Marius Barnard, Babcock’s new managing director for the company’s Transport Solutions business, is gearing up to further entrench the DAF Trucks brand in southern Africa, exclusively distributed by Babcock in the region.
With an illustrious career in commercial vehicle sales spanning over 25 years, Barnard aims to build on the success that Babcock has achieved in establishing the DAF Trucks brand in southern Africa over the past decade, and will be focusing on enhancing Babcock’s aftersales service and customer support. This people-orientated approach echoes Babcock’s business ethos, and reflects the company’s reputation of being trusted to deliver.
Despite numerous accolades, including five consecutive Dealer of the Year awards, over 20 category awards, and a coveted Chairman’s Award, Barnard remains humble and willing to learn, maintaining that not always having the answers should be seized as an opportunity for growth.
Individual egos have no place in his grounded approach to business that emphasises teamwork and peer-to-peer collaboration. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you are not concerned about who gets the credit,” he says.
Marius adds that personal interactions are his strength, and this was an influential factor in his decision to start the next chapter of his career at Babcock. “I was drawn to Babcock’s personal approach to their customers and their people-orientated values, as well as the Babcock International Group’s global footprint and premium brands.”
Barnard began his career in the commercial vehicle industry in 1994 at the Barloworld group, moving from a sales executive role to holding various senior management positions. In 2007, he was appointed dealer principal and general manager of a major truck and vans franchised dealer group within Barloworld.
Most recently he held the position of fleet executive for Barloworld Transport, where he was responsible for the total cost of ownership of Barloworld Transport’s fleet of vehicles, including commercialisation, procurement and disposal, group workshops, group tyres, Road Transport Management (RTMS) and Performance-Based Standards (PBS) accreditation, technical, compliance and group fuel.
Barnard says he intends to grow Babcock’s Transport Solutions business organically through honesty and accuracy, and by building on the business’s already established support network. This straight-forward and candid approach also supports Babcock’s core business values which highlight integrity, a passion for excellence, continuous improvement, valued employees, and inspiring trust and confidence in customers.
“In a service business such as Babcock, it’s the people who really make a difference in how the company is perceived. Satisfied customers are strong market tools, and word-of-mouth goes far in helping you sell a product,” he comments.
Other values that Barnard says have held him in good stead over the years, and which he plans to instil in his new position at Babcock, include:
- Keeping existing customers loyal by providing consistent service and clear, open lines of communication
- Always working to the best of one’s ability
- Drawing in new business through a customer-centric approach
- Attracting new customers by being the brand’s biggest fan.
Babcock Transport Solutions is the sole importer and distributor of DAF Trucks, parts and services across southern Africa, and this year celebrated 10 years of growth and development in the brand. Recognised globally as premium commercial vehicle manufacturers, Babcock is wholly committed to representing DAF Trucks, not only through sales, but also offering supporting infrastructure, flexible finance options and comprehensive aftersales service.
These include an extensive regional network of sales and support centres, first-class availability of parts, 24-hour emergency assistance 365 days of the year, and overall total transport solutions designed to maximise earnings per kilometre.
Tailor-made repair and maintenance contracts are also available for DAF Truck owners from Babcock Financial Services, that offer an extensive range of competitive financing options such as legal structures, payment-free periods, terms, interest rates, balloon payments, residual values and quick decisions for credit approvals.