Scomi Engineering confident of smoother ride
By Kamarul Yunus Published: 2008/06/13
SCOMI Engineering Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scomi Group Bhd, remains optimistic that its logistics and engineering businesses will steadily improve throughout 2008, in anticipation of a surge in demand for public transport, because of the current escalating fuel price.
Its president, Hilmi Zaini, said Scomi expects buyers from Malaysia and overseas to purchase more than 300 buses from the company this year.
Scomi Engineering's plant in Rawang can produce some 400 buses a year. Last year, it produced some 300 buses, of which 120 were exported to places like Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Macau and Cyprus.
"For 2008, we expect almost the same volume as last year, with confirmed orders for 100 buses from Hong Kong," Hilmi said, taking the media for tour around Scomi Engineering's logistics and engineering facilities for buses, special purpose vehicles and monorail in Rawang yesterday.
Scomi Coach Sdn Bhd and Scomi Rail Bhd operate the group's logistics and engineering businesses respectively.
The group is targeting new overseas markets for its coach, stage and double-decker buses, namely India, where there are plans to set up a manufacturing and assembly plant to produce monorail and buses in Mumbai.
"This will certainly complement our sales of buses in the Indian market," Hilmi said.
Through aggressive marketing, the group also expects revenue from its bus segment to show a positive result this year.
"Last year, the bus segment registered a revenue of RM21 million and we expect to achieve similar or slightly better results this year, due to greater demand for the use of public transportation," he said.
Apart from building new buses, Hilmi said the group is refurbishing 150 old RapidKL buses, which were left idle in two yards that do not belong to Scomi.
"We have completed refurbishing 50 of these buses and expect to complete the whole 150 buses in the next two months," he said.
Hilmi was commenting on reports that more than 1,000 RapidKL buses have been left idle in two yards.
He clarified that the buses for RapidKL are not supplied only by Scomi but also other companies, through tender basis.
"For the last three years, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd had purchased about 1,000 stage buses, of which we supplied 285 units.
"The rest were supplied by five or seven other companies," he said.
On its monorail business, Hilmi said the group is bidding for contracts in 20 cities worldwide.
"Over the next 12 months, we expect to see tenders coming up, namely in India and Africa. Currently, there are four or five tenders, which are at the final proposal stage," he said.