Scania to halt body production in Poland
07 June 2023
Scania is to cease bus body production at its plant in Słupsk, Poland, while continuing to ‘offer customers complete buses and coaches, an offer that increasingly builds to our strengths, the modular system, an extensive service network and strong global and local partnerships with body builders’.
According to the series heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer, the bus and coach market was heavily impacted by the COVID pandemic. The slow recovery, combined with increasing competition and upcoming legislation will require new technology investment. This appears to imply that money saved in bus body development can be redirected to these areas.
“We are convinced that the bus and coach business will continue to be an important part of Scania’s offering going forward, but we need an updated strategy that enables us to deliver on our customer promise and secures a profitable business globally,” said Stefano Fedel, head of Sales & Marketing at Scania.
The company intends to discontinue production of the Scania Citywide, Interlink and the Low-floor chassis. This, it is put forward, will result in a leaner structure, improving speed and flexibility. The company will continue to manufacture rear- and front-engine chassis versions, together with a range of powertrain options.
In what amounts to a new outsourcing policy, Scania will still continue to offer road-ready buses and coaches, with those vehicles completed by selected body manufacturers and other partners.
“The majority of Scania’s bus and coach business has always been in cooperation with bodybuilders where a high service level and a strong global presence has been achieved with local setups. This successful approach will be further developed, now in even closer collaboration with our bodybuilders and partners to offer our customers complete solutions,” said Fedel.
In a related move, Volvo Buses has also decided to end production of bus bodies in Europe. Bodies for electric buses will be completed by third-party specialists Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles, based in Egypt, while Spanish company Sunsundegui will produce most others. The Spanish firm already produces bodies for the premium market 9700 and 9900 coaches.
The body plant at Słupsk will be wound down by Q1 2024. The move is said not to impact chassis production at the site or other businesses in Poland.