DAF Trucks Ready to Cope with Any Eventuality

With Covid-19 on the rise again and with Brexit looming, the transport industry is facing up to many challenges in the weeks and months ahead, but DAF Trucks say they are ready for just about anything.

Speaking to journalists online recently, DAF Trucks Managing Director Laurence Drake said they were ‘as prepared as we can be to cope with just about every eventuality.’

He added: “The DAF network were fantastic throughout the lockdown, maintaining roadside assistance support, parts deliveries and maintenance cover – as well as providing emergency support for critical services. Our dealers and the support teams behind them are great exemplars for dealing with challenges to keep trucks on the road.

“Just over six months ago, meeting you all virtually would have been considered unthinkable but as I’m sure you will all agree the world has very much changed. Indeed, arranging meetings now are around how to hold the meeting and on what platform, be it on Teams, Zoom, Goto Meeting, Face time or even just a call on a mobile for old times’ sake. So there is a lot being said about finding a new normal although I think all of us struggle with the lack of face to face and social interaction.”

In September Laurence Drake marked 20 years with DAF, and a year on from assuming the role as Managing Director. “It’s fair to say that the last year has brought with it some of the most turbulent times seen a generation and definitely made my new role a challenge, managing through intangible problems with unknown scenarios. Going into 2020, I thought I’d have a hard enough time managing, though Brexit and yet three months into the year this quickly disappeared out of all thought as we encountered a global pandemic.

Market Size

“With the advent of lockdown and the economic environment we found ourselves in, it is no wonder that there was an impact on the total market size that we now estimate will end up around 32,000.This is about 18% down on our initial 2020 forecast but we have seen a reasonably V-shaped recovery underpinned by strong demand from most, but not all sectors.

“Our labour hours are back to pre-covid levels and parts sales for the year will be within touching distance of last year’s number which was a record. So the business has performed well and the threat of a no deal and consequences of tariffs are currently stimulating truck sales activity at present.”

More in the next  issue of Export & Freight