Clive Jones has been involved with the Volvo Trucks brand for almost 20 years in a career underpinned by his life-long interest in the transport industry. Originally trained as a pilot, Clive moved away from professional flying to work in the high-pressure environment of flight operations.
Taking a break in the early 1990’s to drive trucks turned out to be a career-defining decision for Clive. He was given a brand-new Volvo FH12 420 Globetrotter and this kicked off his romance with the brand. By the time his FH hit one million kilometres on the clock, Clive’s enthusiasm had only intensified.
“Driving was a fantastic experience,” he said. “I spent around 10 to 14 hours a day in or around the truck and I loved it so much that I knocked on the door of the Volvo importer at the time, looking for a job selling the brand.”
Clive persisted with his ambition. After three visits to Titan Plant Services, they offered him a role that they had created for him – 50% driver training and 50% selling – based out of Wellington. “It was a fantastic opportunity. I knew the product intimately and loved it. One day I’d be in the cab with drivers, the next I’d be sitting across the desk from corporate leaders.”
Knowing the brand, it is perhaps unsurprising that Clive’s first customer (who bought an FH12 500 6x4 tractor unit in 2002) is still a Volvo customer today. Clive set about building his customer base, growing the territory and gaining momentum. Over time, his role within the business changed and Clive became National Sales Manager retaining this position through the changeover from Titan Plant Services to current New Zealand brand owners, Motor Truck Distributors (MTD). One thing that has remained unchanged throughout his involvement with the brand has been Volvo Trucks’ commitment to the New Zealand market – and the Volvo values of quality, safety and the environment.
“The Volvo Trucks brand brings with it a huge commitment to New Zealand customers. And this commitment is demonstrated through the people and culture behind the brand,” commented Clive. “The Volvo core value of quality goes beyond the actual product – it begins and ends with our people, their behaviour and how we conduct ourselves in bad times and in good.”
Enduring business relationships can be an anomaly in the cut-throat transport industry, but they feature strongly in the Volvo Trucks New Zealand business model where customer trust and confidence are paramount. “Mutual understanding brings mutual respect,” said Clive. “We support the success of our customers and they support the success of the Volvo brand. It helps that our leading salespeople are ex-technicians, drivers, mechanics. People who really know the product and understand the industry.”