New Kid on the Block

There is now a new kid on the block – after eight years at the helm of Scania Australia, Roger McCarthy has handed the tiller to Mikael Jansson as the local Managing Director of the Swedish truck brand. Diesel News looks at Roger’s legacy.

The Managing Director’s chair at Scania Australia headquarters used to be a bit of a hot one. There were a couple of short-term appointments, due to a certain amount of churn in the Scania organisation in Europe. The arrival of Roger McCarthy in 2009 was, in retrospect, a calming influence. One that allowed the Australian operation to get its bearings and then find new directions in which to move forward.

With Roger stepping back from the day-to-day running of a truck sales operation, after 36 years with Scania, his replacement can be seen as a consolidation move. Improved sales performance in the past few years now needs to be backed up with a process of ensuring the support Scania offers to its new customers retains the quality expected and, hence, future sales.

The new Managing Director, Mikael Jansson, comes from a distinctly different background, is clearly a ‘process’ person, and will be bringing a different perspective to the role. There will still be a Roger McCarthy presence – he serves on the Scania Australia board, as he already does on Scania boards in New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Denmark and the UK. He is no longer involved full time, but will still be keeping an eye on things.

Like Roger, Mikael has more than 30 years’ experience with Scania. In his most recent role, he was Senior Vice President and a member of the Top Management Team, while holding down the role of Global Head of Scania’s Parts and Service Division, in Södertalje, Sweden. He is also a board member at several Scania sales and service companies around the world.

Before starting his career at Scania, Mikael, for his final university thesis, studied Scania’s parts stock-holding levels, and devised a new way of reducing inventory. On seeing the study, Scania offered him the opportunity to implement his project, working with the IT and Parts departments.

Five years later, Mikael moved to a business that was part owned by Scania, importing Volkswagen cars into Sweden, in the role of Parts Marketing Manager. After a further five years, he returned to Scania in the role of Head of Parts Product Management, before becoming Vice President and Head of Parts in 2006.

In 2008, Mikael was appointed as a Senior Vice President of the company, then Head of Parts and Service in 2013, a role he held up until his appointment as Managing Director of Scania Australia this July.

The McCarthy Legacy

Mikael takes over a very different Scania to the one Roger took over, at short notice, eight years ago. The numbers have consistently increased on a year-on-year basis, with market share in the heavy-duty market rising considerably from its norm back in the early 2000s.

“We’ve just received the Truck Industry Council (TIC) registration statistics, and I am pleased to say we are holding at 6.6 per cent market share – we delivered 72 new Scanias this month,” says Roger. “We are very much on track to hit our market plan, and we were looking for something in the order of 840 deliveries for Scania this year. We look at our order stock and deliveries year to date and we are slightly ahead of the game, in terms of our projections.

“I am pleased to say, all of our workshops are really busy. There are more and more people coming to Scania to have their vehicles serviced. We have people talking to us about taking over their workshops, running vehicle maintenance units, and so on. The launch of Scania Flexible Plans for maintenance is seeing a number of our customer switching over to this way of making sure we are servicing these vehicles as and when they need to be, in line with their applications.

“All in all, I am handing over the baby in a reasonably good condition and it just needs to now grow. It has been great for the last eight years. I’ll be around, I’m still on the board here.”

Roger has been acting as both Managing Director and Sales Director – going forward, Mikael will be handling the Managing Director role, but Martin Toomey has been appointed in the role of Sales Director. Martin has 17 years of industry experience, working for a number of component suppliers, including Eaton, at General Manager level, both locally and across Asia.