NOTHING VENTURED

Massimiliano Perri:

We are going to expand our presence in Russia

The Italian company Iveco is quite unique for the Russia (now belongs to the multinational CNH Industrial). It entered the Russian market almost 40 years ago, and continues to successfully develop today. Back on the 1970s, Iveco started supplying its powerful trucks for what was referred to as “the construction project of the century” - the Baikal-Amur Mainline. Now, the company carries out a much wider range of activities in Russia. We sat down to talk about the company with Massimiliano Perri, Business Director of Iveco in Russia.

In the spring of this year, the territory of the former retro car museum at Rogozhsky Val opened a new museum called “Moscow Transport.” The collection is based on cars, trucks, passenger transport and special technology - 300 exhibits in total. A lot of these models are the only examples left over from the past.

Public transport is represented by several dozen legendary buses and trolleys from the past, including the first Moscow bus ZIS-8, the famous ZIL-158 and the most popular bus of the 20th century, the LiAZ-677.

The museum’s exhibits, of course, don’t include Iveco’s passenger minibus, the Iveco Daily, which has recently appeared on the city streets. However, it seems like this is the model that will become a symbol of Moscow’s 21st century public transport! In any case, Muscovites really like this bus, which is painted a soft blue color. It is comfortable, spacious, and, most importantly - is sufficiently sturdy for Russian roads, which aren’t always the smoothest.

Massimiliano Perri, who heads up Iveco in Russia, can be truly proud of this elegant model made by the Italian company in cooperation with Russian manufacture company “Nizhegorodetz”. This is what Massimiliano said over a cup of strong coffee during our conversation.

Tell us please about your cooperation with the Moscow City Government. As far as we know you've already supplied the city with 220 minibuses. What’s next?

- That’s not quite right - this year we supplied almost 500 minibuses for the Moscow City Government. It's a unique product that is built in Russia and corresponds to all safety and emissions regulations. Each bus is equipped with a device for people with reduced mobility, so we believe that it will change the passenger experience and provide a new level of accessibility for people with disabilities. We look forward to 2017 with optimism, as we have a unique offer in the 6-8 ton bus segment, providing the full range of safety features and high durability.

Our meeting with Mr. Perri took place in the company’s office in Moscow, which is located inside one of the high-rise buildings in the business center on Leningradskoye Highway. Although Massimiliano only recently moved to this office, he feels very confident here, just like he does in Moscow. The Russian capital has long become a cosmopolitan city that has everything that you can find in every other major city in the world. Perri doesn’t even miss Italian food here, and not only because there are a ton of great Italian restaurants in Moscow. “It’s just that when I’m abroad, I like to try the local food,” he says, smiling.

However, Perri’s confidence extends beyond the fact that he is comfortable in Moscow. The main reason is Iveco’s success in Russia, which is no coincidence. Perri is an experienced manager who knows everything there is to know about Iveco because he has almost twenty years of experience with the company. In other words, the heads of Iveco, which is headquartered in Turin, knew full well who they should send as their representative to Russia.

Massimiliano started his career in 1998, as an employee of the Astra division, which specialized in the manufacture of heavy trucks and heavy machinery. From 2001 to 2003, he was in charge of the logistics department for spare parts at Iveco in France. After, Perri headed up the customer service department in Poland and stayed there in 2004. He then moved back to Italy, where he was in charge of purchasing parts for the manufacture of commercial vehicles. In 2007, Perri moved to Australia, once again as head of the customer service department. In 2010, he started to oversee 30 European and Asian markets, including Russia.

Prior to his arrival in Moscow at the end of 2015, Massimiliano Perri was the General Director of Iveco in Poland, developing their product and service portfolios. Speaking of his new appointment, Perri says: “I am glad to head up Iveco in Russia. It’s a very interesting experience, considering that in 2010 and 2011 I worked closely with our Russian colleagues regarding customer service issues. We plan to expand our presence on the market, regardless of the current economic climate. I am sure that we will be able to strengthen our positions thanks to the great quality of the products and services we offer.”

“Quality” is the key word here. The thing is that, according to Perri himself, Iveco has a lot of competition in Russia from leading domestic manufacturers, which account for 75 percent of the market.

So how do you look good on the market under these conditions?

“We leverage on the quality of our trucks, and, accordingly, the search for niche markets that are a good fit - the search for niche goods that nobody else can provide. Moreover we believe that our product line-up perfectly fit the needs of large national corporations, where the quality and cost effectiveness of the products are fundamental” he says. According to him, the microbus we already discussed is one of such niche products, as well as the joint Russian-Italian venture Iveco-AMT, which is located in Miass, Chelyabinsk Oblast. “This enterprise,” Perri explains, “doesn’t manufacture standardized vehicles. Aside from the large portion of localization, the plant almost never makes two vehicles that are exactly alike.” The vehicles are made specially for specific customers who have specific requirements. There isn’t another manufacturer like this in Russia.

But Perri doesn’t plan to stop here. It seems that his mind is always preoccupied with figuring out how to improve Iveco’s operations in Russia: “We are looking into different options for upgrading Iveco-AMT. We are figuring out what kinds of investments we will need to increase our plant capacities. Right now, our level of localization already exceeds 50%. For some products, the level of localization can reach 60-70%. They are almost fully Russian vehicles.”

Has the crisis affected company operations?

“Yes,” Massimiliano says, “right now, our primary concern is figuring out how to improve after sales services to our clients”. In order to ensure this, Iveco has recently opened a new spare parts warehouse in the Moscow region and is developing various service programs for client support. A key aspect for the company is, of course offering exclusive products to corporate clients. Iveco offers high quality trucks, which deliver an extremely competitive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Thanks to the reliability of our products, fuel efficiency and safety we can provide solutions to our clients which minimize the costs of owning and operating truck or commercial vehicles. Moreover, the majority of the newly supplied trucks are usually sold to leasing. “Right now,” Perri said, “we are cooperating with several companies and are constantly looking for the best offers for our clients.”

Note from Capital Ideas:

Iveco is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). Iveco designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, off-road trucks, and vehicles for applications such as off-road missions.

The brand’s wide range of products include the Daily, a vehicle that covers the 3 – 7 ton vehicle weight segment, the Eurocargo from 6 – 19 tons, the Trakker (dedicated to off-road missions) and the Stralis, both over 16 tons. In addition, the Iveco Astra brand builds off-road trucks, rigid and articulated dumpers as well as special vehicles.

Iveco employs close to 21,000 individuals globally. It manages production sites in 7 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America where it produces vehicles featuring the latest advanced technologies. 4,200 sales and service outlets in over 160 countries guarantee technical support wherever an Iveco vehicle is at work.

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