Kolja Rebstock is an easy-going individual with a ready smile and a passion for learning about his new environment, but he is acutely aware this can be a tough market and he is looking forward to meeting challenges head-on.
Kolja’s list of credentials is extensive, beginning his career at Deutsche Aerospace AG, in Friedrichshafen, Germany and in 1993 graduating with a Diploma of Engineering (materials science) from the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen, Germany.
From 1994 to 1996 at Deutsche Aerospace AG he was Doctoral candidate and Group Manager of the X33 Development Team and from the end of 1996 until September 1999 he headed up materials research with the company. Life took a run in the fast lane when he was manager of materials research and project lead development of the ceramic brake disc for McLaren/Mercedes-Benz SLR at the Daimler Benz AG Research Centre in Ulm Germany and he then moved into a role as Senior Manager heading up methods of industrial engineering at the centre.
2001 and 2002 saw him in the role of Senior Manager – Executive Assistant to the head of product engineering and member of the board of Mercedes-Benz and Smart product engineering at Sindelfingen, Germany.
His career took another turn when between January 2003 to July 2004 Kolja was Senior Manager – Head of Testing for Mitsubishi Motors in Japan, followed by a period spanning July 2004 to December 2005 where he was employed as Director – Head of Testing, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation, Japan with about 750 employees under the company umbrella.
Kolja went on to become Director and head of technical after-sales and product management of Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles from January 2006 until February 2011 when he was appointed to his current position.
A position in Australia was something he was keen to take up, saying the market here is challenging and diversified and extremely important to the Daimler brands.
“Australia is probably different to all parts of the world. It has a huge number of transport applications serviced by a large number of vehicle brands, everybody is here,” he smiles.
“This is a very important market for all of our truck brands and we are very much aware that to be successful you have to be able to service the requirements of all customers and have a comprehensive understanding of their unique requirements.
“Our truck brands are successful in the marketplace and this is due to our commitment to continually working with customers to ensure we meet those needs and give them exactly what they want.
Since his arrival in the country, Kolja has been a man very much on the move to investigate all sectors of the market, his travels taking him to all parts of Australia where he has taken the opportunity to talk with customers and discuss individual applications.
“As I said this market is completely different to all others and there is much to learn across all sectors of transport. We have a range of trucks to meet every need and that is important to not only our company, but the people who use our products. We have improved market share every year since 2008 and we will see that continue, strengthening our position in the Australian truck market,” Kolja reinforces.
He also took part in the recent Mercedes-Benz drive program held in Queensland and even took a number of stints in trucks in all combinations including a B-double, during the event.
“The Mercedes-Benz drive program has given me the opportunity to talk to a lot of customers. This event has been extremely well attended and I really appreciate the participation of everybody who took part. Safety is vital across every aspect of road transport and this gives us a chance to show the very latest in technology advancements available across the Mercedes-Benz range plus of course it allows us to demonstrate power, comfort and handling of our trucks.”
Kolja is rapidly coming to grips with our unique market. He has made it a priority to do so and will continue to look into every facet of the market.
Kolja is married with two children, and all members of his family have relocated to Melbourne. Kolja is a keen photographer who enjoys taking his camera outdoors into the natural environment and he points out this country has been a great subject for his photographic skills. Other interests include taking part in sports such as running and cycling, but to date his busy schedule has allowed little time to enjoy those athletic pursuits.