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Scania counts on growth in Latin America

"We believe that demand in Latin America is escalating by 50 per cent and will reach 45,000 heavy trucks, from today's level of 30,000, by around the year 2005. Our long-term target is to command at least 30 per cent of the total market. The fact that we have completed the changeover to a global production system means that we can now offer our customers further benefits in the form of better common products and services. We also achieve cost benefits at every stage from development to sales and services."

These were the words of Leif Östling, Scania’s President and CEO, during the company’s premier 

showing today 

of the 4-series trucks in the presence of nearly 200 journalists in São Paulo, Brazil.

Sales in Latin America account for approximately one-fifth of Scania’s total sales. Last year, Scania broke its sales record in Latin America with the greatest sales volume ever, selling around 11,500 vehicles – 9,649 trucks (above 16 tonnes) and 1,829 buses (for more than 30 passengers).

The increased political stability and economic growth that has been taking place over the past few years, as well as the increased trade both in Latin America and the rest of the world, have resulted in greater need for transportation. This increasing demand is being largely met with trucks, while rising efficiency in the transport industry also means that the number of heavy trucks is growing.

"With the changeover to the 4-series, we have obtained both the capacity and the products to consolidate Scania’s position as the largest make in the major markets of Argentina and Brazil, while continuing our expansion in primarily such markets as Chile, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela," said Leif Östling at the São Paulo press conference.

With the 4-series, Scania is able to offer trucks to the Latin America markets that have lower fuel consumption, better environmental performance and lower maintenance requirements, all of which results in improved operating economy for the hauliers.

"The 4-series can be adapted to the specific needs of each customer to a much larger extent than previously. This also means that we can seriously enter the Latin American market for distribution and construction haulage," states Leif Östling.

After more than 40 years in the region, Scania commands a strong position in Latin America. With market shares between 35 and 40 per cent, Scania is the leading make, both in Argentina and Brazil. Its sales and service networks are strong.

"Our well-established distribution and service network will provide competitive advantages as the markets now continue to grow and more and more manufacturers invest in plants there. We will continue to reinforce and develop our sales and service network, as well as increase the range of services we offer. This is necessary in order to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of our customers, as well as the greater volumes resulting from a growing market," says Leif Östling.

For further information, please contact Magnus Hahn, Manager Financial Communications, tel. +46 8 553 835 10.

Scania is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, and of industrial and marine engines. With 23,800 employees and production facilities in Europe and Latin America, Scania is one of the most profitable companies in its sector. In 1997, turnover totalled SEK 39,700 million and profits after depreciation SEK 2,800 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.