New Scania Australia boss, Manfred Streit has taken aim at some of Australia’s unique vehicle specification rules, saying that some of the regs are holding back safety and efficiency for the Australian truck industry.
The Scania MD was talking at a truck media lunch briefing in Sydney where the Austrian revealed his life long love for trucks and his passion for driving and road trips, revealing he will be taking his family on a 3000km holiday road trip in January to discover more about their new adopted country.
Since arriving in Australia in August to take up his post, Streit has been around the country getting to know the Scania business in Australia and cites the vast distances, high weights and limitations the government places on trucks as the three major challenges for a truck maker here.
“The 2.5 metre truck width rule is the one that I just don’t understand,” said Streit.
“I believe it is a factor that is holding up the move to greener trucks stopping some of the most advanced trucks in the world from being able to be sold here, and it is hard to understand, because Australia is advanced in so many areas , but not in terms of advanced trucks on our roads,” he added.
Streit said that while the Scania has only just started rolling out its first electric truck and he believes that zero emission will one day be the dominant culture on our roads, he is realistic enough to know that the provision of electric infrastructure and the cost will limit the speed of the the rollout of electric trucks, which is why he believes there should be more incentive to get older diesel trucks off Australian roads.
“There is no pathway to get those older trucks out of the system, it is difficult to go from say Euro 0 or Euro 1/2 straight to electric, but if more were operating Euro 5 or Euro 6 tat would make a big benefit in term’s of emissions and efficiency,” Streit said.
“It would help advance the industry to a more sustainable future and bridge the gap until we are ready to take up electric trucks in due time,” he said.
Streit said that one of his goals was to get Scania to a double figure market share percentage in heavy duty, with the company currently sitting on 7.2 open cent year to date.
“It takes some time to understand the business and to set your goals, the first year you find out where the toilet is but that’s about it, you can’t wave the wand and change things in an instant, it takes time,” he said.
Scania will have a big year in 2023 with a number of new models set to be launched along with continued work to train and familiarise its personnel for the arrival of electric.
It was Streit’s first meeting with Australia’s truck media and he revealed that he is here on a minimum three year contract, but hopes to be here longer.