Michele Lombardi, the new CEO of CNH Industrial ANZ, has worked across the world – from Switzerland to India through to China – so it isn’t surprising that he hit the ground running on his arrival to Australia in December last year.
“To understand the market and our customers, I travelled for my first three months in Australia. I set off on the day I landed and travelled from Queensland to Western Australia visiting key agricultural regions to really get an insight into the industry and the challenges they are facing,” Michele says.
Michele has worked for CNH Industrial for 15 years, with many of these in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The last role I had was across all of the Asia-Pacific region so coming into Australia, with its mature market and strong operational, visionary conditions, has been really interesting. The customers here are more savvy, evolving very rapidly in regard to technology uptake. So, we have to adapt very quickly and understand how to support those developing needs,” he says.
Having worked in the industry for such a stretch and across so many countries (including setting up operations in Russia, India and Southeast Asia) has allowed Michele to observe how much the industry has changed in the last decade or so.
“The market has moved both from a geopolitical and economic perspective. New markets have opened that were previously completely closed.
“Another interesting change is the focus on sustainability. What is very interesting and which I appreciate a lot, is finding a solid drive towards sustainability. Until a couple of years ago, sustainability was only corporate language, but now it is a reality with a lot of people becoming more excited,” he says.
From his travels around Australia, Michele has noted that, while it is a strong market, the industry needs to stay closer to its customers than ever before and continue to adapt to their changing needs.
“The Australian market has experienced a couple of very strong years, but there is still room for growth. We are currently experiencing a very dry period across the country so we need to remain very close to our customers, understand what their needs are in these uncertain times and continue to upgrade our technology to match these requirements. I think we are all looking forward to the return of the rain,” he says.