MAN Truck & Bus

Perfectly tailored to the customer

This new generation of trucks is entering the market at a time of major upheaval. Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Management Board at MAN Truck & Bus, explains in his interview those advantages of the vehicle that are most important and why it simplifies a customer’s business.

Joachim Drees, Vorsitzender des Vorstands von MAN Truck & Bus

Perfectly tailored to the customer

This new generation of trucks is entering the market at a time of major upheaval. Joachim Drees, Chairman of the Management Board at MAN Truck & Bus, explains in his interview those advantages of the vehicle that are most important and why it simplifies a customer’s business.

10/02/2020

Mastermind

Joachim Drees has been CEO of MAN Truck & Bus SE since 2015. Employees at MAN have now developed the new truck under his leadership. Drees has at the same time made the company even more responsive to the needs of its customers.

It has been the most important project at MAN Truck & Bus in recent years and now you are about to introduce the new TG to the public. What does that feel like?

DREES It’s a wonderful feeling! I can still remember the moment I saw the initial concepts for the new truck: that was in April 2015, shortly after I became chairman of the Management Board at MAN Truck & Bus. This first insight totally fascinated me. Until then, I had only gained an impression of MAN products from the outside. So I was truly delighted when I saw all the details in the very first vehicle studies. And then the real work actually started. Over the past five years, we have given everything we can to present the best vehicle on the market to our customers and to our customers’ customers. I would like to thank all those involved. It has been an incredible team performance. Everyone has extended themselves. All of us at MAN can be very proud of this great truck. And it makes me personally proud to be part of this strong team.

How many employees were involved in this development?

DREES Initially it was a small group of colleagues who developed the first ideas. We then formed a core team of 80 people in the second stage and finally there were twenty teams with representatives from each division – over 200 people worldwide. Ultimately the whole of MAN is engaged in the project, a total of around 2,100 employees. But we also involved 150 customers: we repeatedly drew them into the development process, because it was extremely important for us to align the new truck with the needs of our customers right from the start.

To what extent is the launch of the new TG something very special?

DREES Our last launch of this scale was the MAN TGA in 2000 – a unique success story to date. And our new series is now continuing successful development. You have to imagine: most employees only experience such an event once in their working life. So it’s clear that everything in the company has been focused on this for years. Our new truck generation will essentially be the flagship for MAN in the future.

The market launch is occurring at a time of major upheaval, and the transport industry is undergoing a profound transformation. Is this a good time for a new generation of trucks?

DREES Our new TG is nothing less than the answer to the challenges and upheavals in our industry. Customers need a reliable vehicle that is perfectly tailored to their needs – from efficiency through to handling and comfort. As well as the best possible service. This is what we offer them with the new MAN truck generation. They receive the best overall package in the market from us, which makes their job easier. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what we mean by our brand promise: simplifying business.

What are the challenges facing the transport industry?

DREES One big problem is the lack of drivers. In Europe, for example, there is a shortfall of around 50,000 drivers. If freight forwarders want to attract and retain the best drivers, then they need to offer them the best possible working conditions. Another challenge is the increasing digitisation of all logistics processes. Digital services greatly improve business efficiency and assist in realising higher margins. But their flip side is the greater complexity with which many of our customers are struggling. And finally, sustainability is also a key issue. Lawmakers are demanding a significant reduction in CO₂ output. 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030. Our new truck offers answers to this issue: the new vehicle consumes eight percent less fuel in long-distance traffic than the previous model with a Euro 6c engine. Eight percent! That’s massive. It reduces emissions in a sustainable way and means cash for our customers.

What are the most outstanding features that you feel make the new MAN truck generation the best overall package on the market?

DREES Four points are particularly important. Firstly, we have completely redesigned the cab and created the most innovative and comfortable driver’s workplace in the commercial vehicle industry. Secondly, we ensure even greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The new vehicle reduces fuel consumption by up to eight percent, as I have already stated. This significantly reduces the total cost of ownership. We have also improved the payload, enabling up to an additional 230 kilogrammes. The third advantage is optimized uptime. We are the manufacturer with the most reliable vehicles over the long term. The TUV reports have been clear for years: our ratio of defect-free vehicles continues to increase. MAN ServiceCare is our proactive service management package. It can be used to significantly increase vehicle availability thanks to proactive planning and intelligent bundling of service appointments. And finally: we promise our customers a personal, competent and reliable partnership. Around 1,700 service centres and workshops in 138 countries speak for themselves.

How do you ensure that the technical standard of the new MAN truck generation is not outdated again in a few years?

DREES We’re using a completely new electronic architecture for the new generation that is ready to integrate future requirements. Further sensors and functions can easily be retrofitted, for example. This enables straightforward integration of alternative drives, new assistance systems or automation functions. We have already reached a new level of digitisation in our vehicle: it is the first fully networked truck, with an infrastructure open to further digital applications in the future. The supply of over-the-air services will also be possible in the future. So if a customer’s needs change, they will be able to adapt their truck accordingly in the future.

Customer requirements within their modern logistics are becoming more and more diverse, so our vehicles must always be tailored more specifically to them. How are you doing that?

DREES We will in future be much more focused on the customer’s transport task and their specific requirements. Our sales personnel therefore use various criteria to determine the individual needs of prospective customers. This usually takes just five minutes and greatly simplifies the entire selection process for the customer. Very specific adjustments are of course still ultimately possible. What is crucial is that we have become much more efficient: we now have ten percent more variants on offer, but twenty percent fewer parts.

So let’s summarise: a more reliable vehicle, a workplace that is perfectly tailored to the driver, increased efficiency and economy – these are the key features of the new TG?

DREES That’s right. You don’t actually need to over elaborate, our claim basically says it all: simply my truck. Meaning that the driver and the carrier have exactly the vehicle they need for their job. We are convinced that our new truck generation offers the best overall package in this respect. And I repeat: it’s crucial that we make the job of our partners and drivers as easy as possible. Simplifying business: this is the main purpose for our new generation of vehicles.

 To what extent does transformation in the transport industry also alter MAN Truck & Bus as a company?

DREES The radical changes in our industry are of course also changing MAN. The transformation that our company faces also sets challenges in all areas. Our new truck generation represents this transformation. Our internal realignment also gathered pace with the start of this project. This included research, production, marketing and communication: we have established new processes and structures in all these divisions – in parallel with development of the new TG. The main premise was also to align MAN Truck & Bus internally to be even more customer-oriented in every corner. So we have not just built a new truck, we have further developed the entire company. The entire MAN team gave everything! Above all MAN employees gave everything all the time. This product contains all of MAN’s passion and heart. We offer customers the best complete package on the market, our MAN flagship.