Patrik Glas-Crommert, previously chief financial officer (CFO) of Scania South Africa, has now been appointed mD of Scania Finance SA. And, as CHARLEEN CLARKE reports, he’s raring to go!
Patrik Glas-Crommert may have been born in Sweden, but – after seven years here – he’s rapidly becoming South African. “I get goosebumps when watching the Springboks play and my kids are virtually South African now!” he reveals.
The South Africanisation (yes, I just invented that word) of Glas-Crommert has come as a bit of a surprise to him and his family. “When I was appointed CFO of Scania South Africa and came to South Africa seven years ago, I was expecting to be here for just three years.
“My family was overjoyed when we found out this year that I would be staying in South Africa for another three to five years! This was fantastic news!” he tells FOCUS.
The man who started his career as chief accountant for a Swedish ice cream producer is thrilled to now have a new challenge: that of MD of Scania Finance SA, because he’s a man who likes to set high goals for himself … and then hunt them down.
Glas-Crommert has been fortunate to inherit a company that is doing remarkably well. Having said this, he wants to do even better. “We’re currently financing 60 percent of our new truck sales. This is utterly remarkable and virtually unheard of in the Scania world. Around 40 percent is customary in Europe, for instance.
“However, I want us to have a financing offer on the table for 100 percent of deals. I’m not saying we will get them all – some customers are, after all, cash buyers, but we must be in the running!” he insists.
There is an unwritten rule in the world of vehicle financing that you shouldn’t be financing too high a percentage of deals – because of the associated risk. Glas-Crommert says this is nonsense.
“I’m not saying we’re going to engage in reckless lending. That would not be prudent. However, we do want to grow our share of the new truck business,” he says.
There’s also huge potential within the used-truck business. “We want to finance the majority of used-truck deals, too – and I’m convinced that we can do this. We can look at aspects such as floorplans and finance structures and come up with even more compelling offers,” notes Glas-Crommert.
There’s huge potential when it comes to bus sales as well. “We’re currently financing about 35 percent of deals. I’m determined to increase that,” he tells FOCUS.
Insurance is yet another area of opportunity. “This is currently a relatively small part of our business, so it has huge potential. I’m very excited about this,” he notes.
Scania Finance SA isn’t responsible for the financing and insurance of vehicles only in southern Africa. It is also responsible for East Africa, and Glas-Crommert says that the company is excelling in Tanzania.
“We are now financing 83 percent of our used-truck sales there, which is just incredible. We’re in a very fortunate situation in that we have been represented in that country since 1973.
“We have a great team there. They have very good relationships with their customers. The brand is incredibly well known, too. We all know what everyone calls a vacuum cleaner: a Hoover. Well, in Tanzania, any truck is called a Scania,” he reveals.
Going forward, Glas-Crommert wants to mimic the success of the Tanzanian team here in South Africa. “We want to get even closer to our customers. I also want to work more closely with Scania South Africa. The closer we get, the better our service will be to customers – because we will be more efficient and much quicker when approving financing deals,” he explains.
The nice thing is that, with his background as CFO of Scania South Africa for seven years, he has an intimate understanding of how that company works. He knows the industry and customers and he’s a financial whizzkid.
This sounds like the perfect recipe for success for Scania Finance SA going forward. Watch this space; we’re convinced Glas-Crommert is about to do great things…