Dennis Eagle savours a fresh Spanish flavour

The recent sale of Dennis Eagle to Spanish firm Ros Roca marks the beginning of a new era for the Warwick-based refuse vehicle manufacturer. Maxine Perella spoke to Dennis Eagle chief executive Mike Molesworth to find out more

It must be a busy time for you at the moment. How has the industry reacted to the news?
Yes, it has been a busy time. In terms of industry reaction, most people have expressed their opinion that Dennis Eagle and Ros Roca is an excellent combination. What's pleasing is that such comments have emanated from both our customers and competitors.

Dennis Eagle was sold to Ros Roca for an undisclosed sum, but some reports have put the sale figure at e150 million. Can you confirm this?
No, I'm not in a position to confirm this, as both organisations agreed throughout the whole process that a figure would not be disclosed.

Will there be any streamlining of the business at Dennis Eagle as a result of this sale, and ultimately, any job losses?
Absolutely not, and there will be no job losses as a result of the merger either. We are extremely optimistic that the coming together of Dennis Eagle and Ros Roca will present us with further sales opportunities, both at home and abroad.

As a combined force, the Dennis Eagle-Ros Roca operation will effectively become the number one player in Europe in regard to RCV production volumes. What do both companies bring to the mix?
Both companies, while having complementary products, actually have minimal geographic market overlap - therefore there is the prospect for both companies to enjoy the benefits of having access to a broader product range. From Dennis Eagle's standpoint, until now Ros Roca hasn't had access to our Elite chassis range for its European markets. Alternatively, they have a number of body products that we believe could complement our own.

You have stated that you want to develop Dennis Eagle into a leading international player. Outside of the UK, what are the key markets you will be targeting?
In terms of complete RCVs we aim to continue developing our presence throughout Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Bolstering chassis sales and narrow vehicle configurations will remain our focus across the whole of Europe. Outside of this, our export division has already enjoyed success by channelling its energies into exploiting market opportunities in India, China and the Middle East, so we aim to retain our focus in these areas. On a final note, we shipped two Elite chassis to New Zealand last year and as a result expect to secure additional orders.

Dennis Eagle currently has a manufacturing site in Warwickshire. Do you plan to set up additional manufacturing sites in the UK or overseas and if so, where?
No, we do not intend to establish additional manufacturing sites in the UK. Both our main manufacturing site in Warwick and our Elite cab production plant located in Blackpool has the capacity to accommodate expansion in production output.

How will customers in the UK benefit from Ros Roca's input? Will you be looking to restructure your UK operation in any way?
The board structure of Dennis Eagle will remain unchanged, with the majority of the decision making emanating from the management team who have been together now for six years. What's more, Ros Roca is keen to ensure that we continue to enjoy high levels of investment as a means of maintaining the impetus of our ongoing product development programme. It is my opinion that with their input we will see an acceleration in our development programme, which will mean an expanded product range for our customers.

Are there plans to extend the range of vehicles you offer in the UK, or to branch out into other municipal-related areas ?
We will continue to constantly review our development strategy, as would any successful organisation. We will, however, only introduce new products that were proven to deliver real benefits for our customers.

Will the Dennis Eagle name be rebranded?
Absolutely not - the reputation of the Dennis Eagle brand continues to go from strength to strength. Committing to a rebranding exercise would, in my mind, be tantamount to commercial suicide and would go against the basic fundamental principles of successful marketing. Ros Roca bought two other businesses in Europe in the early 90s, both of which still operate under their original names.

Lastly, how will your role change in the immediate future?
My role will continue to centre on the running of the Dennis Eagle business within the Ros Roca Group. I will also be actively involved in a number of international projects with Ros Roca, however the export and international arena is one where I have always had an active involvement.

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