Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the Official Launch of Volvo BZL – SC Neustar City Electric Bus

Speech by MOS Alvin Tan at the Official Launch of Volvo BZL – SC Neustar City Electric Bus

His Excellency Kent Härstedt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Singapore


Mr. Emil Akander, Trade Commissioner of Business Sweden


Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. A very good morning.


2. We are all gathered here today to celebrate a key milestone for SC Auto and the local mobility ecosystem. After months of collaboration, SC Auto and Volvo Bus will be launching one of the first made-in-Singapore electric bus models today.


From bus rides to bus manufacturing


3. Let me start by sharing about SC Auto’s transformation journey. SC Auto started their business as a private transport operator for school and charter buses, before going into bus-body manufacturing and providing workshop repair services.


4. Building on its experience and understanding of the local transport sector, SC Auto began to design buses that catered to the needs of local operators. Over time, they developed the end-to-end capability to manufacture an entire bus.


5. In 2018, SC Auto launched their proprietary brand of long-distance travel coach – the SC Neustar. This product was well received and allowed them to make headways into overseas markets such as Hong Kong and Myanmar.


6. The transformation journey did not stop there.


  a. SC Auto continued to invest in R&D to improve productivity, produce more cost effectively and expand their product offerings.


  b. For example, SC Auto installed high-tech equipment such as 3D laser pipe cutting and automatic welding robots to strengthen their manufacturing capabilities. You can see some of these improvements and installations in SC Auto’s manufacturing facility today.


  c. These R&D efforts also provides a competitive edge as they pursue business opportunities in Singapore and beyond.


Riding the wave of opportunities in the Green Economy


7. As more consumers embrace sustainability and pivot to cleaner energy vehicles, SC Auto acted fast to kickstart their next phase of growth. They came together with the best in class to innovate and co-create an electric city bus variant of the SC Neustar.


8. This electric bus model is able to marry the demands of running on clean energy with the ability to run at a speed and range comparable to conventional buses. It is also packed with the latest technologies, such as remote vehicle data analysis, zone management system and preventive maintenance diagnostic, thereby ensuring safer journeys for all.


9. With this development, we have made another step in developing a greener and more sustainable land transport sector.


10. On this note, I want to thank Volvo Bus and our Swedish partners for lending your strong support and deep expertise to this partnership.


a. It is a stellar example of how we can partner each other in our innovation journey.


b. Through the partnership with Volvo Bus, SC Auto developed a product that meets the global demand for sustainable transport options.


c. Volvo Bus, in turn, is also able to tap SC Auto’s capabilities and networks in Singapore and the region, creating a win-win for all.


Journeying alongside SMEs to build green capabilities


11. We saw a renewed focus at COP27 on how every industry, not just the emissions-intensive ones, must play their part to decarbonise. It is therefore crucial that our companies develop capabilities in sustainability to be competitive and relevant in a low-carbon future.


12. With the transport sector accounting for about a fifth of global emissions, there is huge potential for sustainable transport to impact climate change.


a. We need new ideas and breakthroughs, and I encourage more companies to set their eyes on these green opportunities, not just in Singapore, but in the region and the world.


13. We are committed to support homegrown companies such as SC Auto to build green capabilities. There are various initiatives, such as the Enterprise Sustainability Programme that support companies to uplift their capabilities and seize these growth opportunities.


14. I hope that more companies will utilise these resources to embark on their green transformation, just as SC Auto did.




15. Volvo Bus’ confidence in an enterprising local company like SC Auto puts Singapore on the global map. Singapore has collectively as a country, became stronger together after COVID-19 and we will continue to strengthen our value proposition so more partnerships like the one we see today will come into fruition.


16. Once again, my heartiest congratulations to SC Auto and Volvo Bus for trailblazing the way forward for our local mobility ecosystem.


17. Thank you.

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