Swedish truckmaker Scania marked the centenary of its export activity in Russia last week with the inauguration of a delivery centre in St Petersburg for final assembly and bodywork on trucks adapted for the Russian market.
“This facility enables us to move the factory gate closer to the customer, shorten delivery times and greatly improve Scania’s customer support in the Russian market,” said Johan Balck, head of the new delivery centre, in a statement.
The facility has the assembly capacity for 5,000 truck chassis and 1,500 superstructures per year and, though the vast majority of components are brought from outside Russia, Scania will work with a number of locally selected suppliers, further cutting delivery times.
“When it comes to the tipper trucks, we see a potential to increase the national content up to close to 30%,” said a Scania spokesperson. “Scania is open for increasing the number of domestic supplier as long as they fulfil our requirements.”
It is the sixth such facility Scania has established, following those set up in Africa, Dubai, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea.
Scania said it has delivered around 22,000 trucks and buses to the Russian market, with the majority sent in the past decade.
Kia to sell vehicles on eBay
In an effort to boost sales in the US, Kia Motors will begin selling vehicles through online auction site eBay, tying in with eBay Motor’s efforts to expand sales of new vehicles, parts and services, which make up a smaller portion of revenue than used cars and trucks.
“The program already has proven to be popular with our dealers with nearly 50% of [them] signing on for the program in just two weeks’ time, and more and more signing on every day,” said Tom Loveless, vice president of sales, Kia Motors America.
The company said that more than 345 Kia dealers out of a total of 725 in the US are now enrolled to list their inventory of Kia vehicles through a specific online interface – www.kia.ebay.com.
The move mirrors a promotion that GM pursued last year for eight weeks during the summer involving 225 dealerships in California. That situation differed from the standard practice on eBay Motors whereby the buyer makes the arrangements and pays the costs associated with picking up or shipping the vehicle. Delivery options are negotiated with the local GM dealer. Read more here
General Automotive launches import programme
General Automotive Company, a North American provider of aftermarket parts and technology for the automotive industry, has launched its New Direct Import programme for ‘under-car’ products, which includes brake drums and rotors, wheel hubs and U-joints.
Product lines will cover domestic, Asian, and European makes with quality guarantees from certified manufacturing facilities. All part numbers will be required to go through a stringent quality control procedure and will be validated for the US market.
General Automotive through its joint venture General Automotive China/Taichi Automotive is focussing on the development and sourcing of quality automotive parts while pursuing manufacturing and distribution opportunities.
Short-sea ro-ro service between US and Mexico
A new ro-ro venture offering a short-sea alternative to road haulage between the US and Mexico will charter two vessels contracted to Grimaldi Group currently being built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard at its facility in Ulsan, South Korea.
NAFTA Gulf Express, which develops short-sea shipping routes, is about to start operating a new service called NAFTA Gulf Bridge between Mobile in Alabama and Veracruz in Mexico, designed to carry ro-ro trailers, as well as handle other rolling stock. It is expected to save trucking companies an average of 600km per trip compared to a transport by road.
The distance from Mobile to Mexico City is around 2,500km, compared to 1,500km by sea from Mobile to Veracruz, plus the 400km overland to Mexico City.
The cargo mix is expected to include automotive parts amongst other freight.
The two vessels used to operate the service have been chartered on a long-term basis from Grimaldi. The first vessel will make its maiden voyage from a South Korean shipyard and begin twice-weekly cross-Gulf service in both directions in November. The second vessel will join the service in January 2011 to provide three sailings per week.