Scania announces new finance arm and says VW scandal won’t affect the Swedish truck maker


Scania has announced it will launch its own finance arm toward the end of the first quarter in 2016.  Scania Financial Services (SFS) has had a great deal of success in European markets and will bring the model to Australian under the leadership of long time SFS executive Peter Taylor.

Taylor has moved to Australia from his native England where he headed up the company’s finance arm after a long and successful history starting up and running SFS subsidiaries in England, Ireland and Italy. Taylor’s title will be business development director and country manager for Scania Financial Services Australia.

“After a lotto consideration and discussion the board decided the time was right back in September and  we will start at the end of Q1,” said Taylor at Scania’s annual end of year briefing and  Christmas media gathering.

Finance will not be the only part of the SFSA model with the company also planning on launching an insurance arm later next year.

Scania Australia managing director Roger McCarthy has worked with Taylor  over the past 12 months  to bring the SFS model to Australia .

McCarthy pointed out that Taylor had a number of successes including reviving SFS  in Ireland in the aftermath of the GFC , succeeding in one of the most difficult economic climates, as well as working in the challenging Italian market.

Scania says the new SFSA operation will  be internally funded,  using the cash reserves of the highly profitable truck manufacturer’s own treasury, rather than sourcing funding from banks.Taylor says the offerings will be more attractive and flexible than banks and other finance companies can offer.

“Banks tend to give either a yes or no answer, whereas we want to work with Scania customers and put together finance solutions that work for them and are tailored to their business requirements,’ said Peter Taylor.

Meanwhile Roger McCarthy dismissed suggestions that Scania Australia might be the perfect Australian partner  for parent company VW’s under performing sibling, MAN. While rumours that MAN’s current local distributor, Penske might look to divest itself of the German brand given its lacklustre sales performance are rife in the industry, McCarthy said he didn’t see the MAN brand as a good fit with Scania in Australia, despite the back of house efficiency gains that  may come from such an arrangement.

“I couldn’t see it working in Australia and there is no plan to do it,” said McCarthy.

Pushed as to whether VW’s current emission woes and the growing cost burden that the scandal is placing on the German giant, might affect  the Swedish truck making subsidiary, McCarthy said he did not think  the worries would impact Scania.

“There is nothing that  would point to the VW problems impacting Scania, we are highly profitable and run as a separate business,” said McCarthy,  adding that Scania was not for sale.

Also at the gathering the urbane McCarthy signalled that a number of independent dealers had been added to Scania’s sales network alongside the company’s largely company owned stores. The company has added new independent trucks sales dealerships including RSC  Diesels in Cairns ( formerly a Scania parts and service dealer) , Spanns Trucks in Toowoomba and NJs in the NSW Riverina centre of Wagga Wagga. Until now  Scania’s sales network had just one independent dealer,  Coffs Harbour’s K&J Trucks. However McCarty said he believed it was good to have a balance between company owned and independent operations as the network expands, particularly in larger regional centres.