The Swedish truck and bus maker Scania is one of only 26 foreign companies that carried on doing business in Ukraine following the Russian invasion. Leaving the country was not in the cards, says Managing Director Håkan Jyde, despite a violent temporary takeover of a Scania workshop in Butja, outside Kyiv, by Russian forces at an early stage.
“When they were forced to withdraw a few weeks later, they stole several trucks, target practiced inside the premises and mined the entire site,” says Jyde. “It was an act of sheer vandalism.”
The workshop reopened in June 2022 and Scania sites in other occupied areas later reclaimed by Ukrainian forces have followed suit.
Ukraine’s GDP has contracted some 35–40 percent since the war started but the transportation sector has suffered less and the demand for Scania’s trucks have remained strong. “In times of emergency and crisis, logistics becomes even more crucial to people. Food, grain, fuel and medicines need to be transported.”
The closing of several sea routes across the Black Sea also brought a shift of cargo to road transport.
Order books are full
Scania’s service centres and order books are fully booked and 2023 is looking good, despite the dire circumstances, Jyde reports. “The war has changed our lives and way of life, but people, trust and partnerships remain unchanged,” adds Jyde. “We sell trucks like never before.”
Trusted customers are offered help with financing and Scania has not witnessed any major difficulties in their ability to meet their obligations, despite a tougher economic environment. When the war broke out, however, EKN moved Ukraine to a higher risk class and stopped the issuing of new guarantees, but has nevertheless been able to issue supplier credit guarantees in a select number of new transactions.
Nina Börjemalm, Senior Underwriter at EKN, explains that, “even in such an extreme situation as Ukraine, EKN can on a case-by-case basis issue guarantees. Scania’s long experience in the country, together with EKN's trust in Scania and risk mitigating factors, enables EKN to participate following a thorough risk assessment.”
As a result, leading Ukrainian sanitary goods producer Agromat recently added ten shiny, new Scania R450 trucks to their fleet. Another customer covered by an EKN credit guarantee is dairy producer Galychyna.
Finally, how does Jyde view the situation right now? “The war has obviously brought serious consequences, but the extent of these is different depending on the location. In most places, life goes on with some sort of normalcy.”