Caterpillar coup for Gough Group
Ubiquitous heavy machinery company Caterpillar is moving into the full truck market and the Christchurch-based Gough Group has picked up the exclusive dealership in New Zealand.
New Zealand is the fourth country Caterpillar has introduced its road trucks to, behind Australia, South Africa and the United States.
The American-based Cat engines have been sold and serviced in New Zealand since the 1960s, however a complete bumper to bumper truck, straight from the production line was a new phenomenon.
Cat partnered with American truck manufacturer Navistar to create the Cat Truck and stopped selling its engines for use in other trucks.
The trucks sell for about $250,000 each.
Gough Group chief executive Karl Smith said the company had been through a tough process to win the rights to market the on-highway Cat Truck.
"They give you the dealership and they have the right to withdraw the dealership with 90 days notice at any time. The Gough Group, through thick and thin, has had it [the service and support contract] for 80 years. They expect you to perform and if you don't, they take it."
Gough had "double-digit" numbers of pre-orders for the trucks and hoped to secure more with a road tour of the two Cat Trucks throughout the country over the next few weeks. It will arrive in Christchurch on April 26.
Gough's truck sales centre would be based in Auckland, as Smith expected most of the demand to come from the "golden triangle" between Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.
Gough was putting millions into the sales dealership and aimed to quickly become one of the top players in the bumper to bumper truck industry, he said.
"We will be building several new showrooms and investing in our existing branches with new pits, hoists, monitoring equipment and tooling, as required."
Gough has 18 service centres nationwide, and intends to build four more, however Smith would not say where.
The group employs more than 850 people with 50 centres across New Zealand and Australia and turns over about $400 million annually.
- © Fairfax NZ News