Wednesday’s public debut at Elmia Lastbil felt momentous. For the first time in 21 years Scania presented a totally new truck. One that is the result of a decade’s development work and project costs of about SEK 20 billion (EUR 2.1 bn). Hordes of visitors and exhibitors at the fair were gathered to watch the curtain opened and the new truck be made public. The revelation occurred in two versions – one outside and one inside – but both were synchronised to the second. Placing this unique moment at Elmia turned out to be a real hit.
“We feel great pride to be able to be here, in Sweden, and on that the day after the world premiere we can demonstrate that Sweden really is Scania’s home market. That’s hugely important for us,” said the communications manager for Scania’s Swedish operation, Peter Kaméus.
Did Scania feel there was a lot of expectation in the air and that this is a milestone we are experiencing?
“Absolutely. Over the past two years when the trucks were out on the roads, even though they were camouflaged, the rumours have been circulating. And at the same time the questions were constantly coming. It’s been over 20 years since we launched the last one. Of course expectations are raised and we feel demand and curiosity. I think that’s been proven here – the pressure we’ve had today has been enormous.”
You had your world premiere in Paris yesterday. How did that go?
“It was different. It was international. There were a lot of speeches and a great emphasis on sustainability, because that is Scania’s standpoint – that we’re working for long-term sustainability, which is both natural and necessary for the future.
“In some ways the level was higher in Paris but here we have the warmth and closeness to our customers. Here we meet people who really drive our trucks. It’s tremendous.”
This takes the Scania Group into a new era. How big does this advance feel in technical terms?
“Technically it’s huge. It’s a whole new platform. Even though it partly looks the same as before – which is a strength because it sends the signal that this is Scania – everything’s changed. If you go into the cab and look at the driver’s seat, it has been moved a bit to the left and further forward – all to give the driver more space and a better feel. We’ve also got improved quality of the interior fittings. We have a door that’s tremendous to close – just that alone! – and the cab floor is flat.
“The engine is also improved. It has the same driveline but we’ve noticed that with the new aerodynamics of the cab, fuel consumption can be reduced by up to five percent. So a lot’s been achieved. I believe the new 500 model will become a real favourite!”