13 Aug 2020

Scania pushes forward with multi-million dollar expansion

6:08 pm on 13 August 2020

Swedish-based truck manufacturer Scania is shrugging off concerns about the latest outbreak of Covid-19 and is proceeding with a multi-million dollar expansion.

Truck on the road.

Photo: 123RF

The company is looking to add to its dealer network after it acquired the heavy commercial vehicle arm of Truck & Trailers, which included seven service centres.

Scania will rebrand the centres, turning them into workshops to service clients up and down the country. The company will also establish an eighth workshop in Rotorua and is building a new warehouse in Auckland.

The expansion would see Scania increase its nation-wide dealerships to 30 and triple its current pool of staff to a team of more then 190.

Scania executive vice president and head of commercial operations, Mathias Carlbaum, said the New Zealand market appealed for an investment.

"This is one of Scania's most significant investments in our global structure this year," Carlbaum said.

"During these challenging times, we are taking an important step in our business commitment in New Zealand where we see capacity for growth within its local market, to support our New Zealand customers."

The company's managing director of its New Zealand operations, Mattias Lundholme, acknowledged the announcement comes at time of heightened uncertainty, given Auckland moved to Alert Level 3 on Wednesday.

But he took a long term view.

"Things happen and we have to adapt to that. The interesting thing is that the transport industry moves everyday, it doesn't matter if there's a lockdown or not.

"We need to bring food to the supermarkets and oxygen to the hospitals and so on and so forth. It is a long term investment and obviously it provides a backbone of the society basically."

He said the new workshops, which are based in Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru, Invercargill and Greymouth, would help it reach more customers around the country.

Lundholme said the company preferred to acquire the service centres from Trucks & Trailers rather then establish its own workshops because it would be a lot quicker.

He said the Trucks & Trailer staff would be absorbed into Scania's workforce but he could not rule out possible job losses.

"I think there's an overlap on a few positions where together, with Trucks & Trailers management, [we] are really trying to find solutions."

Lundholme said the new workshops should be operational come November provided there were no further delays brought on by the latest outbreak of Covid-19.