Moving up, not moving on

After a record year for bus deliveries across Australia, Volvo Bus Australia’s General Manager David Mead has been given the nod from above – and that means promotion

Moving up, not moving on
Moving up, not moving on

By David Goeldner | December 16, 2010

Noted bus and coach industry identity David Mead will vacate his post as Volvo Bus Australia’s General Manager in April, moving upstairs to a new role – Volvo Bus Asia Pacific Region Director.

It’s been a big year for Mead and his Sydney-based team with Volvo Bus delivering a record 600 units in 2010.

"This was something a bit special which I don’t believe has been close to being achieved in the Australian market before," Mead says.

He leaves the GM’s position at a time when the Asian bus market is attracting increased attention from European OEMs.

In his new role, Mead will be looking more closely at the Asian bus market, identifying growth opportunities in the western Pacific rim, mainly in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and down through Oceania.

"We will look at markets to develop throughout that Asian area that may not be strong markets for Volvo at this point," Mead says.

He says south-east Asia already has ‘quite sophisticated’ bus systems.

"We certainly come across some different operating principles in this region and different contract models in countries where the fare box is still the source of revenue for the operator," Mead says.

"And obviously some countries have climatic conditions in terms of weather and humidity where products need to be adapted and understood."

He says his role will include brokering business where different cultures give rise to cultural sensitivities and different ways of doing business.

Previously from an agricultural machinery background, Mead says he has been fortunate to get a solid grounding in the bus industry through working within a sophisticated and mature Australian bus market.

Mead will take the Volvo Bus modus operandi to the Asia-Pacific Region Director’s role, focussing on distribution and dealer networks, and following through with Volvo’s strategy to keep the truck and bus divisions separate.

He says this approach recognises the different focus required to service bus customers.

"I don’t think that changes regardless of where we operate around the world," Mead says.

But Mead’s primary focus in the short term will be ensuring there is a solid handover to his successor in Australia, making sure the market is stabilised before getting too far into 2011.

"We are in the recruitment process now so the job is being advertised and we will go through a normal recruitment process to find the best person for the job," he says.

But Mead won’t be moving far, continuing to operate out of Sydney.

"I will still be here after April and that’s another thing that is most important – I’m not going to be far away and I will still pop up at the Australian events," he says.

"And I will still have responsibility for this market."

So it won’t be a case of moving on, but moving up.

"That’s an apt way to describe it," he says.

Mead takes up his new position on April 11.

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