On 1 December 2016, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) will welcome Jasper Hafkamp as its new executive director for the Regional Centre Southern Africa (RCSA). He will be responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses (DT&B) in southern Africa.
This follows the decision by Kobus van Zyl, the current executive director for DT&B to pursue a new and exciting career opportunity and assignment within the larger global Daimler organisation.
Van Zyl has been appointed as general manager for National Automotive Industries in Saudi Arabia, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Trucks and E.A. Juffali & Brothers. His appointment is effective from 1 October 2016 but to ensure a smooth transition, he will be available for a handover period.
The Juffali Group is the Mercedes-Benz appointed general distributor in Saudi Arabia and Van Zyl will be responsible for Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Vans, Buses and Special Trucks as well as Western Star and Freightliner Trucks.
The new man, Jasper Hafkamp, joined Mercedes-Benz Nederland BV in 1995 after completing his studies in Business Engineering at the College of Technology and Management and Organisation at the University of Groningen. He started within the commercial vehicle department where he held various positions within marketing and product management for Mercedes-Benz Vans and Trucks.
In 2008, Hafkamp became responsible for Mercedes-Benz truck sales in the Netherlands and then progressed to the position of Managing Director: Mercedes-Benz Trucks. During this period he was able to grow the market share of trucks in the Netherlands from 10% in 2010 to the current sustainable 17%. This success was based on a structured conquest programme, Total Cost of Ownership approach and a further professionalisation of the Dutch truck dealer network. Furthermore, he integrated Fuso Trucks sales within the Mercedes-Benz Trucks organisation.
Van Zyl has been a valuable member of the MBSA team in various roles for the last 17 years. He joined Daimler in April 1999, having worked as a portfolio manager and financial analyst for various other companies before. He first joined the Financial Services operations and then moved to sales and marketing. He has been leading the commercial vehicles operations from a sales and marketing perspective since 2008.
Arno van der Merwe, CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director: Manufacturing says: “We wish Kobus well in all his future endeavours. We are confident the Juffali Group is gaining a valuable member to their team and we look forward to welcoming Jasper to the management team of MBSA.”
FleetWatch will be carrying an interview with Kobus van Zyl in our next eMag edition. In the meantime, here is a video interview where FleetWatch finds out more about his move to Saudi Arabia and salutes a great man of this industry.