Our Thai contributor Chalakorn Setthabunnatat, known as Katch, went to the farewell party of Sascha Ricanek as he heads over to Japan to continue his work there.

“The future is forward” ....this was the statement of the event I had attended recently. It was the handover event for the past CEO of DCVT (Mr Sascha Ricanek, to my right) to the new CEO (Mr Stefano Giordani). The event started at 7 pm in a Chinese table setting Dealers, Investors, and many business partners came for the farewell of the old one and to welcome the new one. And of course, I joined as one of DCVT’s dealerships. This is why I also attended. The event begun with one representative from Daimler SEA giving the opening speech; he shared his belief that Daimler brands in Thailand still have big areas to grow and that he would like to support Thailand’s market together with DCVT.

Later on, the ex-CEO came, and the new CEO made an appearance on and so on…I wouldn’t talk in sequenced details but will jump to the summary and some take away from this event.

I have to admit that it seems like the past three years of Daimler brands in Thailand weren’t easy and kind of a bumpy road. It was everything new for the ex-CEO: the brand, the management, the products and the most important issue, the culture. From what I experienced working with him, he worked full of passion and dedication to his work and he faced a lot of challenge to breathe back new life to Fuso in the Thai market.

Moreover, with the new products, Fuso trucks that come with Mrecedes-Benz engine made it even more difficult in term of customer’s perception. Thai people got confused a lot about whether the product is a Japanese or German product. Thais used to remember and know Fuso several years as Japanese brand and once something changes, it needs some time for them to adjust, learn, and experience the product. And this I could say, requires a lot of hard work because time and experience aren’t something you couldn’t just wait for overnight to happen. However, DCVT came up with a good strategy: “Quality as German brand, but with the price of a Japanese brand”. This has been quite successful for trailer trucks with prices that are very attractive, while the quality of an engine could fill the gap of this categories perfectly where other brands don’t have it or aren’t aware of it. Therefore, the FUSO name came back to the market and attracted both new and old customer again.

He carried out so many projects and of course the results always turn out either of two ways: everybody is happy or nobody is happy at all. By “everybody” I mean all dealers, media, customers, and people that are involved with and are dealing with DCVT. One thing I learned from him is that he likes to challenge things; if something seems to be impossible, he will go for it. I think his spirit and belief is good to drive the baby Daimler in Thailand right from the start and I must say thank you for that.

And now is the time for “The Future is Forward”. The new CEO (Mr. Stefano Giordani) came on stage to give his speech. And there are few key take aways I remember, and I mean it, which is why I am always listening. One such thought is that “your success is our success”. These two things I really liked, and I think these are the most important points in his new position here in Thailand. With everything experienced in past three years, the lesson learned, and with strong support from Daimler’s Regional Center South east Asia, I have strong believe that something new will emerge and that there are changes about to happen for FUSO and Mercedes-Benz bus and truck in Thailand. We will only have to wait and see, and keep moving forward as the statement of this event encourages us to do.