MAN Truck & Bus

2021 - The year in review: Company Highlights at a glance

Despite the pandemic crisis, MAN has implemented countless exciting, pioneering and strategically valuable projects over the course of 2021, all of which illustrate the fact that the company's technological innovations are helping to shape the mobility of the future. For example, autonomous trucks have been trialled in the port of Hamburg, the forward-looking eMobility Center has opened in Munich, a mobile vaccination centre based on the eTGE has hit the streets and many other exciting innovations have been launched. What’s more, the coveted “Coach of the Year” and “Truck of the Year” awards, among others, went to MAN once more this year. Here are all the year’s highlights in a full, chronological review.

JANUARY

The new MAN TGX was voted “International Truck of the Year 2021” (ITOY) at the end of 2020 and wore the honour proudly throughout the year. The ITOY award is one of the most famous HGV awards. Dr Andreas Tostmann, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus, accepted the coveted prize from the chairman of the ITOY jury, Gianenrico Griffini, in a virtual ceremony. The jury, consisting of 24 industry journalists, recognised the new MAN TGX as being ahead of the game in terms of comfort, working and living quality, safety, fuel efficiency, connectivity, innovative services and its operating and display concept. The “International Truck of the Year” organisation was founded in 1977 by British industry journalist Pat Kennett and today consists of 24 expert jurors from leading transport sector magazines from all over Europe.

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FEBRUARY

The coronavirus pandemic has presented our company with some significant challenges, from the beginning of 2020 to the present day! In the fight against the virus, MAN has also been reliably performing great services. February saw the development of the “Impfmobile”, a mobile vaccination centre based on the MAN eTGE van, in collaboration with recognised health sector experts, creating an innovative, specialised vehicle to bring vaccinations to patients. The Impfmobile provides cool boxes, emergency equipment and space for up to six people; it is primarily designed for applications in which patients cannot come to a vaccination centre. In those cases, vaccines and doctors need to go to the patients - for example in retirement facilities or rural areas.

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MARCH

In March, MAN landed the biggest order in the history of the TGE van, signing a framework agreement with international emergency service provider Falck Danmark A/S. Over a period of five years, Falck’s special vehicles will be replaced on a rolling basis in five European countries (Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and Spain). The contract could involve up to 2,500 TGE vehicles, making MAN Falck's preferred van supplier. The Falck Group, based in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, is an international provider of emergency services with more than 30,000 members in 35 countries. The TGE means that MAN has had a van in the 3.0 to 5.5 tonne GVW (gross vehicle weight) sector since 2016.

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APRIL

The Covid pandemic still had the international bus sector firmly in its grip in April 2021. To support bus companies and public authority operators, and to protect passengers and bus drivers from infection with coronavirus, MAN Truck & Bus developed hygiene concepts early on and has built on them continuously since then. From April, MAN has offered high performance microparticle filters with antiviral action. These are available for all MAN and NEOPLAN buses as a factory option and as an after-market addition for vehicles already in use via the MAN service network. The MAN original antiviral interior filter provides active protection against the transmission of viruses by significantly reducing the concentration of virus aerosols inside vehicles.

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MAY

How far can the MAN Lion’s City E go under real everyday conditions on a Munich public transport route? This question was the basis for the “MAN eBus Efficiency Run”, which took place in May. The fully-electric city bus travelled its route for exactly 24 hours, with drivers from MAN Profi-Drive at the wheel. Joining them on board were a journalist and experts from TÜV SÜD, who sealed the charging port of the bus before the start of the journey and then removed the seal again at the end, witnessing the distance travelled. At the end of the period, the bus had 550.8 kilometres on the clock - an impressive figure. With a range like this, MAN customers can cover around 99 percent of their routes without the need to charge.

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JUNE #1

A huge step towards the future and on the path to sustainable and climate-friendly transport: MAN board chairman Dr Andreas Tostmann opened the eMobility Center in Hall 8F of the main plant in Munich on 15 June. In a space of around 4,000 m2, production teams have been trialling series production of battery electric trucks under real-world conditions. “In the MAN eMobility Center, we have created the foundations for producing electric trucks in large, industrial numbers. MAN is continuing its transformation to become a supplier of sustainable and environmentally transport solutions,” explained Tostmann at the opening. 

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JUNE #2

As part of its automation strategy, MAN is celebrating a pioneering success in the field of automation with the “Hamburg TruckPilot” project. At the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder site in the port of Hamburg,  MAN Truck & Bus and Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) are working together to trial autonomous driving prototype trucks in real-world applications. To summarise the practical test drives, automation is no longer a dream of the future, it can be efficiently and safely integrated into customers’ concrete logistics workflows. German lawmakers have already laid the groundwork to allow the use of autonomous trucks in specific operating areas within Germany for logistics applications.

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JULY

Just in time for the start of the European football championship, MAN, as official bus partner to the DFB in the German cities of Hamburg, Munich and Cologne, has some very special vehicles ready for the kick-off: Modern city buses in a German national team design and Euros style! They will be used to provide passengers with safe and environmentally friendly transport to their destinations. MAN has a long and intense connection to football: it not only has partnerships with a number of professional clubs such as FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund (the MANschaftsbus) and a collaboration with the DFB, but its buses are also used daily on the public transport networks that carry football fans to stadiums for their club’s matches and home again afterwards.

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AUGUST

Staying with football: FC Bayern München don’t just deliver electrifying play on the pitch, they also travel electric when they're on the road. The record-breaking German champions have enjoyed emission-free travel through the Bavarian capital in a MAN eTGE since August. This is the club’s first electric commercial vehicle. The MAN eTGE Kombi is used to transport staff or equipment around Munich on 1. Bundesliga match days. On a normal day, the battery electric vehicle is also used for city centre tours, for example rotating between the team’s headquarters, the youth training centre and the Allianz Arena. The majority of the players and management staff at FC Bayern München drive fully electric cars, but FCB hadn't had an electric commercial vehicle in its fleet until now.

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SEPTEMBER

When it comes to engine design, MAN has provided impressive proof over the years that it excels in more than just commercial vehicles. MAN Engines celebrated the world premiere of its “MAN Smart HYBRID Experience” before an enthusiastic public at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2021 in September. The completely newly developed hybrid system underlines the technical leadership of MAN Engines in the field of marine engines and won the Red Dot Award for Product Design and the German Innovation Award in 2021. The system can be combined with all MAN marine engines from the current D2862 (V12), D2868 (V8) and D2676 (straight six) ranges and can also be expanded in terms of performance. This covers overall system outputs from 644 to 2,500 hp for each drivetrain - from the smallest straight six engine to the highest performance V12.

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OCTOBER

In 2021, everything was new not just in May, but in October too. With the launch of the new Lion's Intercity LE, MAN has made a real statement in the low-entry class segment. The new model range replaces three bus models and from 2023 will also include the tried and tested MAN EfficientHybrid powertrain from the new Lion's City Generation. The buses are set to offer maximum flexibility in equipment configuration and three length options for city and cross-country applications. Initially, the two cross-country oriented versions, the Lion’s Intercity LE 12 (42 C, 12.44 m) and the Lion’s Intercity LE 13 (43 C, 13.14 m) will be offered, with production due to start early in 2022.

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NOVEMBER

Double points for sustainability! MAN won the coveted “Sustainable Truck of the Year 2022” and “Sustainable Coach of the Year 2022” awards with its TGX truck and Lion’s Coach bus. According to the jury, the 510 hp variant of the TGX, MAN’s flagship HGV, was awarded the trophy for reasons including further refined aerodynamics, innovative fuel savings and lower emissions, efficient kinematics and a comfortable and functional cab. In the opinion of the experts, the high-performance engine which is 100 percent compatible with alternative fuels, excellent fuel efficiency and the new generation of seats made of recycled materials really made the Lion’s Coach stand out. Aspects such as safety, comfort, noise levels, recyclability of components and the manufacturer's general environmental awareness all play a role in the jury's decision.

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DECEMBER

Win, win, win! An extremely successful and award-winning year at MAN came full circle, ending up with the announcement of the title of “Coach of the Year 2022” for the special Cityliner Platinum model from MAN subsidiary NEOPLAN. The jury, made up of industry journalists from 22 countries, were especially impressed by the overall concept of the bus, combining performance, economy, safety and comfort - and above all by its timeless design. That was a great honour for the long-distance bus, which was first launched exactly 50 years ago as the “NEOPLAN Cityliner N 116”, the predecessor to today's high-decker coach sector.

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MAN would like to wish you a peaceful Christmas and a happy and healthy new year 2022!

Text   Boris Pieritz
Photos   MAN

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