry for which we compliment and thank you. Go well mate.