INCREASED INVESTMENT AS
Scania Committed as Market Gears up for 2010
Scania South Africa, the local arm of the Swedish trucking giant, is gearing up for the imminent boom in the construction, tourism and other industries ahead of the Soccer World Cup in 2010 with the launch of a multi-million rand investment programme.
This is the word from MD Ulf Grevesmühl, who says Scania is increasing its investment in South Africa and is upgrading service and support facilities at many Scania-owned depots country-wide.New facilities will be added.
"It’s an on-going success story," he says. "We now have a fully integrated, wholly owned operation – from assembly plant to sales and support depots.
"We take full responsibility for all Scania products sold in southern Africa from within our own organisation.
"In line with this, Scania has recently refurbished its Durban depot, bringing its service facilities up to the latest standards, and added more service bays at its service centre in Cape Town to meet growing demand in the region.
"More importantly, we have added a new service facility at Middelburg as well as a brand new flag-ship installation on the East Rand which is geared to support both our truck and bus divisions," he says.
This activity is necessary, according to Grevesmühl, because of the increasing sales of Scania products in the southern African region.
"Sales of our heavy duty trucks are up by around 20% in 2006 against the 2005 mark, while our Bus Division continues to do excellent business in rural areas as well as in the luxury coach arena."
He singles out Scania’s Marine and Industrial Engine Division for high praise, as it doubled its 2005 sales figures in 2006. In addition to its traditional generator market, Scania engines are increasingly favoured by South African ship builders and refurbishers.
The export market is also buoyant for Scania with sales continuing to climb, particularly in daughter companies in Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania. View ahead Grevesmühl has a ‘bullish’ outlook on the local market. "The high fuel costs will force transport operators to review the make up of their fleets. There will be an increasing urgency to replace old generation trucks and buses with more modern fuel efficient units.
"The economic upturn ahead of 2010 will assist companies to make these decisions." Looking further afield, Grevesmühl says upward pressure on global precious metal markets – gold and uranium for example - will have a positive impact on southern Africa which is rich in these resources.
Against this backdrop, Scania is extending its range to address South Africa’s burgeoning construction, mining and distribution/ logistics industries.
In addition to the latest in Scania’s traditional long haul, heavy duty truck tractors, Scania has taken the wraps off a new tipper truck - powered by a 322 hp, 11-litre, six-cylinder Euro 2-compliant engine. It has also launched a new nonarticulated freight carrier based on Scania’s P94 (6x2) chassis. This unit is powered by a 9-litre, sixcylinder, 270 hp engine. Both models will be assembled in South Africa at Scania’s Aeroton plant.
"The two new trucks have been specified for duty in Southern Africa," says Grevesmühl who emphasises their rugged construction and proven reliability in harsh operating environments.
In addition to the South African market, the trucks will also be supplied, serviced and supported by Scania operations in Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and the southern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The local heavy duty market remains a competitive arena, according to Grevesmühl: "Scania operates in 120 countries and is used to dealing with competition from all corners of the globe. South African operators face the same problems and challenges as do their international counterparts. It is our job to keep them abreast of developments and assist them to make appropriate and correct buying decisions.
"For example, it is important for the operator to consider the reliability and quality of the vehicle to be purchased – as well as manufacturer support.
"We firmly believe that operational costs over the lifespan of the vehicle must be taken into account – and not simply the price – when making a buying decision."
Scania is on the constant look out for additional staff to meet its growth targets. With this in mind, both academic as well as practical training programmes are presented to young candidates, many of whom arrive at the Scania Technical Training Centre in Aeroton as school leavers.
In addition, life skills and social upliftment projects in support of Scania’s commitment to the workplace are also features of the curriculum. Scania’s recently launched HIV awareness and prevention programme is a good example of this.
All students are trained to international standards in accordance with the guidelines of the Scania Productivity System (SPS) which places added emphasis on operational safety.
Many Scania-trained students also find employment in the local transport, manufacturing and supporting industries where they are seen as a valuable resource.
In 2006 Scania placed added emphasis on its organisation structure as part of a plan to revitalise the company. This strategy has resulted in an even more efficient and streamlined organisation which, from the customers’ perspective, is already paying dividends," adds Grevesmühl.
Scania South Africa
Scania South Africa (Pty) Limited, established in 1995, is a whollyowned subsidiary of Scania in Sweden. It markets the full range of Scania trucks, buses, coaches, engines and spare parts in South Africa.
Scania covers the local market through wholly-owned depots (branches) in all the main centres - Johannesburg, East Rand, Durban, Cape Town, Kimberley, Richard’s Bay and Bloemfontein.
The company’s head office complex in Aeroton west of Johannesburg includes:
In addition, through its support ‘hub’ in Johannesburg, Scania South Africa is responsible for the supply of trucks, buses, engines and spare parts to neighbouring countries including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, and the southern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.