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Scania gathers its forces in Europe

"We are currently involved in one of the most intensive campaigns ever to increase our sales in Europe. Our market investments totalled just over SEK 500 million in 1997 and we are planning investments of the same order in 1998, with a continued focus on western and eastern Europe."

So said Scania President and CEO Leif Östling at a press conference at the RAI truck show in Amsterdam.

"We are gearing ourselves to maintain our position as one of the leading players in the heavy truck segment in the new deregulated Europe," said Mr. Östling.

Scania is currently involved in three types of market investment in its European distribution and service network - skills development, structural changes and acquisitions.

"We attach major importance to solving our customers’ total transport needs by offering services - such as service contracts, leasing, financing, insurance and buyback facilities - together with the vehicle. Since the end of the 1980s, we have observed a distinct trend towards outsourcing of service and maintenance by customers.

"We have translated this trend into a concept under the title of Vehicle Management. The trend - which has been most clearly discernible in Britain and the Netherlands - calls for a higher level of competence in the distribution and service network," said Leif Östling.

"A similar trend towards outsourcing of service and maintenance is now emerging in the rest of Europe, creating new business opportunities for Scania. To meet the needs which will arise, we are now reviewing our distribution and service network structure. For this reason, we are gathering our forces in strategic locations where customers can find us," continued Leif Östling.

"Germany and France are markets which are important to our growth, although eastern Europe is also growing in significance."

In Germany, Scania is once again the biggest imported make with a market share of almost 8%. The company is currently implementing its biggest investment programme to date in the country, where its market investments will total over SEK100 million annually over the next few years. At present, Scania has 43 dealers, of which 8 are wholly-owned subsidiaries, and a total of 148 service partners.

In France, Scania’s market share exceeded 9% in 1997. In the last two years, the company has acquired 7 new dealers and established 10 or so new service outlets. In all, Scania is now represented in France by about 100 distribution and service outlets.

Eastern Europe

In eastern Europe, Scania doubled its sales in 1997. Growth remains strong and these markets are becoming increasingly significant to the company. In Poland, sales rose by 130%, while the market itself expanded by 60%. Scania sold over 700 heavy trucks in Poland in 1997 and the country is now Scania’s largest single truck market in Europe.

Scania established its own importers in Russia, Estonia and Slovenia in 1997, while new importer and dealer facilities were established in the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Several dealer and service outlets were also established in Poland and Scania is now represented in about 20 locations in the country.

"In short, we at Scania are creating the resources and skills needed to continue as a strong partner to our customers," concluded Leif Östling.

For further information, please contact Thomas Skoglund, Information Manager, tel. +46-8-553 812 58, mobile +46-70-556 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.