Martin Connolly, the ex-URight executive who was most recently in charge of Imer Group's worldwide dealer development programme, has taken on the task of creating a new network using existing Iteco dealers, Imer representatives and new partners.
"Where there has been a relationship [with Iteco], we will go in and see how strong that relationship was. Sometimes we will marry the two dealers [Iteco and Imer], where appropriate", he told AI, speaking at SAIE.
In the six weeks following the announcement of the Iteco acquisition, Mr Connolly has already made some key decisions. In Germany Beatrix Hermann's Lift-Up business has taken on a dealership role in Germany, adding five service locations to Iteco's existing network of six service agents in the country. Mr Connolly said Imer would see if further representation was still required in Germany.
Responsibility for the French operation has witched from Iteco France to Imer France, and some but not all of Iteco's staff in the country have switched to the new company. In the UK, Mr Connolly said Imer was currently assessing its representation and chose not to comment directly on Alan Russon's future involvement.
Imer will also look to leverage the dealership contacts it has through its sister division, IHIMER, the European joint venture between IHI and Imer covering earthmoving equipment.
Mr Connolly said his next priorities will be to establish representation in the Nordic region as well as the Middle East. North America is not on the agenda yet. Corrado Conti, who was export sales manager for Iteco, remains at the company and will be responsible for managing some of the Iteco sales subsidiaries.
Meanwhile, the Lem ‘Spider' machines now being sold by IHIMER (and assembled by Platform Basket) will also be available through the Iteco network, said Mr Connolly; "They will be available through IHI group companies in Europe, but also through Iteco distribution."
Imer is intent of transforming Iteco from a relatively niche access player into a mainstream supplier. To this end, the company is planning to further develop its range of machines, with larger models planned, for example. "The product range will grow", said Mr Connolly.