Interview with Dipl. Ing. Herbert Poellinger

Rosenbauer’s Area Manager for Asia, the Pacific, Australia, and China

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Interview mit DI Herbert Poellinger

Area Manager Asia, Pacific, Australia, China bei Rosenbauer

Mr. Poellinger, you have been working on the PANTHER since hour one. What did it feel like to present the new PANTHER 24 years later at Interschutz 2015?

It is actually incorrect that I was there from hour one with the first PANTHER; I joined the company in 1992, at which point the 8×8 prototype had already been completed for one year. I was there basically when the first delivery was made to Geneva. Peter Scheer, someone who has truly been there since hour one, and my very first colleague, showed me the vehicle for the first time. I was young and a fresh university graduate, so it was very impressive to experience. I became really familiar with the PANTHER when I went to Japan just a few weeks after I was hired for the first 6×6 project. The new Kansai Airport in Osaka ordered two vehicles from us and I was primarily responsible for implementing the Japanese tests and certifications. I had to dive right into the details! My passion for this work and fascination with the PANTHER has not wavered all of these years. Which is why Interschutz 2015 was something truly phenomenal. After all, I was part of the project management team for development and, naturally, you almost tear up a bit reflecting on all of the hard work of the engineers and the production staff when the curtain was officially drawn and the masterpiece was there on stage.

What is the most exciting PANTHER order you have ever experienced?

When I joined sales in 1999 and was solely responsible for selling the PANTHER in the USA for two years, there were many interesting and sometimes absolutely crazy situations. For example, the first delivery of a PANTHER to Iraq in 2005. Rather than using conventional overland routes to deliver the vehicle, it had to be flown from Aqaba to Baghdad with an Illushin 76 cargo jet. DHL was the transport provider and so a DHL delivery sticker was adhered to the PANTHER. Surely the largest DHL package Rosenbauer has ever sent! Or the delivery of a PANTHER to Kathmandu in Nepal, which no shipping company wanted to take on. So one of our service technicians, Rudi Markt, took matters into his own hands and delivered the PANTHER himself from Calcutta to the Himalayas, delivering the ordered PANTHER on time. There are many great stories…

What sort of feedback on the new PANTHER are you getting from customers?

Everyone is really impressed. The emphasis on vehicle evolution instead of revolution has gone over extremely well. The response to the balanced design and the quality, in particular, which has improved through the industrial processing of the PANTHER, has been especially positive – not only from our customers, but also our competitors. The general overall tone: “Rosenbauer has raised the bar once again by leaps and bounds!”


Which airport will be the first to use the new PANTHER?

The PANTHER was on display for mere moments before interest started pouring in from many airport fire departments. The first customer, and only by 30 minutes, was Changi Airport in Singapore with a Panther 6×6 with HRET. On the same day and like I said, just 30 minutes later, we received an order from Qatar for five PANTHER 6x6s and a PANTHER 4×4. Since June over 70 PANTER have been sold.