Scania Australia’s new boss Mikael Jannson has pleged to bring a different skillset to build on the work of his predecessor, writes
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 head of parts and service at Scania, Sweden, 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 the 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,” Jansson 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 flexible 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. It’s really to support the total operating economy for our customers. That’s with services concepts included,” he said.
“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.”
“We need to test the vehicles here in Australia.”
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 (A$1.014 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,” Henriksson says.
“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,” he says.
IMPORTANCE OF CONNECTIVITY
The positive note continues in Scania’s other segments – such as Engines and Buses and Coaches – but also in fleet services.
“Service revenue amounted to a record high SEK11.7 billion (A$1.835 million), an increase of 12 per cent,” Henriksson continues.
“This was driven by high uptime in customer vehicle fleets 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 (A$81.603 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.”
Like McCarthy, Jansson is a Scania veteran who joined the company in the 1980s on the back of a tertiary 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 as senior vice president of the company, and he was 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,” Jansson says.
New Scania Australia MD Mikael Jansson
Outgoing Scania Australia MD Roger McCarthy