SM-Trailers is the new general importer • The goal for 2022: ten percent market share • Firmly established in Eastern Europe since the 1990s
The Schwarzmüller Group has changed its business policy in Bulgaria. Since April, sales of new vehicles and the customer service have been completed through SM-Trailers. The company is represented at two locations, and the managers have been working with the transport sector for decades. Along similar lines to the previous success in Slovakia, the changeover in Bulgarian is set to lead to accelerated growth. Schwarzmüller already sells a third of all its new vehicles in Eastern and Southern Europe. This was announced by CEO Roland Hartwig today, Wednesday 19 May, at the company’s headquarters in Hanzing in Freinberg, near Schärding (Upper Austria).
“Under the current market conditions in several countries in Eastern Europe, having your own organisation isn’t necessarily advantageous,” explained Hartwig. Rather than gradually developing a small-scale subsidiary, the agreement with an effective partner company could enable the company’s goals to be achieved more quickly. Schwarzmüller has therefore closed its location in Sofia and concluded an exclusive contract with SM-Trailers. SM-Trailers isn’t just present at the locations of Sofia and Burgas for the sale of new vehicles, but also for maintenance, repair and the supply of spare parts.
With approximately 2,000 trailer units, the market in Bulgaria is around half the size of that in Austria. In Bulgaria, Schwarzmüller currently has a very low market share. Under the new conditions, Schwarzmüller expects to be able to achieve a market share of ten percent, i.e. 200 vehicles, as early as next year. “This is pretty realistic and depends on how significantly we are able to raise the profile of the brand. With SM-Trailers, we have found exactly the right partner for this task,” emphasized Hartwig.
Represented strongly in Eastern Europe and the Balkans
The Schwarzmüller Group has traditionally had a strong presence in the countries of Eastern and South-eastern Europe. The company began opening a network of subsidiaries in several countries there as long ago as the 1990s. In the 1990s, Schwarzmüller was the only major western manufacturer to have both sales offices in Eastern Europe and to manufacture there as well. In 1993 and 1997, its plants in Hungary and the Czech Republic were built, which now account for more than half of Schwarzmüller’s overall production. Within the corporate group, the Czech factory in Žebrák is the centre of expertise for dumper trucks, while the Dunaharaszti site near Budapest is the centre of expertise for long-haul trailers. In addition to these two plants, Schwarzmüller has seven other locations, which also include service operations. In two of the ten countries, Schwarzmüller has exclusive partnerships with dealers.
This approach is having a positive impact. Schwarzmüller isn’t just represented with the widest ranging portfolio in Eastern Europe, it is also one of the market leaders. The premium Austrian manufacturer is number one in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and number two in most other countries. In Poland, the company is aiming to achieve a double-digit market share, with the goal of selling 1,000 vehicles for the first time in 2021. A third of its products are sold in Eastern Europe. “While long-distance vehicles used to be the clear number one, these days, dumper trucks are in increasingly high demand,” explains Roland Hartwig. This success is all the more remarkable as Schwarzmüller consistently offers premium products in the higher price segment.
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Mag. Michael Prock, Prock und Prock Marktkommunikation GmbH, Press Officer
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The Schwarzmüller Group is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of towed commercial vehicles. With its focus on the premium sector, the company sets industry benchmarks and with its 150 years of experience is the specialist for individual transport solutions in demanding industries. With vehicles from the Schwarzmüller and Hüffermann brands, the company supplies the construction trade, infrastructure companies, raw materials and recycling industries, and long-distance transport companies.