Scania’s global CEO and president, Christian Levin  has announced some strong results for the Swedish truck maker, underlining indications of a recovery from the most damaging effects of the pandemic.

Levin said in a statement this week that the global recovery has continued during the first nine months of the year, although  there was a weaker growth rate in the third quarter.

“Our customers’ transport activity remained high during the period and demand for Scania’s products and services was strong in essentially all markets,” said the Scania CEO.

Levin said Scania managed to keep up production for a long time and counteract unplanned stoppages caused by a shortage of components.

“During the third quarter, we had to eventually reduce our production volume periodically due to pandemic-related disruptions at our suppliers with consequences on our supply chain,” he said.

“This led to a loss of volume, mainly of trucks with the shortage of components causing increased costs in our supply and delivery flows,”he said.

“Both sales and earnings have been negatively affected by the disruptions in the third quarter. However, through flexibility and an ability to quickly reduce costs, we have still managed to deliver strong earnings and a clear improvement from the comparative period in 2020, which was hard hit by the pandemic.

“The solution to the semiconductor shortage is still not here but we are continuing to deal with the situation through an agile production planning process and transparency in the dialogue with our customers and suppliers,” said Levin.

During the first nine months of 2021,  Scania’s total vehicle deliveries increased by 41 per cent to 67,235 units, compared to the same period in 2020, while net sales increased by 21 per cent to the equivalent of $AUD 16.5 billion (SEK 107.5 billion) while the Scania Group had net earnings of $AUD1.44 billion (SEK9.142 billion)

Levin said demand for trucks remained at a relatively good level during the third quarter, but the development was somewhat weaker than before.

“Our customers are currently slightly hesitant about placing orders as they await the upcoming introduction of Scania’s substantially updated Euro 6 truck range and also due the long lead times at present,” he added.

“The business environment outlook for the future is difficult to predict with some uncertainty in the global economy. In addition, we have a continued pandemic, component shortages and political uncertainty with strained trade relations. Increasing awareness about climate risks and their consequences is also affecting sentiment,” the Scania boss said.

Levin focussed on the company’s efforts to de carbonise saying that the report from the UN’s climate change panel (IPCC) came as a wake-up call from science – the strongest warning to date that we have reached a tipping point.

“As part of the run-up to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November, Scania has come together with other companies, organisations and governments in a series of activities to chart the way forward,” said Levin.

“ For example Scania has joined The Climate Pledge and is now one of the companies that is committing to reach net zero carbon emissions – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

“We also participated in the discussion at the UN’s Climate Week recently and in collaboration with a number of multinational companies signed an open letter to the G20 governments.

“The message is crystal clear – we need to do more to limit global warming,” said Levin.

“We can already achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and heavy commercial transport is no longer a sector that is difficult to transform. We know how to reduce our emissions and we have the technology,” he said.

“As early as 2023, Scania’s trucks will be able to carry 40 tonnes for four hours on a 45 minute charge. Now we need to get support from decisionmakers in the form of guidelines and infrastructure investments in order to realise our vision of zero emissions,”  Levin said