Home FleetWatch 2023 ‘Hope’ re-inspired as DTSA opens its new HQ and campus

‘Hope’ re-inspired as DTSA opens its new HQ and campus

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The Board of Directors of DTSA, top level management from Daimler Truck AG in Germany, the German Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa/eSwatini/Lesotho and other dignitaries lined up with Michael Dietz, President and CEO of DTSA and South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic Development, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, to cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the new facility.
The Board of Directors of DTSA, top level management from Daimler Truck AG in Germany, the German Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa/eSwatini/Lesotho and other dignitaries lined up with Michael Dietz, President and CEO of DTSA and South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic Development, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, to cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the new facility.

By Patrick O’Leary

April 25th was a great day of celebration for Daimler Truck Southern Africa Ltd (DTSA) with the official opening of its new headquarters and business campus in Centurion, Gauteng. Situated on 12 hectares, the new facility houses DTSA’s head offices, training facilities, new and used retail facilities as well as a dedicated Daimler Truck Financial Services company.

Michael Dietz President and CEO of DTSA: “This day marks a great beginning for us and I look forward to further creating a great place to work for our employees, while fully catering to our customers and continuously serving all who keep Africa moving.”
Michael Dietz President and CEO of DTSA: “This day marks a great beginning for us and I look forward to further creating a great place to work for our employees, while fully catering to our customers and continuously serving all who keep Africa moving.”

The importance of the occasion – described by Michael Dietz, President and CEO of DTSA as a sign of the solid commitment of the DTSA Group of companies to its customers, South Africa and the entire southern African region – was highlighted by the presence not only of the Board of Directors of DTSA but also by top level management from Daimler Truck AG in Germany.

Among others, dignitaries included Karin Radstrom, member of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Trucks as well as Stephan Unger, Member of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG and Head of Financial Services. Also present was South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic Development, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, who officially cut the ribbon with help of Dietz. (It was a massive scissors).

South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic Development, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, thanked Daimler Truck Southern Africa and Daimler AG for all they are doing for South Africa.
South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic Development, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, thanked Daimler Truck Southern Africa and Daimler AG for all they are doing for South Africa.

A man who caught the heart of the audience was Andreas Peschke, German Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa/eSwatini/Lesotho who interspersed his English with perfect vernacular phrases. It was the much beloved late Nelson Mandela who said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Well the Ambassador got into many hearts on the day. Guests included customers, dealers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Stephan Unger, member of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG and Head of Financial Service: “The concept of bringing sales and marketing and Financial Services together under one roof is taking the right step in our strategy to provide integrated transport solutions for our customers.”
Stephan Unger, member of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG and Head of Financial Service: “The concept of bringing sales and marketing and Financial Services together under one roof is taking the right step in our strategy to provide integrated transport solutions for our customers.”

Putting the ‘song and dance’ celebration aside, what struck me was the fact that at a time when South Africa has extremely serious problems on the political, social and economic fronts, it can count itself extremely fortunate that there are organisations like DTSA which are still prepared to commit massive investments (this one alone is R170-million which forms part of the R190-million investment promise made by DTSA at the 2022 Investment Conference) into what is, in essence, an extremely tumultuous country. Load shedding alone is causing havoc and has forced many companies – particularly smaller companies – into closing their doors. It has also created a climate of investment uncertainty and hesitancy.

Karin Rådström, member of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG, and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “The investment not only underlines our positioning as a global player in the commercial vehicle world but also shows our keen passion for people and diversity to which South Africa is renowned for.”
Karin Rådström, member of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG, and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “The investment not only underlines our positioning as a global player in the commercial vehicle world but also shows our keen passion for people and diversity to which South Africa is renowned for.”

In my opinion, the opening of the DTSA facility was an occasion which inspired hope in the future. If only our political leaders would emulate this attitude for it is all the right stuff. To be honest, it is the first time in a long time that I got goose-bumps when the South African national anthem was sung; led not by the Deputy Minister or any other ‘dignitary’ but rather by an ordinary ‘man-in-the-street’ – a man by the name of Khaya Nobala, an assembly worker at DTSA’s East London plant. His voice was pure, honest and powerful and served to rouse a spirit of patriotism I haven’t felt for a long time.

It was a day when I felt proud to be closely associated with the trucking sector where players like DTSA are still prepared to commit to keeping the wheels of Africa moving – despite the many negatives.

Some unusual and innovative new schemes have been introduced at DTSA’s new head-quarters and campus such as staff being greeted each morning when they arrive at work by three violinists playing melodious tunes so as to imbibe a sense of serenity in preparation for the day’s work. Nah! Only joking. These lovely ladies entertained the guests on the opening day. They were great.
Some unusual and innovative new schemes have been introduced at DTSA’s new head-quarters and campus such as staff being greeted each morning when they arrive at work by three violinists playing melodious tunes so as to imbibe a sense of serenity in preparation for the day’s work. Nah! Only joking. These lovely ladies entertained the guests on the opening day. They were great.

There is a saying: “Success isn’t just about what you’ve accomplished in your life. It’s all about what you inspire others to do.” Certainly this occasion acted as a mark of DTSA’s accomplishments and success but it also served to inspire us all to go forward with renewed hope for a brighter and more prosperous future. FleetWatch extends its congratulations to all at DTSA and extends our thanks for re-inspiring hope in a climate where ‘hope’ has been substantially diminished.

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