Oct 6, 2017
Boating Industry Canada met with Jens Bering at IBEX 2017. Bering has recently been appointed to the executive team of Volvo Penta of the Americas as vice president, marine sales, and IBEX gave us an opportunity to hear more about what is happening at Volvo Penta.
Bering, who has 20 years of experience with Volvo Penta, will provide strategic direction for the company’s North America marine sales segment, with responsibility for both commercial and leisure marine sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
“Jens brings the breadth of experience to the role, having worked in engineering, sales and product management throughout his successful career with Volvo Penta,” said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas. “He is respected by employees, industry peers and customers alike, with a demonstrated record of bringing innovation to the marine market.”
Diesels and heavy equipment were in his world since childhood he told us. The Bering family sold trucks and heavy equipment in his native home of Denmark. “I grew up in a big sandbox,” Bering told us, and he described his role as dealing with customers and delivering trucks all over Europe. Clearly he has great enthusiasm for his heavy equipment! Bering also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Denmark’s Aalborg Technical Institute.
Bering began his career with Volvo Penta in 1997 as an applications engineer and then product management executive. Rising through the company with increasing responsibility, he was named to head the product management department in 2013. In this role, Bering supported sales meeting objectives, managed product pricing and profitability, created and conducted technical sales training and integrated new products into the Volvo Penta offerings.
A great example of this was his posting to Wisconsin to work directly with some key boat builders as an application engineer at the Marquis, Carver and Cruisers facilities in Wisconsin.
Bering called it “selling into a model” and his role as applications engineer was to work with the builder’s engineers to best integrate their new IPS drive systems into the yachts, even teaching some naval architecture and helping to optimize the boat’s running surface for IPS installations. The sales side was served through product development. Bering feels this is a great way to build on Volvo Penta’s reputation as product innovators.
Recently, the company introduced their latest IPS model, the 1350 with 1,000 hp D13 engines for yachts in the 65 foot range and larger. Volvo Penta also has introduced the very innovative Forward Drive that has spurred development of new Wake Surf boats from several major builders; Cobalt, Four Winns, Monterey, Regal, Chaparral and Canada’s Campion, to name a few. It’s almost opening up a whole new category of boats.
Then there is the recent acquisition of Seven Marine with their big displacement, high horsepower outboards. Bering emphasized that Seven Marine was to remain it’s own business unit but he also acknowledged that the V8 blocks were the same as blocks used in their stern drive and Forward Drive lines, so there is commonality there.
In fact, he mentioned the aspect of aftermarket support and the importance of these OEM relationships to Volvo Penta’s business. It might seem strange to have an applications engineer to head up sales but the selection of Jens Bering for this role seems just exactly what you would expect Volvo Penta to do.
We enjoyed our conversation with Jens Bering and look forward to seeing the next marine innovation from Volvo Penta.