Getting excited as Scania offers more
Scania Southern Africa has big plans for its bus and coach division heading into 2020. Customers got a taste of what is to come at the 2019 Southern African Bus Operators Association (Saboa) Conference
The annual Saboa Conference returned to the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Convention Centre in Pretoria where Scania Southern Africa was front and centre with a beautifully streamlined stand, which offered ample seating – a pointer to the purpose of the brand’s presence at the conference.
“Scania returns to Saboa each year to make sure our clients know we are here for them. We use the opportunity to get a better idea of what our customers need so that we can differentiate our service offering,” said Alan Hugo, GM of Bus and Coach at Scania Southern Africa.
Hugo emphasised that his team’s priority was to communicate with customers regarding transport challenges and offer effective solutions aligned to their needs as quickly as possible. This focus on client satisfaction is largely what sparks Hugo’s passion for the Scania brand.
“My mentor always said that it’s not a not a matter of selling vehicles. It is a matter of understanding the client’s requirements and differentiating the service offerings and products to benefit them. This is one of the reasons I’m passionate about the company at which I work,” he explained.
“Scania takes a lot of pride in doing just that. We’re not a supplier; we are a successful transport solutions provider. We offer the whole spectrum of value adds to the customer – from insurance, finance and contracts to outstanding products and connectivity. We try to offer a unique solution tailored to specific customer requirements.”
It is this client-centred approach that has inspired some of the new developments from Scania – the first of which was showcased at the Saboa Conference.
“Traditionally, Scania ran only a manual gearbox on its six-foot F310 6×2 chassis. Now, we have replaced it with Opticruise transmission, which is an automated manual gearbox. Once again, it comes down to understanding the needs of the operators,” Hugo noted.
“Scania customers have been requesting a solution that offers improved safety, better fuel consumption and better ergonomics. The Opticruise gearbox – which is similar to units used in Scania coaches – provides the answers.
“It operates in the optimal rev band, which provides the best possible torque. It is tried and tested as far as fuel consumption is concerned, returning very good figures. And, from an operational perspective, it is also more convenient for drivers to use,” he said.
According to Hugo, this ideal solution for Scania customers is just one of many new product and service offerings that the Swedish original equipment manufacturer has planned for the industry in the coming year. A key focal point for Scania Southern Africa is to expand its market mix to increase volumes in particular sectors.
“We are also going to be expanding our product range in the months heading into 2020. We’ll be looking at introducing a 36-seater 4×2 coach chassis for touring, a 4×2 chassis with Opticruise and a F360 chassis with disc brakes and Opticruise,” he said, adding that the F360 would be equipped with a higher displacement, 13-lƖitre engine that offers better torque and more horsepower.
“With the new F310 and F360, I think we will make a significant impact in cross-border and intercity operations,” Hugo noted.
It is sure to be an exciting year for Scania Southern Africa and its clients in the bus industry.