Kevin Dennis Defines a New Dimension
“No one should be in any doubt that what we have now at Cat® trucks is just the tip of the iceberg,” says an adamant Kevin Dennis, managing director of Cat Trucks Australia and New Zealand. “The new CT630S is certainly an exciting and critical development for Cat Trucks in this country, but it is also the spearhead of a bold and expanded range of models planned for the Australian market.”
Speaking in Melbourne at the introduction of the CT630S to Australia’s road transport media, Kevin Dennis explained, “B-doubles are a core segment of this country’s road transport business and the ‘S’ puts us where we want to be, right in the thick of the market. It’s a model tailored specifically to Australia’s operational and regulatory requirements, and will be a cornerstone of our business.
“However, as exciting and essential as this new model is to us, our dealers and customers, the CT630S is definitely not the only new development you will see from Cat this year and beyond.
“There are, of course, some new product plans that for the moment must remain confidential but rest assured, there will be a few surprises.
“For now though, I can at least confirm that later this year our range will be further expanded with the launch of a specialist heavy-duty model. In fact, I can also confirm that we already hold retail orders.
“Like the CT630S, this new model is being developed for specific segments of the Australian market; in this case, heavy haulage and roadtrain roles at gross weights up to 130 tonnes. It will be powered by the proven performance and fuel efficiency of the Cat C15 engine, but obviously with a suitably beefed up chassis and drivetrain to suit the higher gross weights and the unique demands of roadtrain work.
Kevin Dennis joined Cat Trucks in May 2013 as general manager of sales and marketing, and on January 1 this year succeeded Bill Fulton as managing director.
Acknowledging the vital contribution of his predecessor, Kevin commented, “Bill Fulton’s role in the early evolution of Cat Trucks in this country should not be under-estimated. The stability and professionalism he created were based on sound business principles and provided the foundation we are now building on. His passion for the brand and its products is absolute.
“As for my appointment, the timing was ideal for both Bill and myself.”
At 49 years of age, Kevin Dennis comes to Cat Trucks with an impressive background derived from extensive experience in senior positions around the world with major truck and engine brands. Starting with the Perkins engine company in the UK – ironically, now owned by Caterpillar – he joined Detroit Diesel Corporation in 1994 under the leadership of automotive icon Roger Penske, holding various management and executive roles in the UK, Scandinavia, Africa and the US. Late in 2007 he joined Daimler Trucks North America, heading all export business for Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star before joining MTU Detroit Diesel Australia in 2010.
“Australia is now home,” Kevin says. “This is where my wife and I have settled.”
On the future for Cat Trucks in Australia and New Zealand, it is a forthright Kevin Dennis who insists, “The opportunities for Cat Trucks are huge. Sure, it has been a challenging start in some respects. Launching an entirely new brand of truck in a market as demanding and competitive as Australia takes time and careful planning. In some respects, it has also been a case of working in uncharted waters.
“From here on we know exactly where we want to take this business and there’s a great ‘can do’ attitude that stretches from here to Navistar in the US. In many ways, our future starts now and we have a totally dedicated and capable group of people committed to the success of Cat Trucks in Australia and New Zealand.
“Each of us knows we are custodians of an incredibly powerful brand that combines the strength and massive resources of Cat and Navistar. The arrival of the CT630S not only gives us a vital new model, it also marks the point where we become a serious player in the Australian market. This is the point where we really start to build the business.
“Australian road transport is a hugely challenging industry. But whether the public, the politicians or the mainstream media fully appreciate it, it is also the lifeblood of this country.
“At Cat Trucks we are part of that lifeblood and it is our intention to be a bigger part. A much bigger part,” Kevin Dennis concluded.