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500 not out: Scania celebrates ready-built bus milestone

“This is a significant milestone for Scania bus and coach in Australia,” says Julian Gurney, Director of Sales for Scania bus and Power Solutions.

“Scania is Australia’s most successful European original equipment manufacturer, delivering the most fully imported buses sourced from a mass-production factory in the region. Thanks to the successful relationship with our global bodybuilding partner, Higer, we now have more than 500 vehicles on the road in Australia.


“Scania’s offer of a high-quality body, built on a dedicated assembly line under the watchful gaze of Scania engineers and quality assurance teams, employing the latest Scania active and passive safety and fuel-efficient technology, provides a recipe for success that really is unbeatable,” he says.


“These vehicles have already proven themselves to be popular in the second-hand market as well, retaining a very high percentage of their original cost, underlining the total ownership benefits of selecting a Scania bus, in addition to our impressive total operating economy in operation,” Julian says.


“Our buses can be ordered with the very latest advanced safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Advanced Emergency Braking, Vulnerable Road User Protection and Blind Spot and Lane Departure Warning systems.


“We started with modest aspirations for the Scania-Higer A30 school/charter bus which first arrived in Australia in 2010, but it quickly became a firm favourite of school and charter operators, as well as private schools, thanks to the high quality Scania driveline providing reliable and durable performance.


“The concept of a Scania from bumper-to-bumper was a message that resonated well with the Australian bus and coach market, giving customers a one-stop-shop for all maintenance and repair needs. These vehicles removed the need for customers to run between bodybuilder or chassis provider chasing solutions in the event of an issue. Scania’s repair and maintenance contracts and Scania Finance Australia bring all the elements for a successful ownership experience under one roof,” he says.

“In 2018 when we launched the larger Touring, we lifted sales even further given the underfloor storage made this vehicle suitable for charter and longer distance touring, thanks to its “nine cubic metres” of luggage space,” Julian says.


“The partnership with Higer has delivered premium quality products that have stood up well to Australia’s harsh operating conditions.


“Another benefit of the mass produced A30 and Touring has been the shorter order to delivery timeframe and the ability to hold stock on hand, with only local options such as seats, CCTV, USB ports and electronic destination signage, etc., required to be fitted prior to delivering to our customers. With production based in the Asia Pacific region, it takes only four weeks for the vehicle to arrive in an Australian port after leaving the factory, making it faster and more affordable than bringing built-up bodies out of our other factories,” he says. “Higer was willing to build bodies to meet our local width and weight restrictions, too.


“The A30 and Touring have enticed new customers into the Scania family. They have been impressed by our dedication to their uptime and our speed at resolving issues if they crop up. With our nine company-owned branches in capital cities and our national network of more than 60 authorised independent dealers mean we have excellent coverage across the key population centres as well as regional areas.


“Although COVID put a significant dent into the bus industry during 2020 and 2021 lockdowns, school is back in session full time and internal touring is recovering, giving us confidence that the market for Scania A30 and Touring buses will continue to grow. In traditional Scania style we are continuing to develop the product range to deliver the most relevant product to this market and we look forward to making some exciting announcements shortly,” Julian says.


“For now, though, we are focussing on our stretch target to reach 1000 A30/Touring deliveries in Australia, underpinned by the New Bus Generation chassis and powertrain.


“We can see opportunities for alternative and renewable fuels growing and will be ready to deliver when demand arrives,” Julian says.