By: Fabian Cotter

BREAKING: IVECO BUS AUSTRALIA was, is and will still be manufacturing buses in Australia, according to company leaders, despite industry rumours a globally directed “re-shuffle” would affect that capability.

According to Iveco Bus Australia, the departmental adjustments are part of a broader global initiative to “streamline Australian bus operations to more closely bring them into line with other markets.”

In a media statement issued today titled "IVECO Australia hones Bus operations", it states: "To better meet the ever-changing needs of bus customers, Iveco is making adjustments to its bus and coach operations, providing additional responsibility to National Bus manager Steve Heanes, while also increasing the involvement of the Iveco dealer network in its mini-bus program."

"The changes will see greater centralised management of the overall bus and coach business from Iveco’s Melbourne head office, and allows for Mr Heanes and his team to become more closely involved in product support functions, while also maintaining general oversight of the bus department as national manager."

In speaking to ABC magazine, Steve Heanes resolutely confirmed bus manufacturing will continue in Australia, essentially explaining any perceived industry perception this activity had stopped, or would stop, is unfounded.

"The only reason we may have been seen to have stopped producing buses is that we have inventory," said Heanes.

"We make in bulk, we did this mid-to-late last year, so we have stock.

"We won’t just make one bus, but minimum batches of about 10.

"The global restructure is still happening, who knows when it will end? The Acco (truck) is changing so it’s just a new model, next mode, a next generation," he said.



Iveco’s award-winning Daily Minibus will now be more accessible to prospective retail customers, with its dealer network given additional opportunity to, "…directly promote and market this exciting product range," the statement continued.

According to the document, the departmental adjustments are part of a broader global initiative to "streamline Australian bus operations to more closely bring them into line with other markets." 

A respected industry stalwart, Heanes has extensive experience in the truck and bus markets and is also the vice-chairman of the Bus Industry Confederation Council (BIC Council), it confirms.

Heanes says he looked forward to further strengthening his already close relationship with clients while playing a greater role – together with the product support team – in ensuring the ongoing performance of Iveco bus models for existing and prospective customers.

"For our customers the main change from these adjustments is that they’ll now be dealing more directly with Bus & Coach Area Service manager Victor Barrett and myself on all bus matters," he said.

"Insofar as the Daily minibus product is concerned, I’ll still be heavily involved in this area managing the dealer channel – we’re confident that these changes will result in an even higher customer experience for our bus owners.

"I’d like to thank all of our bus customers for their ongoing support of the Iveco brand and I look forward to continuing this partnership into the future."

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Iveco Australia manufactures and imports commercial vehicles spanning the light, medium and heavy-duty truck segments and, under the Iveco Bus brand, buses and coaches, it states.

Iveco’s Australian manufacturing base in Dandenong, Victoria, represents a major investment in the local truck and bus industry, it says. Iveco directly employs around 600 people nationwide and thousands more Australians in related industries, from retailing operations to component suppliers.

Iveco is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a world leader in capital goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI).

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