No one knows more about Scania than Anna Peyron. When she closes the factory doors one last time, it is after 42 years of showing students, employees and fans all Scania has to offer.
To be a guide at Scania is demanding. Not only are the guides required to fulfil all the daily work tasks within their own position, but also stay up to date on every possible change within the business. This is to answer the hundreds of questions the curious guests constantly ask.
From newbie to pro
Anna Peyron had experience from guided tours at the Maritime Museum when she came to Scania. She immediately decided to start over with her guiding career: “Maritime or trucks, how big a difference could it be?” From the beginning, she kept her guided tours at a basic level, while she learnt more and more. It was also a way to keep her language skills in English and French up-to-date. But she needed to speak up. It wasn’t until the guides were introduced to the latest technology, providing the visitors with headphones, that she could actually walk and talk at the same time, without catching her breath.
Custom-made tours at every workshop
Every workshop has its own guided tour, and Anna has no favourite among them. Although, she recommends that someone who likes Scania, but doesn’t know a lot about the company, to start at Visitors Centre Marcus Wallenberg Hall. The exhibition describes Scania’s history right up to this day. “It is like a museum, but with the current range present, as well as the V8.”
In total, the eight guided tours measure 6,5 kilometres, take 440 minutes and have 63 stops altogether, ranging from Scania Technical Centre and Chassis Assembly Plant to Visitors Centre and the Foundry. “I can answer all kinds of questions. And if I can’t, I know who to turn to.”
A popular place to visit
Today, all visits are regulated by safety, for the sake of the visitors as well as the employees. A certain number of visitors are allowed in the workshops each day, to ensure that nothing disturbs the production. “Back in the days, you could more or less bring a visitor anywhere without further ado. But now, the groups are bigger in number.”
And Anna has been busy. It wasn’t unusual for her to do 100 guided tours in one year. Only last year, over 8 000 visitors from more than 50 countries visited Scania in Södertälje. Lucky for Anna, she has a talent for remembering faces. She also believes the best thing about being a guide is meeting so many people and hearing their questions and reflections.
The importance of spreading knowledge
The guides need to attend courses, and take an exam to be recognised as a proper guide. It is important that all visitors receive the same information to ensure they have a great experience regardless of which guide they have. Christian Levin, Executive President Sales and Marketing, has been a guide himself. “The guides are important for Scania. We’ve grown and are a global company, but at the same time the feeling of a smaller family-run-business is still there. That is unique and something to cherish.”
Passing on to the next generation
Many things have happened during these four decades. “I’ve just adapted with the changes.” She remembers previous truck launches, where the demands on the guides were high. Dressed in custom-made skirt and jacket, she spent all her Saturdays with customers, always finishing with a show. “A magician made a truck disappear. That was very impressive at first, but when I’d seen it numerous times, I actually figured it out.”
Having said goodbye, not only to the company, but to colleagues of many years, what Anna misses the most is the friendship. “If I could say one thing to a new employee at Scania, it would be how well all co-workers are looked after. It’s the Scania spirit. I’ve always felt at home.”
Since she is now over 80 years, it’s time to pass on the knowledge to the next generation of guides. “I still think guiding is among the best things I’ve done professionally. And I truly believe I’m going out on a high.”
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