True Grit of a Truck Manufacturer

March 14, 2014
Going to Eastern Europe takes a lot of energy and good planning. Think about Ukraine!

The Finnish Truck manufacturer Sisu, a true SME in Northern Europe, has made a bid to buy a Serbian truck maker, FAP.

Sisu Trucks, which has a long history in Northern Europe to design and manufacturer trucks for demanding environment, has gone through several crisis and changes. The new owner CEO has achieved a lot to get productivity for a low volume truck manufacturer up again and  is now contemplating to acquire a truly Eastern European truck manufacturer, FAP.

Reasons according to the owner CEO of Sisu are the access to the Russian market and production capacity.  Sisu wants to sell more trucks to the Russian market and Russia and Serbia have a free trade agreement.

Naturally the large facility of FAP in Serbia provides in one go a huge capacity increase for the Finnish truck maker.

According to the owner CEO of Sisu, they plan to bring the modern production knowledge to the Serbian factory, hence improving substantially the factory production output and quality, which is essential for Sisu’s reputation as an SME Truck manufacturer.

Lessons to SMEs, who are planning to do the same:

  • Think about the current Ukraine crisis, but don’t be scared off
    • Just consider carefully which Eastern European country fulfills your stability requirements for the society
    • How likely are political risks?
  • To which additional markets you will get a better access
  • It is not a bad idea to have some contact with political decision makers and explain your plans
  • What is your plan B? If you don’t have one, now it is time to do it
  • Greenfield investment or would you rather buy a- not-so-good-company in Eastern Europe and turned it around

These and many more are really critical issues, however, as the Ukraine situation shows, only you as the SME owner can find the answers. Because, in the end you as the company owner will have to carry the consequences and not the politicians.

Sisu name means Grit in English. Sisu Truck maker must probably with the acquisition in Serbia, deploy all the “true grit” it has.

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