A natural fit
The newest member to join Scania South Africa’s expanding team is Anders Friberg, general manager: new vehicle sales and exports.
There is a special kind of member of the commercial vehicle industry: the person who joins a company where they stay indefinitely, because the fit is so natural. This applies to Friberg and Scania.
Friberg joined the trucking industry ten years ago – switching from the light commercial vehicle side of the business to heavy trucks and buses, when he joined Scania in 2007.
In 2012, Friberg was asked to take the role of MD at Scania Tanzania. “In Dar es Salaam, the position of MD was very hands on, and I was able to learn every part of the bus and truck market,” Friberg explains.
“We were part of the sub-Saharan unit reporting to South Africa. I worked very closely with Scania SA and would travel here up to ten times a year.”
This relationship fostered another natural fit when Friberg was asked to join the local team last year. “It was easy for me to come to South Africa and take on my current role,” he explains.
Since January, Friberg has been responsible for truck and bus sales in South Africa, and the neighbouring Scania export regions (Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi). His vision − one he shares with the company − is to grow Scania’s market share while closely aligning to key focus areas; placing customers first and understanding their operations and, further, that of the customer’s customer.
In 2016, Scania achieved the second-highest market share of extra-heavy trucks and buses. Friberg notes that one of the successes of the company is that it is able to provide a total solution for any customer’s operation, so they can focus on other pertinent areas of their operation and benefit from minimum downtime.
“Our sales department does not work in isolation. At Scania we work as a unified team and all departments are cross-functional,” Friberg says.
“Scania is a lean organisation, which enables it to adapt to market situations rapidly. The estimation is that the local market will show minimal growth during 2017, but we anticipate stability at the 2016 level. In 2018, sizeable growth is predicted,” he continues.
Scania’s goal is to grow in other segments such as construction and distribution. It will also focus on sustainability solutions. Friberg proudly notes: “We have the widest range of ‘green solutions’ in South Africa, and many of our customers are already purchasing gas buses and other alternative fuels for trucks.”
Sales in Scania’s export markets, supported from the regional headoffice in South Africa, are showing a positive growth, and Friberg notes that used trucks from South Africa are the perfect tool to enter export markets “where non-Scania customers can experience the quality and the reliability of a Scania vehicle”.
Friberg explains: “I try to listen to a customer’s problems and see the whole picture. I also do my best to keep a positive customer relationship, even if it is just calling the customers; not to sell, but to check on how they are and how their vehicles are performing.”
“Scania understands its customers’ businesses,” he elaborates. “We find solutions for them. It’s their source of income and ours, too, so if they are not profitable, neither are we,” he says.
This natural fit seems to be an ideal one for Scania and its customers in South Africa.