Scania Southeast Asia MD Heba Eltarifi said her immediate focus is to continue the good work that Scania Malaysia has undertaken in the country.
Up Close with Heba Eltarifi
Heba Eltarifi, the new Managing Director of Scania Southeast Asia started her role in January, 2021 amidst the pandemic. 2021 also marks Scania Malaysia celebrating its first 50 years here in Malaysia.
In an interview with Truck & Bus News, Heba shares her immediate focus, business insights and how she intends to make the most of market opportunities.
“As I have just arrived early this year, my immediate focus is to ensure that all the good work that Scania Malaysia has undertaken during their first 50 years in helping customers achieve greater profitability with sustainable transport solutions continues. Especially during these challenging times, we have and will continue to support our customers as we emerge out of the pandemic. The economy and the market look to be gearing-up for growth already as we speak and we will be on this growth journey with our customers,” said Heba.
This year, she said, as they celebrate Scania Malaysia’s first 50 years together with the customer, she intends to see that their customers continue to experience profitability through good and tough times.
In regards to sales performance, she commented, like most businesses, last year was an extremely challenging year for some and extremely dynamic for others. The trend continues into this year.
“Vehicle sales were healthy but they could have been better. As our nationwide workshops continued to stay open during all movement control order (MCO) levels, we were able to support our customers in essential services. This helped keep our services sales stable throughout the year. Customers were looking for solutions on how to make their fleet more efficient given the challenges of inter-district and inter-state restrictions and we delivered. The signs in the market are looking more positive this year.”
Making Inroads into the Urban Segment Gradually
Scania, Heba stressed, has always been and will continue to be strong in the long haulage segment. “We are known for being the best in fuel economy, safety and for lowering carbon emissions in this segment. We are also slowly making inroads into the urban segment, and our XT models designed for tough conditions have been well received by the market.”
To celebrate Scania Malaysia’s first 50 years, Heba shared, the company is running a campaign.
Starting from approximately RM9,888 per month on-the-road, inclusive of repair and maintenance contract, eager customers – especially in the container application – could get their hands on a brand new Scania truck. This campaign, she pointed out, is an affordable way for many to experience profit with Scania, so to say.
The on-going Covid-19 pandemic presents both challenges and opportunities to the industry. Heba noted that the bus and coach industry was going through a turbulent time last year and coming into this year too.
“As we speak, the inter-district and even some inter-state travel is now allowed. This bodes well for the industry – hopefully this sees our bus and coach customers bounce back and recover. We are sure to be by their side as they ramp up their fleet operations. On the flip side, the demand for trucks has increased – through the movement of goods fuelled by local retail consumption – albeit mostly online – and international trade. Classified as essential services, since late last year and going into this year, the need for transportation of goods has increased.”
Scania, she continued, is in a good position to support both new and current customers in this growing economy. After all, when the restrictions started at the same time last year, Scania was first off the blocks to support their customers with Resting Contracts and Easy Pay by Scania Credit Malaysia, Heba astutely pointed out. She also added that Ramp-up Service packages were implemented when their customers came out of restrictions.
“The pandemic opened up many people’s minds to flexibility and different ways to run a business, to conserve business profitability, of course, as well as to conserve the environment and the planet. Taking care of our environment has become even more imperative and Scania continues to work closely with our customers on this. Scania as a world-leading provider of transport solutions, together with our partners and customers, will continue to drive the shift towards a sustainable transport system. This means creating a world of mobility that is better for business, society and the environment.”
Scania Sustainable Ambitious and Targets
Moving forward, Heba stressed, Scania will continue to minimise carbon emission both in the products it designs and in its own business practices. Therefore, she said, Scania became the first major manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles to have their far-reaching climate targets officially approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) back in April 2020. Scania is committed to achieving the Paris agreement goals of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
“The SBTi approval recognises that Scania’s targets align with the strictest decarbonisation pathway defined to date. The targets that Scania has set include both direct and indirect emissions from its operations, as well as emissions from when the products are in use. Thus, it is only natural for Scania to work in close cooperation with our customers in operating their trucks, buses and engines with less climate impact while their business remains profitable. We will continue the journey with them via Scania Ecolution,” she elaborated.
The Scania Ecolution, she commented, is a tailor-made partnership between Scania and customers that helps to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This is achieved through vehicle optimisation and agreed fuel and CO2 emissions reduction targets.
“Becoming Scania Ecolution partner allows our customers to build a variety of cost-efficient, low-carbon solutions – choosing from customised and optimised heavy trucks, buses and coaches to optimised services. All options help to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in their operations. In fact, late last year, despite the challenging times, we hit a milestone with all our Ecolution customers by reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions equivalent to planting approximately 10,000 trees. And the success continues on, “she explained.
On top of this, she added, this success can be further fuelled by Scania Data Driven Services. “This is the new era of logistics. With connectivity in the entire fleet, rich information for vehicle and driver behaviour would help businesses make real-time and informed decisions to maintain uptime and reduced operational costs. I am also looking forward to a future in Malaysia that is more connected, electrified and possibly autonomous! These global industry trends will definitely come here sooner than expected,” she concluded with an enthusiastic nod to the future.
她续说，斯堪尼亚在这个不断发展的经济中处于有利地位，可以为新旧客户提供支持。毕竟，当这些限制在去年同期间开始时，斯堪尼亚是首家排除障碍，透过马来西亚斯堪尼亚信贷（Scania Credit Malaysia） 的休息合同（Resting Contracts）和轻松付款（Easy Pay） 来支援他们的客户。她也补充说，当他们的客户脱离限制后，他们实施了提升服务（Ramp-up Service）配套。
未来，赫巴强调，斯堪尼亚将继续在其产品设计和业务中将碳排放降至最低。她说，斯堪尼亚具有深远影响的科学碳减排放目标，已在2020年4月正式获得科学碳目标提倡联合体 （SBTI）的批准，成为首家通过该批准的重型商用车制造商。斯堪尼亚立志实践巴黎合约目标， 将全球平均气温升幅控制在工业化前水平以上的1.5°C 之内。