Chris Whitehead has been appointed new managing director of DISA Equipment, operating as Doosan South Africa, the exclusive dealer for Doosan in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana. His appointment is effective 1 April 2016. Whitehead takes over from Rod Watson, a long-time MD of the company, who has since gone into retirement.
Speaking to Equipment Africa, Whitehead is thrilled with the challenge ahead to further develop the Doosan brand in his areas of jurisdiction. His main mission is to get the market to further understand “the quality of the Korean offering”, which is a very good balance between productivity, quality and pricing.
DISA Equipment already has over 2 500 machines operating in the market. Over the years, traditional big markets for the brand have always been general construction, plant hire and scrap handling. However, Whitehead believes the biggest opportunity moving forward is in the heavy ranges, targeting markets such as coal mining, rehandling of commodities and quarries. He is aiming to increase volumes in the larger excavator size classes and further build on the success of the Doosan DX520LCA. This will be complemented by the growing popularity of the 19-22t size class wheel loaders.
“In the short-term, we aim to keep the momentum going in the traditional general construction range. We aim to make some inroads in the larger excavator market in the medium term. In the long term, we also aim to move more of our articulated dump trucks,” says Whitehead. “I strongly believe we can deliver on these targets by creating a customer-centric organisation, as we continue working with customers to ensure mutual success.”
Whitehead joined DISA Equipment in January 2015 as national sales manager, a position he held until his appointment as MD. Prior to his DISA move, he had been an operations manager at Barloworld Equipment, where he spent a majority of his 25 year career in the capital equipment industry.