UD Trucks Southern Africa is entering a new era with the appointment of a new managing director. Filip Van den Heede will be replacing Gert Swanepoel, who is retiring after 32 years with the company.
“It has been an incredible journey with UD Trucks, and it is truly the people and the relationships with customers and dealers that have made it worthwhile,” said Swanepoel. “It has been a privilege to be a part of the brand’s growth and development throughout the years, and I am excited about the future of UD Trucks in the region.”
Van den Heede has been involved in the trucking industry and the Volvo Group for the past 22 years and was previously Vice President of Vehicle Sales and Marketing for UD Trucks International Sales, which included responsibility for the southern African market. He has extensive experience in all aspects of the business, including aftermarket, business development, new product introductions and sales.
His appointment was effective 1 January 2020, while Swanepoel will fulfil a senior advisory role till the end of March this year.
“Last year was an extraordinary year for UD Trucks Southern Africa, as we launched three new model ranges in the region,” said Van den Heede. “Our customers now have access to an extensive model line-up, from medium to extra heavy commercial vehicles, backed by the company’s 58 years of experience in the local industry.”
He said customers remain the company’s core focus, and the reason behind the continued investment in new products and services.
“We have one of the most extensive dealer networks in the region, with 36 dealers and service agents in South Africa and 30 in other southern African countries like Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. As UD Trucks, we believe it comes down to the basics of supporting our customers every step of the way. To be there with professional service, parts and sales support throughout a truck’s lifecycle, and to keep on adding value to our customers’ businesses,” said Van den Heede.