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Start of bus production in France

Scania focuses on European bus market

Scania is launching an offensive to increase its presence on the European bus market. One major step in this direction is local production in the factory in Angers, France - a vital springboard for continued growth on the important French market.

"We will play a leading role on the European market. Having our own production facilities in France, one of Europe's largest bus markets, is an important part of our strategy."

This was the unequivocal statement of Åke Brännström, Senior Vice President, Buses & Coaches, in connection with the unveiling of Scania's new European bus range in Angers on Friday.

The new generation of buses for city, intercity and tourist operations is based on Scania's 4-series, which was first introduced with the truck launch in autumn 1995. It offers new and greater opportunity to individually tailor each vehicle on the basis of a modular system containing fewer components than ever before.

Deregulation of public transport in Europe and a structural change placing the emphasis on larger and more international bus operators offers Scania entirely new scope for enhancing its position in Europe.

Scania France has signed an order with a local-traffic operator in Angers, where Scania has been producing trucks since 1992. The new order covers the very first OmniCity buses scheduled to enter service in Angers during late autumn.

"In order to sell city buses, a production base within the country is virtually an essential precondition," says Dieter Merz, Managing Director of Scania France.

The total annual market in Scania's bus segment is currently 3,000 vehicles, including about 800 city buses. The Angers factory has a capacity of 300 buses a year.

"Our aim is to secure 15 per cent of the market share for city buses. We intend to get there within 10 years," says Dieter Merz.

The world market for heavy buses has in recent years hovered around the 60,000 unit mark, of which Europe accounts for about 16,000 and Latin America for about 19,000 units.

"Demand for Scania's buses is high, and order inflow is even healthier than it was this time last year," says Åke Brännström.

For further information, please contact: Thomas Skoglund, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs. Tel. 08-553 812 58 or 070-556 07 97

Scania is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, and of industrial and marine engines. With 22,200 employees and production facilities in Europe and Latin America, Scania is one of the most profitable companies in its sector. In 1996, turnover totalled SEK 33,700 million and profits after depreciation SEK 2,700 million. Scania products are marketed in about 100 countries worldwide and approximately 95% of total production is sold outside Sweden. Bus manufacture takes place in Sweden, Brazil, Denmark, France and Poland.