Friday, December 15, 2017

Scania plots major comeback with bus assembly


By Gadiosa Lamtey @gadiosa2

Dar es Salaam. Truck importer Scania Tanzania Ltd is looking for a local joint venture aimed at assembling passenger buses in the country, with the firm announcing that next month it will assemble the first bus.

Last year the company launched the new Gemilang passenger bus targeted at the East Africa markets as well as competing with other bus manufacturers, which have failed to meet the target.

After a year of failing to bear fruits, the management found that the best way of penetrating the market was to start the process of assembling buses in the country, which would help transporters to purchase such vehicles locally at affordable prices.

“The pace of the bus business in the country in 2017 was slow in a generally depressed market situation with low investment initiatives. Therefore, this premium product did not sell as well as expected but it certainly has a place in our plans going forward,” said company managing director Lars Eklund when speaking to The Citizen on Wednesday.

He said the first bus will be a pilot, then after the company would determine the capacity according to demand, adding the objective is to both provide employments and getting some relives from import duties.

“We have started negotiations with a local company… after we finish we will enter a joint venture to assemble the buses. The target is yet to be reached… we didn’t generate profits in this area,” he stressed.

According to Mr Eklund, in general the overall business in the sector was unimpressive throughout the year. He added that the company was working on finding ways of capturing the bus market to match the success achieved in the trucks business.

The interior will hold all the extras that the passengers demand, based on a new extensive survey done at the Ubungo Bus Terminal.