Scania stands strong in Latin America

Latin America is not only Scania’s second biggest region but also an important region of the world, with different countries presenting different demands and conditions. Martin Ståhlberg, head of Scania’s Latin American operations, is focusing on service.

Latin America is not only Scania’s second biggest region but also an important region of the world, with different countries presenting different demands and conditions. Martin Ståhlberg, head of Scania’s Latin American operations, is focusing on service.

Martin Ståhlberg was appointed head of Scania’s Latin American operations in September 2011. Prior to this, he had served as head of Scania in France and Sweden and as Managing Director of Scania’s dealerships in Stockholm. In his current role, he is in charge of one of Scania’s most important regions.
“Latin America today represents about 20 percent of Scania’s vehicle deliveries and the region has accounted for reasonably stable growth in recent years, despite the economic downturn during 2008 and 2009,” says Ståhlberg.

Aside from Brazil, Scania has a strong presence in several other countries where the company has to meet the specific demands of each market.

“We have a strong brand in all the markets we operate in. In Mexico, we have a 65 percent market share for intercity buses. In Peru, there is strong potential for mining applications but also for intercity buses. In Venezuela, we have very successfully launched our industrial engines. In Colombia and Chile, we have developed our Bus Systems by Scania concept, in which buses occupy dedicated lanes in a system that resembles rail-bound service.”

Distribution segment is important

Yet Brazil is the country to which Ståhlberg is devoting the greatest attention.

“In Brazil, we are currently focusing on the local distribution segment but we are also very strong in long-haulage, in products for the agricultural industry and in off-road solutions for the construction and mining sectors,” he says.

One important factor that is reducing demand in Brazil this year is the transition to the new Euro 5 emission standard. But according to Ståhlberg, Scania has been able to take advantage of having been well prepared for the change-over.

“Scania has good experience of the Euro 5 technology since it is already available in Europe. Our customers here are happy with what we can deliver since they can enjoy the same benefits as the previous technology in terms of fuel economy and productivity,” he says, while pointing out that during the first five months of 2012 Scania captured the largest market share when it comes to sales of Euro 5 vehicles. Overall, the heavy truck market shrank by 32 percent during the first half of the year. Demand was strong in both 2010 and 2011.

When it comes to future expansion in Latin America, Ståhlberg believes that the primary focus must be on service.

“We are focusing on continued improvement of our service network and service offering. We believe that knowledge of our customers’ business and of our customers’ customers means that not only can we understand, but also predict what needs our customers will have. In this way we can help improve their business.”