In future, MAN Truck & Bus will focus primarily on the areas of electromobility, autonomous vehicles and digital solutions. These are the cornerstones of a new strategy called ‘NewMAN’, which the commercial vehicle manufacturer from Munich, part of the Traton Group, has now presented.
The most important product news in the course of the strategy presentation is that MAN’s Lion’s City E electric bus is now available with two battery options. In addition to the familiar configuration for a range of 200 to 270 kilometres, there will in future be a second variant called “Maximum Range” for “higher daily ranges”. The Munich-based company is not more specific about this in its announcement. MAN presented the series version of the Lion’s City Electric in October 2019 and started series production at the end of 2020 in the Polish MAN plant in Starachowice.
As second product news, MAN places that a new model, the Lion’s Intercity LE, will go into production at the beginning of 2022. From 2023 the bus, which as a low-entry bus is also to be suitable for intercity journeys, will also have a hybrid version. The new model series will replace three existing bus models, MAN says.
The phasing out of model series is also one of the keywords for the general direction MAN is now taking. The company defines the goal of its restructuring as, among other things, “a considerable improvement in earnings that will allow it to finance the necessary investments in the future from its own resources”. The reorganisation of the production and development network is to make an important contribution to cost efficiency.
In terms of technology, MAN announces its intention to concentrate on zero-emission technologies with a focus on battery-electric and hydrogen. The development of autonomous vehicles and the creation of a digital product portfolio to tap new business potential are also part of the strategic plan.
The Munich-based company does not go into detail. Instead, they prefer to emphasise their existing range of services, such as their ‘eMobility overall concept’ consisting of consulting and customised mobility solutions. The company says that it has currently restructured the services around the “MAN eManager” so that fleet managers can optimally manage their electric vehicles. Tools from a cloud-based platform from parent company Traton are used to monitor and control the battery, room temperature and many other vehicle components remotely.
MAN also announces further assistance systems from 2022. These include an electronically assisted steering system (“MAN ComfortSteering”) and a lane return assist system.
“Our goal is to set the course for the future with competitive structures, ultra-modern, clean vehicles, innovative assistance and safety systems, not to mention sophisticated services that make it as easy as possible for our customers to embrace e-mobility,” says Rudi Kuchta, Head Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus. “We have set out on a path that is certainly challenging at times. Nevertheless, we will continue to pursue it resolutely, focus on our customers and the issue of sustainability to an even greater extent, and build on our strengths. This approach will enable us to play a decisive role in shaping the mobility of tomorrow.”
CEO Andreas Tostmann adds that MAN is in excellent shape with its buses despite challenging times. “We are, however, fully aware that we need to put the future at the forefront of what we do at all times in order to stay relevant. After all, the megatrends of zero-emission mobility, digitalisation and automation are changing the face of the world we know at a rapid pace.”
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