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'We're going to execute better than we've ever done,' new Mack president vows


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Truck News / February 21, 2014

Stephen Roy says Mack will push for market share gains, particularly on-highway

Stephen Roy, the newly installed president of North American sales and marketing for Mack Trucks, knows there’s work to be done.

Mack’s market share isn’t where he’d like it to be, and a recent focus on product and customer support has taken attention away from Mack as a brand. But he also feels the pieces are in place to revitalize one of the oldest brands in trucking. This effort will officially commence with a re-launching of the Mack brand at the ConExpo construction show in early March.

And you can also look for Mack to aggressively grow its on-highway presence.

“If we are going to improve share, we need to have a larger presence in the on-highway market,” said Roy.

The last five years have seen Mack dealers invest more than $300 million into their facilities to better serve customers. They’ve increased bay capacity by 40%, added 50% more technicians, and trained those technicians so that now one in four are top-certified Master Technicians. Dealers also have increased their hours of service, and 60% now forward after-hours calls to Mack’s call centre, so that customers can receive support around the clock.

Last year, Mack launched its GuardDog Connect remote diagnostics program, which allows Mack to remotely monitor engine fault codes and advise operators on the best course of action. Included in that service is dealership geofencing, which will notify Mack when trucks have been in the shop too long.

“With GuardDog Connect, we have a geofence around every one of our dealerships,” Roy said. “Starting this year, we’ll know when a truck comes into a dealership and when a truck leaves a dealership. To assist a dealer, we’ll call the dealer and say ‘We notice this truck is in, what can we do to help you get the product in and out the door as soon as possible’?”

Mack officials working out of a new three-storey Uptime Centre, to be built at the company’s Greensboro, N.C. campus, will be able to intervene when trucks are down for repair too long. This may mean directing them to a less busy dealership nearby or expediting delivery of the required parts. Later this year, Mack will also be teaming with Telogis and PeopleNet to stream its remote diagnostics data to those telematics providers, who will then convert the data into useful information for fleets.

“We’re never going to be the gurus of telematics, there are too many good companies doing that,” Roy said. “But since we put GPS on the trucks standard, we’re able to transmit this information to other companies to provide all the things fleets need from a productivity standpoint.”

Mack continues to be strong in the vocational segment, which has seen double-digit growth in each of the past few years. But its overall share of the North American Class 8 truck market remains just under 10%. Roy hopes to change that as early as this year.

“With our backlog and the amount of activity we see now, there’s no reason Mack can’t be above 10% this year, with a vision to being much greater than that,” Roy said.

Having spent the last five years bolstering its customer support, Roy said the time is right to make a push in the on-highway market.

“We’re known for our vocational side, but my focus is to make sure - because we now have the network support, which is key - that we get back in front of our customers and let them know we do have a value proposition for them,” Roy said. “The timing is right but it’s not going to happen overnight.”

Mack’s dealer network, meanwhile, is continuing to strengthen, with another 40 projects currently underway.

“Our dealers are re-investing and the company is re-investing in research and development for new product as well as for infrastructure and support,” Roy said. “We feel Mack is very well positioned with products, we’re continuing to invest in R&D and we’re well positioned with our dealer network.”

Roy cited the recent World of Concrete show as evidence the vocational truck market has been revitalized.

“The activity at World of Concrete was as high as we’ve seen since 2006,” he said. “Customers were not looking at two or three trucks, they were looking (to buy) 25-50 trucks, which is great…We’ve seen double-digit increases the last few years. Housing starts, GDP - everything points to improvements on the vocational side.”

Roy is projecting about 250,000 Class 8 truck sales this year in Canada and the US, which would represent a slight uptick in demand from 2013.

Roy demonstrated the passion and exuberance for the Mack brand that industry observers have come to expect from people holding senior positions at that company.

“I’m passionate about the Mack brand and where we can go,” he said. “I’m 50 and I plan to do this for the next 15 years.”

Asked what customers and industry observers can expect to see over the next year, he said “We’re going to execute better than we’ve ever done.”


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As I mentioned before, Flaherty has been replaced by Stephen Roy, a Volvo man that has only been around truck parts since 2008, as Volvo Trucks senior vice president, parts sales and marketing (he's the guy that brought you those unbelievably high parts prices so as to improve Volvo’s margins). From 2002 thru 2007, Stephen Roy was a loan guy with Volvo Commercial Finance. And that's it, the brief extent of his involvement in the truck industry. Amazing that Volvo feels his modest credentials are adequate for heading their Mack brand unit.

What is Roy saying? That under Volvo, the Mack brand has fallen and now requires “revitalizing”?

Roy says that Volvo plans to “re-launch” the Mack brand. That would infer the Mack brand has been off the market for a period.

“Starting this year, we’ll know when a truck comes into a dealership and when a truck leaves a dealership...........we’re able to transmit this information to other companies ”

Installing GPS tracking devices on all new trucks so that Volvo can follow you AND share that information with other companies sounds too much like the NSA to me. Who gave Volvo the authority to track the whereabouts of their customers?

sound's like "same shit, different day" to me!


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Mack was known for its vocational trucks very well. They were also a big producer of on-highway trucks especially since the time of the B-Model up until the demise of the R-Model. After that period I think they lost market share in both vocational and on hi-way sales.In the time period after the other manufacturers put more effort on selling their vocational market vehicles. Look at all the fleets that ran B and R-Models thru the years with great success. It appears to me that when manufacturers try to put products out there that are not proven thet get away with it for a little while until the bad reports come in. Look at International with their new engine it is out of production already and put them in dire financial straights.Joe D.

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" Execute" ? Wouldn't want to be on that team! You know how them foreigners are! One little disagreement with management and it's off with your head! :loldude: Course, maybe that's it takes to build a real truck again........ :whistling:

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i think we shoulld wait to judge mt roy and see what happens . maybe has seen the light and will invest in mack and mack can return to greatness. they deffinately need to be a player in the long haul trucking segment if they plan to increase market share.

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If his first thought is to worry about how we can fix more of them faster and not how we make them not need fixing, then he is not going to need any time to show how he will do. He will fail. Built like a Mack truck is what got Mack on the map and without the reliability and durability that the name was known for, they are just another me too truck.

I'd fire him on the spot for stupid statements like that. What a plan. Sure it makes sense to service the product but if you lead with how fast you can fix them you have missed the boat. Make them run, drive and make the owners money. Invest in the services yes but emphasis the quality!!! Seriously ignorant. "We build crappy turcks but we can turn them around for you real quick with more expensive parts you can't afford." Genious!

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I hate to admit it,but Mack hasn't REALLY stood behind their trucks in decades! I had to raise 7 kinds of hell with customer service over several warranty issues,i talked to some of the principles in person at MATS when the problems were current. It took some doing (on my part) but the problems were satisfactorily handled! It was the same issues many were having at the time (E-7 camshafts,coolant tanks,intermittent electrical shorts etc.) I told all involved that if Mack was not something I believed in,i wouldn't have bought FOUR new ones! "New" truck? of ANY make ? no thanks! when this one gives up the ghost,my next ride is gonna' be a re-built R-Model or maybe an MH.........the way things are today,no more new trucks for me! especially with all the electronic,EPA,DOT environmental bullshit!.....................Mark

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Mack Truck literate. Computer illiterate.

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Give the man a chance. At least two to three years. Then we can look back and see if he has done anything great. Its going to take all the organization not just one person to get market share back.

My friend, that's simply not how business works. We're not talking about the corner hardware store hiring a new kid for the plumbing section.

In three years time, an unqualified individual can cost a company billions in lost sales and mistaken strategies. This is why historically and for good reason, major companies typically hire "qualified" individuals to be presidents and/or CEOs.

The only reason I can think of here is that Roy, like Flaherty, is merely a puppet under Volvo. Ask Flaherty and he'll tell you that he had none of the powers that a president of the former Mack Trucks had so as to run the company. It was a demeaning joke, and he's glad to now be away from it in retirement.

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Sounds good-and I agree with others who say give the guy a chance. I still say, it will be a matter of time and the minute the economy REALLY tanks and things get tough, the bean counters in Sweden will ask the same old question....namely..." why do we have all this duplicated overhead?"

Remember guys-all of us "old Mack guys" are just that-and getting older. The older the customer base gets, the easier it is to make the case to have one truck brand.

Hope I'm wrong

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I have nothing against Mr. Roy personally. However after watching the interview below, it reinforces my feeling that he's not the least bit qualified to lead the Mack brand. He's merely speaking the script written and approved by Volvo (conceived by Dennis Slagle and Olof Persson).

True leaders of the truck industry that included the likes of Alfred Brosseau, Zenon C.R. Hansen, Henry Nave, Al Pelletier, John Curcio and Elios Pascual spoke from their hearts and minds, immediately earning your respect with their demeanor and in-depth knowledge of the truck business. Experienced and qualified, they were in their element and it was visibly evident.

But of course Volvo doesn't actually want a president, because Mack is now merely a brand name, and no longer a (American) company. They want a guy who will be a face for the Mack brand when duty calls, subserviently go with flow and obey the "Volvo Way". A junior Volvo corporate guy is all they need. And no doubt, Persson is thrilled that Roy's salary will be much smaller than Flahertys.


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I watched the clip and that is all good stuff. Is there more to it? Is more power, better fuel economy, greater durability and reliability on the radar anywhere? With all that the Fed is doing to keep the air clean, and all of the "progress" coming at the expense of fuel economy, the guy trying to make the bottom line work is in trouble. I'd be looking at solid technology to make it all work. The last thing I would be pushing is how well we fix our broken trucks...it is important but not the first thing to worry about.

That is my $0.02.


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