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Scania drives from Thai base

Scania, a Swedish manufacturer of commercial vehicles – specifically, heavy trucks and buses –has identified Thailand as one of its key markets in Southeast Asia with the opening of its first assembly plant in Samut Prakan province.

Following its operational ramp-up last year, the Bt800-million plant will host its grand opening on February 22.

On the same day, the company will also officially launch its latest truck models in the Thai market. Scania has set up its regional headquarters in Thailand in order to expand its production base and deliver its products to Asia and Oceania.

Stefan Dorski, managing director of Scania Siam Co Ltd, said that 2019 is a watershed year for Scania in Thailand, despite having had a presence here for 33 years dating back to 1986, as a subsidiary of Scania CV AB of Sweden.

“We are a solutions provider for our customers´ business, with products and services to maximise their profitability. For services, we have new additions this year with flexible maintenance plans together with a fleet management system to monitor fleet performance in real time.

“Scania in Thailand has a strong commitment to deliver sustainable solutions to our customers, and will lead the way towards sustainable transport. And last but not least, we will be launching our new generation trucks in the coming weeks.”

Dorski sees the company´s role as providing transport solutions to match customers´ heavy-transport needs among truck, bus, and engine options. Plus they offer extensive product-related services, including vehicle financing, insurance and other services enabling their customers to focus on their core business.

“Our main goal as a company is customer satisfaction, and we deliver this by having the best performance, fuel efficiency and safety features in the market,” he said.

The company is very satisfied with the development of its service business in 2018, which grew 25 per cent last year. Their spare-parts quality has been noted by customers, he said, as well as the high service level in their workshops.

“The new-generation truck, which will be introduced in a few weeks in Thailand, will be a very important milestone for the company,” It is the biggest project the company has ever invested in globally, costing over 2 million euros and 10 years of research and development,” Dorski said.

And this year, the company will continue to roll out “flexible maintenance” in which the maintenance interval is calculated individually for each vehicle based on how the vehicle is operated. This guarantees optimised service intervals, maximised productivity and better uptime for their customers, he said.

The air-pollution problem in Bangkok and nearby provinces has caught Dorski´s attention, leading him to publicly encourage a regulations shift to require less-polluting heavy vehicles.

“We are happy to see an increasing demand for the use of B20 diesel in Thailand, as all our diesel engines can easily be adapted to run on this biofuel,” he said. “In Europe we have built long experience with bio diesel, and Scania´s vehicles can run 100 per cent on bio diesel. This goes hand in hand with our vision of sustainable transport.”

Dorski said that after Scania identified Thailand as one of the key markets in Asia, it moved to invest Bt800 million to expand its industrial and commercial presence in the country. The new assembly facility for trucks and bus chassis, as well as a manufacturing facility for truck cabs, was set up in the Bangkok Free Trade Zone, Samut Prakan province. It has production, logistics and purchasing staff, along with research and development.

In addition to its primary role to serve Thailand´s domestic market, it will also feed other markets in Asean where feasible.

“The main reasons to set up the plant in Thailand [and also the key benefits of Thailand compared to other markets in the region] are the large domestic market in Thailand, the well-established supplier base and access to staff with experience from the automotive industry,” said Dorski.

He said that Thailand will not only enjoy direct benefits from the energy-efficient vehicles to be produced by the plant, but also from the knowledge and experience Scania is bringing related to producing high-quality vehicles and working with local suppliers to increase quality levels to meet Scania´s strict requirements.

Scania will benefit from being closer to its customer base in the country and the region. It is establishing a full cross-functional presence of production, logistics, purchasing and research and development as well as gaining access to the Thai supplier base.

“As a part of Scania´s focus on Thailand as a key market in Asia, we have already established our regional headquarters for the whole of Asia and Oceania region in Thailand. The regional resources support Scania´s distributors in Asia and Oceania in developing business in their respective markets,” said Dorski.

The company´s business plan is set, based on its ambition to see Thailand become the preferred partner for sustainable and profitable transport solutions in the next five years.

To do that, it will provide its customers with tailor-made solutions and the best total operating economy. The company wants to promote alternative fuels and to see emission standards for heavy diesel vehicles upgraded from the current outdated Euro 4 standard to the Euro 6 level.

“We aim to improve road safety and reduce emissions in Thailand by training drivers to drive safely and reduce their fuel consumption, and to strengthen our presence in Thailand through our industrial presence,” he summed up.

Fuente : www.nationmultimedia.com - Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn

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