Tak­ing the ba­ton

New Sca­nia Aus­tralia boss pledges to bring a dif­fer­ent skill set to build on work of pre­de­ces­sor

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New Sca­nia Aus­tralia boss pledges to bring a dif­fer­ent skill set to build on work of pre­de­ces­sor

In­com­ing Sca­nia Aus­tralia MD, Mikael Jans­son, prom­ises his com­pany’s ‘New Truck Gen­er­a­tion’ range will ar­rive on Aus­tralian soil within the term of his ten­ure, though much prepara­tory work still needs to be done.

In his first meet­ing with the na­tional truck­ing press, Jans­son, who was global head of parts and ser­vice from 2013 be­fore tak­ing up the Aus­tralian po­si­tion, sig­nalled that his role would build on the work of pre­de­ces­sor Roger McCarthy.

But Jans­son will fo­cus on strengths and strate­gies de­vel­oped while in the Swedish com­pany’s head of­fice as se­nior vice pres­i­dent and mem­ber of the Top Man­age­ment Team.

“I’ve been in dif­fer­ent man­age­ment po­si­tions, so I can bring with me ex­pe­ri­ence on how to run an or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he says.

On the sales side, he sees that role broad­en­ing in the mar­ket gen­er­ally.

“I be­lieve the mar­ket will de­velop and we will sell more and more ser­vices so­lu­tions – fo­cus­ing on that in­stead of [sim­ply] sell­ing the hard­ware,” he says.

“We gained a lot of mar­ket share in the sales side last year. One im­por­tant part is sell­ing con­tracts … re­pair and main­te­nance con­tracts also bun­dled with the trucks.”

Not­ing the ‘ Sca­nia main­te­nance with fl ex­i­ble plan’ op­tion, Jans­son says: “I have been very much in­volved in de­vel­op­ing that con­cept and go­ing from hav­ing an av­er­age main­te­nance plan to re­ally ad­just it to be spe­cific for each and ev­ery ve­hi­cle – by that, im­prov­ing up­time and re­duc­ing cost. There are other things in this way that we will bring for­ward.”

Hav­ing been a Top Man­age­ment Team mem­ber for 10 years, he will bring an un­der­stand­ing of the com­pany’s long-term strate­gies.

Jans­son sees a goal of guar­an­teed up­time as a di­rec­tion worth pur­su­ing as in-ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy de­vel­ops and data stores grow.

“The ve­hi­cle is giv­ing us the in­for­ma­tion to change the main­te­nance plan,” he says.

So, pre­dic­tive and pre­ven­ta­tive parts re­place­ment is in se­nior man­age­ment thoughts, thereby mov­ing the ap­proach from ‘re­pair’ to ‘main­te­nance’ and from ‘ un­planned stop’ to ‘planned stop’.

“That’s much more ef­fi­cient for our cus­tomers,” Jans­son says.

Re­gard­ing the New Truck Gen­er­a­tion, Sca­nia is presently look­ing to ramp up pro­duc­tion for the European mar­ket af­ter the months-long global launch and in­tro­duc­tion to cus­tomers.

“( We are start­ing) to de­velop launches out­side Europe, also in Aus­tralia, but be­fore we launch it here we’re go­ing to re­ally se­cure that they have the right spec­i­fi­ca­tion,” he says.

“We need to test the ve­hi­cles here in Aus­tralia so they re­ally per­form at the right level.”

Jans­son is at pains to stress the breadth of change that has gone into the new range.

“It’s not just a new truck, it’s a to­tal con­cept,” he said. “It’s re­ally to sup­port the to­tal op­er­at­ing econ­omy for our cus­tomers. That’s with ser­vices con­cepts in­cluded.

“I feel we have a strong po­si­tion go­ing for­ward and also a lot of things are chang­ing in our in­dus­try – we have dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, we have elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, au­ton­o­mous driv­ing, sus­tain­abil­ity ...

“This is com­ing in dif­fer­ent mar­kets but it will af­fect all mar­kets, sooner or later, and I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to join that jour­ney here in Aus­tralia.”

AUS­PI­CIOUS TIM­ING

Jans­son’s ar­rival came with the global com­pany re­leas­ing heart­en­ing fi­nan­cial fig­ures less than a year af­ter start­ing its ex­tended launch.

It re­ported a 17 per cent rise in global net sales to a record SEK58.7 bil­lion ( A$ 9.1 bil­lion) in a half year marked by the im­pact of its New Truck Gen­er­a­tion.

Though the new ve­hi­cles are yet to land on Aus­tralian shores, that per­for­mance comes as the do­mes­tic op­er­a­tion sees 443 ve­hi­cles de­liv­ered, up 65 per cent for the year to date.

“The pe­riod was af­fected by a high

in­vest­ment level and in­creased pro­duc­tion costs for dou­ble prod­uct ranges,” Sca­nia pres­i­dent and CEO Hen­rik Hen­riks­son states.

“In spite of this, the com­pany de­liv­ered a very strong per­for­mance thanks to strong de­mand for the new truck range and a con­tin­ued pos­i­tive trend in ser­vices.

“Earn­ings in the first half of 2017 amounted to SEK6.464 mil­lion, giv­ing an op­er­at­ing mar­gin of 11 per cent.

“Or­der book­ings for trucks rose by 29 per cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

“De­mand for trucks in Europe is hold­ing up due to the favourable eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion and Sca­nia’s mar­ket share for trucks in Europe re­mains strong at 16.8 per cent.

“The trend in Latin Amer­ica is pos­i­tive and we see in­creased de­mand in Brazil from very low lev­els, mainly re­lated to in­creased ac­tiv­ity in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

“In Eura­sia, the trend in de­mand is pos­i­tive as Rus­sia is con­tin­u­ing to re­cover.

“In Asia, de­mand in­creased thanks to a good sales per­for­mance, par­tic­u­larly in China and Iran.

“In Asia, the European truck seg­ment is grow­ing in line with the ad­vance­ment of the lo­gis­tics sys­tems – a devel­op­ment largely driven by the ma­jor e- com­merce play­ers.”

The pos­i­tive note con­tin­ues in Sca­nia’s other seg­ments – such as En­gines and Buses and Coaches – but also in fl eet ser­vices.

“Ser­vice rev­enue amounted to a record high SEK11.7 bil­lion, an in­crease of 12 per cent,” Hen­riks­son con­tin­ues.

“This was driven by high up­time in cus­tomer ve­hi­cle fl eets and an in­crease in ser­vices di­rectly or in­di­rectly gen­er­ated from the 270,000 con­nected ve­hi­cles in the Sca­nia fleet.

“Con­nec­tiv­ity is an im­por­tant busi­ness driver, which is en­abling Sca­nia to of­fer cus­tomers more ef­fi­cient ser­vices aimed at im­prov­ing their prof­itabil­ity.

“Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices re­ported op­er­at­ing in­come of SEK520 mil­lion and credit losses re­main at low lev­els.”

Jans­son ac­knowl­edged his pre­de­ces­sor’s work, say­ing it had been greatly ap­pre­ci­ated at head of­fice in Swe­den.

For his part, McCarthy says: “I’m pleased to say I’m hand­ing over the baby in rea­son­able con­di­tion and it just needs to now con­tinue to grow.”

COM­PANY MAN

Like McCarthy, Jans­son is a Sca­nia vet­eran who joined the com­pany in the 1980s on the back of a ter­ti­aty ed­u­ca­tion the­sis on ways to re­duce Sca­nia in­ven­tory.

He later be­came head of parts prod­uct man­age­ment, be­fore ad­vanc­ing to vice pres­i­dent and head of parts in 2006.

In 2008, he was ap­pointed se­nior vice pres­i­dent of the com­pany and made head of parts and ser­vice in 2013, a role he held up un­til his present ap­point­ment.

Since 2012, Jans­son has also been a mem­ber of the board of a num­ber of Sca­nia com­pa­nies across the world, giv­ing him ex­cel­lent vis­i­bil­ity of how the busi­ness is per­form­ing glob­ally.

“I have al­ways wanted to run a sales and ser­vice sub­sidiary com­pany, and now is the right time in my ca­reer,” he says.

“Aus­tralia is an in­ter­est­ing and vi­brant mar­ket, and the Sca­nia or­gan­i­sa­tion in Aus­tralia is very pro­fes­sional and has an ex­cit­ing fu­ture.

“And as a sports fan and some­one who en­joys the out­doors, Aus­tralia of­fers an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity for new ex­pe­ri­ences,” he says.

“I have al­ways wanted to run a sales and ser­vice sub­sidiary com­pany, and now is the right time in my ca­reer”

Above: The ‘next gen­er­a­tion’ should ap­pear dur­ing the new MD’s ten­ure Op­po­site: Jans­son meets the press

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