Scania Australias new MD talks to ABC

By: Chris Smith

ABC’s exclusive interview with Scania Australia’s new Managing Director Jan Kilstrom reveals he is happy with the bus side of

ABC’s exclusive interview with Scania Australia’s new Managing Director Jan Kilstrom reveals he is happy with the bus side of the business but sees the truck side as needing a firm push.

Kilstrom says Scania is happy with its current position in the Australian bus market however, there are still markets the Swedish group wish to penetrate.

"In the bus side of the business we have a very strong position," he tells ABC.

"Our role within the bus side of the business is really to make sure we continue supplying the best solutions for all our current customers, and of course there are some cities that we still want to get into, but mainly our role will be making sure that we don’t loose any ground and continue gradually developing in the market."

Kilstrom’s role at this stage looks like he’ll maintain the standard and presence of the Scania bus business in Australia but he has work ahead of him to achieve the same results, and positioning, in the truck side of things.

To help him achieve his goals for the truck side of the Australian business Kilstrom is armed with a practical background in road transport.

Before joining Scania he spent four years as the Managing Director of one Sweden’ s biggest truck operators.

"In many ways I think my experience could help, especially the four years within the industry because you get to know the customers very well and you know what the problems the customer will have," he says.

"It is always good to see that other side of the business, it allows you to serve transport operators in the best possible way," he tells ABC.

Kilstrom has been working at Scania HQ, just outside of Stockholm, for the last two years responsible for the marketing aspect of controlling pricing and volumes of trucks.

"The last period [of working at HQ] included business development from the factory perspective out into the global organisation," he says.

Kilstrom says he is eager to expand the Scania business, including trucks, buses, engines and service in Australia.

"The truck side is really a matter of growing the business, we should be taking a larger portion of the market, absolutely. I am convinced we have a very good product."

Coming up against the American big trucks Kilstrom says Scania needs to convince customers to get in the seat and trial a vehicle.

"I think we need to continue the effort to get the customer to really test our product, because a lot of advantages are related to the brand, and we do have a very strong brand in Europe, so we really have to get customers in our trucks and in our workshops so they can really see our capabilities, that’s what we need to do," he says.

He says for the moment the group wants to concentrate on showing Australian customers the merits of their current range of vehicles.

"What is really important is that we will supply the market with a very strong truck from a torque perspective, because that is what you really need," he says.

"And we are talking about the Scania torque, we have a different ratio compared with the competitors, we need to explain it a bit further, I think.

"The Opticruise, semi-automatic solution, is also a selling point and a very good tool to reducing fuel consumption, that’s what we have been finding in Europe.

‘I think I can bring solutions for them [operators], tailored to really make the customer make more money, I think that’s what we need to do, we should not just talk about the torque and the horsepower and the price, we should sit down with the customer making sure he makes more money, and that’s what I learnt in Europe.

"We should really try to figure out the way to convey this message into the Australian market," he says.

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