Supply problems with its New Truck Generation range have cost Scania around 300 truck sales this year, choking the Swedish company’s chance to achieve an all time Australian record according to managing director Mikael Jansson.
Speaking at an end of year lunch for commercial vehicle truck media in Melbourne Jansson said that based on the strong order book the company holds and the difficulties that have delayed supply sales for 2018 would have topped 1250 trucks for the year but instead will tally around 950 sales by 31 December.
However Jansson said the given the full order book and that supply problems seem to have been mostly solved or will be resolved in the coming months, then 2019 is shaping as a record year for the company.
“We have our strongest order boom ever for both truck and bus and we are expecting a very strong result in 2019,” Jansson told the gathered media.
Along with his newly promoted sales lieutenant, Dean del Santo, Jansson is plotting a big year ahead and while he emphasises that profitability is always the main goal it is clear he wants to put the supply problems of 2018 behind them and shoot for that record next year.
“If the order book had been weak and demand for the NTG had not been there then we would be worried, but interest and demand in the new trucks has been very strong and continues to be strong,” said Mikael Jansson.
“ Demand for the new trucks has been strong globally and that only served to make it more difficult for us to get the trucks we needed to meet local demand,” he added.
Jansson said that it has been a strong year across all sectors of Scania’s Australian operations with great results for bus, marine and auxiliary engines and in parts and service.
“We launched flexible maintenance contracts and we have sold a lot of these to truck operators keen to enable them to control and reduce operating costs,” said Jansson.
“Some pricing of the maintenance contracts is based on driver performance and the better the driver performance the lower the maintenance cost, which is a win win, given that if a driver is performing better the truck will be also using less fuel,” he said.
Along with the launch of the NTG during 2018 the company also launched the new fully imported Scania Touring Coach built in China, which also suffered supply issues late in the year as a result of shipping issues.
“It has been a tough year but 2019 is shaping as a really big year and we have some exciting things coming,” said Jansson.
“We will have hybrids running in Australia in 2019 as well as ethanol buses and some other exciting things to present at the Brisbane Truck Show,” he said.
“We are really concentrating on building capacity on the Scania system, building up operations across all sectors, taking care of not just workshops but all of the infrastructure needed to better service our customers in Australia,” he added.
Jansson did express disappointment at the continuing delays in mandating Euro 6 standards in Australia citing indications that this has been pushed out possible as far as 2027.
“Sustainability doesn’t seem to be on the agenda in Australia which is disappointing because Euro 6 would be so much better for the environment and sustainability,” he said.
“Australia has one of the oldest truck fleets in the Developed World and the bus fleet is even older and we are pushing to change this because newer vehicles are not only better for the environment but safer as well.
“Scania has had Euro 6 here in Australia for some time and we are ahead of the market do I am not saying this for our sake, it is better for the planet and something should be done to mandate Euro 6 in Australia sooner,” said Jansson.