Last year was "the greatest year Peterbilt ever had, and this year will be our toughest challenge since 1991," Dave Rutman, general sales manager told the company's dealers recently. "We're in an all out war."
Speaking to a gathering of Peterbilt's top salespeople, Rutman borrowed liberally from the speech General Patton made to his troops before leading them into battle. Rutman told his field force: "We're going to supply you with ammunition and training so we can advance constantly and hold on to nothing but the enemy."
His remarks were made during Peterbilt's Winner's Circle event, held in late February at a new resort in Henderson, NV, outside Las Vegas.
Rutman announced that Peterbilt's goal is to aggressively grow market share 10.2% of Class 8 in 1999) to be number one in all the markets its serves. A particular emphasis focus is the owner-operator market.
"We are confident that together, we can achieve this," he said. "We're geared up, well-equipped and motivated."
The Winner's Circle recognizes Peterbilt dealer salespeople and managers who meet their annual sales and professional development objectives. Additional incentives are offered, such as a diamond-studded gold achievement ring that is awarded to those selling more than 115 units per year. This year, 165 salespeople achieved the recognition. The Winner's Circle event has been held annually since 1992.
The company hopes to build and sell nearly 40,000 heavy and medium duty trucks in 2000 by continuing to help its dealers grow and capitalize on business opportunities. Peterbilt plans to add dealer locations to its current 206-store network in the U.S. and Canada so that it has 80% coverage, or within an hour ride or less for all customers. But the growth will be through dealers, not truckstops.
Among the initiatives Peterbilt is undertaking to helps its dealers and salespeople attain its goals, is enhancement of its parts and service programs. More services and options are being added to Peterbilt's TruckCare total customer support programs. Soon to come are additional QuickCare services, which at present are QuickLube and Quick A/C. These are routine services done within one hour, consistent across Peterbilt's service network, at standardized pricing.
Being planned are new services for engine cooling systems, brakes, electrical (charging) systems, trailers/fifth wheels and inspection ride control/shocks.
Peterbilt's Customer Assistance program was recently brought in-house and its services expanded to encompass more than just emergency roadside assistance. Among other things, it can now handle technical support, priority scheduling of maintenance services and help with warranty administration.
Also being upgraded with more features and benefits is the Peterbilt TruckCare Fleet Services Card. Intended for fleets of five or more trucks, the card offers operating cost controls, central billing and a host of truck support services, including, permits, fuel, tires and parts.
Peterbilt is in the process of setting up a priority PM service program, similar to its QuickCare services program. Several levels of preventive maintenance services will be offered, each with a fixed price and consistent service across the dealer network.
Meanwhile, Paccar Financial is developing a host of new financing and lease programs to give Peterbilt dealers more opportunities to earn truck deals. It has added more field people and recently started using a new online system to speed the turnaround time for finance and lease quotes, credit checks, inquiries, etc.