Scania boss arrives to see Aussie division split

Scania’s new head of Bus and Coach, Klas Dahlberg, arrived in Australia this week on the eve of a new marketing model

Scania boss arrives to see Aussie division split
Scania boss arrives to see Aussie division split

By David Goeldner | February 24, 2012

With the visit of Scania’s new global head of Bus and Coach, Klas Dahlberg, to Australia this week the local operation splits in March into separate government and retail sales operations.

The decision to separate Scania’s Australian bus and coach division has been driven by an emphasis on government citybus fleet renewals and the take-up of the Scania-Higer A30 into the school and charter market.

And splitting retail and government sales follows the template used by Scania in Sweden.

From March 1, Scania’s Government Contracts branch will be headed by Trevor O’Brien, while the new retail branch will be managed by Julian Gurney, who returns from a two-year stint at Heritage Finance.

Both roles will report directly to Scania Australia Managing Director Roger McCarthy.

After 30 years of Scania management experience, O’Brien will oversee a team of state-based contract managers.

O’Brien says the new arrangement for the Scania Bus and Coach business in Australia will lead to closer working relationships with current and potential customers.

During this month’s familiarisation tour of Australia, Scania’s new Senior Vice President of Buses and Coaches, Klas Dahlberg, sees the Australian market as important for the Swedish manufacturer, and with O’Brien met key clients at NSW State Transit Authority and Comfort Delgro Cabcharge (CDC) in Sydney this week.

Dahlberg says he sees opportunities in Australia under ‘special’ market conditions.

"The fact you drive buses here for 25 years amazed me, and is totally different in Europe," he says.

"In that sense, a 25 year life length is a dream if you maintain a product for that life span."

Dahlberg says to have rolling stock 25 years old and to provide constant maintenance and service requirements for an aging fleet is rare by world standards.

While Australia doesn’t currently appear in the top ten list of Scania’s bus and coach sales globally, it remains a key market for the Swedish chassis maker.

Dahlberg sees Scania as being a ‘solution provider’ in developed countries like Australia.

"That’s something we would like to develop with customers," he says.

Dahlberg says a priority item on the Australian itinerary was to meet customers and get an insight into everyday business.

O’Brien says Dahlberg’s visit presented an opportunity for key government clients with long term contracts to see the Australian bus and coach operation as having direct access to Sweden.

"The communication channels open up with Klas understanding the Australian market," O’Brien says.

"For me looking after this market and having that line of communication is immense," he says.

Dahlberg says he is impressed with Government contracted fleet operations in Australia.

"We are dealing with quite professional operators, they know the business, they have service facilities and a structured way of working – which is quite impressive," he says.

"And it’s also quite impressive to be able to maintain a product that runs in an everyday business for 25 years – to do that you need skill."

*More on Klas Dahlberg’s visit to Australia, focussing on Scania’s new global body building partnership strategy, appears in March 2012 issue #295 of Australasian Bus and Coach – out soon.

*PHOTO: Scania ‘heavyweights’ visit Sydney this week, from left, South-east Asia Product Manager Peter Risberg, Senior VP Buses and Coaches Klas Dahlberg and Scania Australia Government Contacts National Manager Trevor O’Brien

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook