Scania Production Słupsk celebrated its 25-year anniversary in 2017. Operations started in 1992 with CKD assembly of trucks while nowadays production is exclusively buses.
It all started when the Słupsk municipal bus repair company Kapena, which had been established in 1968, sought a strategic partner. In the 1990s, bus renovations had decreased as bus manufacturers themselves established workshops. Following negotiations, the Scania-Kapena joint venture was formed in October 1992. By May 1993, CKD assembly production was initiated and the following year bus assembly production started in parallel.
One of the first recruited
Leszek Chudy, presently Production Support Director, was already working for Kapena when he was one of the first recruited to the new joint venture. “Following engineering studies in Gdansk, I worked one year for Kapena before joining Kapena-Scania in December 1993. They were looking for new people in administration and my first job was in customs clearance. Poland wasn’t an EU member and the borders were closed at the time. This was very tricky and I was constantly shuttling between Słupsk and Warsaw to get all the paperwork in order.”
Initially, bus production was modest with only five units built during the first year, increasing to 15 in 1994 and reaching 47 by 1998.
With Poland adjusting customs regulations in anticipation of coming EU membership, the need to assemble trucks declined and by 2002 CKD assembly was discontinued and the focus was fully on buses. Scania purchased all shares of the company and Scania Production Słupsk was formed.
Manufacturing double deckers
In 2005, the factory started manufacturing double deckers for the UK market and in 2007 the OmniLine intercity bus line was launched. Another significant year was 2012, when Słupsk started producing Scania Citywide and since the start more than 6,000 buses have been produced.
Chudy subsequently dealt with quality issues and now works with logistics planning. “During the last few years we’ve gained quite a lot in confidence,” he says. “We’re producing more types of buses, we have extended collaboration with Scania’s bus production in Finland and Scania has expanded its market. A few years ago, deliveries were highly concentrated to the Scandinavian countries we were much more subject to market fluctuations. These days, we have a bigger market and significant sales in several European countries and we’re therefore not as vulnerable.”