Scania brand safe as VW completes takeover

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As Scania marks 50 years in the UK, the firm says that the completion of the takeover by VW – which also owns rival MAN – will not impact its brand. .

At a press conference Claes Jacobsson, Scania (Great Britain) MD, and Scania President and CEO Martin Lundstedt, both said that it is business as usual.

Said Mr Jacobsson: “When we arrived in the UK in 1964 there were 25 manufacturers to fight and we had a market share of zero, and we were only selling engines.”

Now it has an 8.3% annual market share (259 vehicles) of coach and bus, and 18.1% share (6,505 vehicles) in the truck market.

Mapping out Scania’s “scenario” in 2020, Mr Lundstedt says that global revenues will increase by 25-30%, thanks to growing demand from developing countries.

He adds that the takeover by VW, which started in 2008 when it took a majority shareholding and is currently being completed with Scania’s de-listing from the stock market, will not have an impact on its strategy.

He points to VW’s ownership of a number of car brands – Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Å koda – as evidence that Scania will remain intact, and that in the last year it has been “in its most expansionist phase” with massive R&D investment.

Mr Lunstedt admits that there will be cost savings, but says: “Economies of scale is the most overrated phrase ever.” He estimates savings of around €850m over the next 10 years.

He says that component sharing with VW and MAN/Neoplan is the way forward, with gearboxes, hybrid technology, cab components and axles, on the list.

He adds that MAN and Scania’s city and intercity buses’ “volumes are too small and need to be consolidated.” Neither of these ranges is sold in the UK.

He points out that Scania remains profitable, with a 10.7% margin in Q1, and SEK 2.3bn (200m) profit. “The market is coming round after the recession; we don’t see any more shocks to come,” he added.

Picture shows:Claes Jacobsson (left) and Martin Lundstedt celebrating the UK landmark