5 minutes with Mark Barrett, General manager at Harris Maxus

08 July 2021 #Uncategorised

TNB speaks to General manager at Harris Maxus, Mark Barrett, who talks about what the CV Show means to Maxus and about how fleets are making a commercial decision to go electric

Are you looking forward to the CV Show?
Very much so. The show is the highlight of our calendar and is an opportunity to meet with colleagues from our dealer network, the media as well as other manufacturers and suppliers in the automotive industry.

What will you be looking to achieve at the show?
We will be looking to build on what has been a good 2021 so far for Maxus. Currently in the UK we are up 400% on orders compared to last year with the percentage of EV registrations at 46%. We are looking to carry out more business at the event and talk to potential customers about the rapid growth of our dealer network. A total of nine new dealer groups have come on board in the past few months including Rygor and Brindley Group. We are in discussions with another three or four and want to reach a figure of between 50 and 55 dealers in the UK .

What products will you have on display at the CV Show?
We have made the decision to go just electric for the CV Show this year. On display will be our eDeliver range with different battery options and chassis cab versions. Our old LDV platform (the marque rebranded to Maxus last year) was dated but we have a new platform and a van that looks of this age. There is now a broader range of product and respect for the brand has grown a lot. The fact that we are also backed by a strong owner in SAIC also sends out the message that we are here to stay.

How important is the message of electrification at the CV Show?
At the CV Show we want to outline to potential customers that we can supply electric vans in large volumes, supply them quicker than some of the other manufacturers, and provide different options on the battery range. Recently we have had big orders for electric vans, for example DPD ordered hundreds of eDeliver vehicles. During the first lockdown, people noticed how clean the air was with less traffic on the road, but more home deliveries. The white van world has changed and now demands bigger batteries and a larger range and we are tapping into that demand for EVs. A few years ago EVs were seen as green trophies, bought by businesses as a PR exercise, but now that’s not the case.
Things like low emission zones have placed a lot of focus on the environment and governments have also made the correct policy decisions to encourage the uptake of EVs.

What future plans does Maxus have?
The shelf life of diesel is coming to an end, and it is possible that our range will be fully electric in two to three years’ time. Longer term we are looking at introducing new products, for example a range of fully electric heavy duty tractor units up to 18 tonnes, a roadsweeper and a city bus.

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