Today at the Busworld exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium, Scania (STO:SCVA)(STO:SCVB) is launching a new coach: the Scania Touring. The coach is built in partnership with the Chinese bus bodybuilder Higer. Together the two manufacturers will produce buses in China for the world market, which is a first in bus manufacture.
“Scania has found a perfect partner for its global expansion strategy. The partnership with Higer provides Scania with a platform to satisfy the needs of new and existing markets. This also means that Scania Touring will be followed by other models in due course,” says Melker Jernberg, Senior Vice President Scania Buses and Coaches.
The Scania-Higer cooperation is a purely commercial partnership, where Higer stands for the bodybuilding expertise and Scania provides the chassis and the experience of international customer demands. Jointly with Higer, Scania’s team of stylists have created a coach with a distinct Scania character.
“Our relationship is a unique pairing of Western and Chinese industry. This is a powerful combination that combined with careful quality control in each step of the production process gives a robust and versatile coach with a quality that can compete with any brand in any markets,” says Jernberg.
The Scania Touring is a Scania-branded product that is sold and serviced through the global Scania sales and services network. Also, parts supply will be secured via Scania’s regular service network. All in all, this will guarantee world-class product and service quality.
“We are now concluding preparations for the market introduction in early 2010 and aim to reach an initial annual volume of around 500 units. The sales will start in the central parts of Europe and gradually expand towards the west, south and north. There are also plans for an expansion into the Middle East and Africa, as well as some Asian markets,” concludes Mr Jernberg.
The Higer operations in Suzhou, Shanghai, were established in 1998. With 4,000 employees, overall production capacity is 18,000 buses and coaches per year. Scania's cooperation with Higer started five years ago, and in 2006 a new production line in a separate Scania workshop was built for the assembly of Scania Touring and other forthcoming Scania models. The ultimate annual capacity is 3,000 Scania buses and coaches.Further information on the new Scania Touring and Scania at Busworld is available at the special exhibition pressroom at www.scania.com/busworld