100 years of MAN Truck and Bus: Ready for the future
With success and experience: MAN has been building efficient and reliable commercial vehicles for the past century
The history of the MAN Group extends over more than 250 years. The company is celebrating another important anniversary this year: The history of commercial vehicle construction at MAN started 100 years ago. Here is an overview of the most important milestones.
On 21 June 1915, a new company was entered in the trade register of the City of Nuremberg: "Lastwagenwerke M.A.N.-Saurer". The company was established as a joint venture between Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG and Saurer, a Swiss producer of commercial vehicles. The first MAN-Saurer 3-tonne truck soon left the joint factory in Lindau at Lake Constance. It was followed by the first buses, which were used as long-distance buses by the Imperial Post Office and transported passengers as well as letters and parcels. This was the beginning of commercial vehicle construction at MAN, a success story that has not only shaped the history of the company itself. MAN has significantly influenced the development of trucks and buses with its advanced and often revolutionary innovations for the last 100 years – and is still continuing to do so.
The early years
In 1916, production was shifted to the MAN plant in Nuremberg. The company traded as "M.A.N Lastwagenwerke" after the departure of Sauer in 1918. In 1924, MAN presented the first truck with a direct-injection diesel engine – which created the basis for the triumph of diesel engines in truck construction. It saved up to 75 percent of operating costs in comparison with the petrol engines common at the time. Economy and efficiency were already important development goals of MAN at that time and they still apply today. During the same year, MAN produced the first low-floor bus with a specially designed low-frame chassis. The buses that MAN had previously built since 1915 had run on truck chassis.
In 1928, MAN presented its first three-axle truck, which was the precursor of all subsequent MAN heavy-duty trucks. In 1932, the S1H6 truck was equipped with a D4086 diesel engine that delivered 140 hp and was then considered the most powerful diesel truck in the world. In 1937, the next technical milestone was achieved with the development of an extremely fuel-efficient direct-injection diesel engine and the introduction of the all-wheel drive.
MAN trucks as engines of reconstruction
Trucks were in demand during reconstruction work after the Second World War. In the 1950s, the MAN F8 with its 180 hp V8 motor became the flagship of the economic miracle in the new Federal Republic of Germany. MAN demonstrated its level of innovation as early as 1951, when it introduced the first German truck engine with exhaust gas turbo-charging. The six-cylinder engine achieved 175 hp with a 8.72-litre displacement, a remarkable power increase of 35 percent. In 1955, MAN moved its truck and bus production to its new site in Munich. The Nuremberg plant became the centre of competence for engine production.
MAN also proved its innovative powers in bus construction. In 1961, the company introduced the market to the 750 HO, the first bus in modular design. The standardised chassis was used with different superstructure versions for public buses, intercity buses and travel buses.
Büssing brought the lion to MAN
In 1971, MAN took over Büssing Automobilwerke and the company's plant in Salzgitter. MAN adopted Büssing's specialised underfloor engine technology as well as Büssing's logo, the lion of Brunswick, which has since decorated the radiator grille of all commercial vehicles made by MAN. At the end of the 1970s, MAN started to cooperate with VW in the light truck segment. The six- and eight-tonne trucks of the G-series were jointly produced until 1993. Today, MAN is part of the VW Group.
However MAN's show-pieces have always been trucks with hoods for construction work and heavy forward-controlled trucks for long-distance transport, such as the Type 19.280, which was the first MAN truck to receive the "Truck of the Year" award in 1978. Numerous awards followed, for example for the MAN F90, which was introduced in 1986 and received the "Truck of the Year" award the following year. The generous driver's cabin of the F90 was particularly impressive. Ergonomics and comfort for the driver have always been important concerns for MAN designers. The most successful truck model of the nineties was the F2000. The heavy series has had standard engines with electronic injection control since 1994.
MAN buses also have their highlights. In 1992, MAN introduced the Lion's Star, a travel bus that would determine the names of all subsequent MAN bus generations. The high-decker for long-distance-travel had a cw-value of only 0.41, i.e. it was particularly aerodynamic and therefore saved fuel.
MAN in the new millennium
MAN started the new millennium with new innovations. In 2000, the "Trucknology Generation Type A" called TGA set new standards regarding comfort and ergonomics as well as new technologies such as the MAN TipMatic or the MAN Comfort-Shift for optimal gear changes. MAN strengthened its position in the premium travel bus segment by taking over the NEOPLAN bus brand in 2001.
The introduction of the D20 engines with common rail injection in 2004 was a real milestone in engine technology. MAN was the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to change all its engines to this economic and environmentally friendly, electronically controlled injection method. MAN also modernised the light and medium series by introducing the TGL and the TGM in 2005. It was possible to achieve Euro 4, the exhaust gas standard at the time, by a combination of exhaust gas recycling and particle filters, entirely without additives such as AdBlue. Two years later, two models were presented to succeed the TGA in the heavy series: The TGX was designed for long-distance transport while the TGS was used for applications requiring traction and heavy distribution traffic. MAN received the "Truck of the Year" award for the seventh time and for both models - which is a record in this sector.
In 2010, MAN started serial production of a city bus with a hybrid drive, the Lion's City Hybrid. The Lion's City Hybrid saves up to 30 percent fuel due to its innovative hybrid drive. The model quickly became a huge success and received the ÖkoGlobe Award in 2011 and the Green Bus Award in 2012 for its sustainable concept.
Into the future with MAN
The development of resource-saving and environmentally friendly vehicles has always been one of the main goals of MAN Truck & Bus. Euro 6, the latest exhaust gas standard was a challenge that MAN met in 2012 with its latest generation of TG vehicles. They fulfil the strictest requirements with maximum fuel efficiency. In the autumn of 2014, MAN introduced the latest engine generation, the D38, which is currently the culmination of 100 years of engine development in commercial vehicles. The frugal Euro 6 diesel engines reach up to 640 hp, using a two-step turbo-charger.
The current drivers of product development are sustainability, the in-house climate goals of the company, general political conditions and the limited availability of fuel resources. MAN is therefore considering further development of various, alternative drive concepts. Hybrid drives in commercial vehicles will be part of the drive concept of the future in all areas of application. A diesel/electric hybrid is already being a standard drive for the city bus. MAN has introduced the TGX Hybrid at the IAA 2014 fair. This is a concept vehicle for a TCO-optimised truck hybrid drive that might be used in long-distance transport. MAN has built the Metropolis research vehicle, a fully electrically operated heavy truck with a range extender for tasks in the city. It is currently in the test phase.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) and biogas are already available as alternatives. Engines suitable for CNG can also be operated with biogas in an almost CO2-neutral manner. An example is the new Lion's City GL CNG natural gas articulated bus, which won the "Bus of the Year 2015" award. The established range of natural gas city buses will be supplemented by trucks with a CNG drive in 2016.
The Department for Futures Research analyses global mega-trends and determines the direction for the development of future vehicle generations. MAN's developers are already working on vehicles that no longer need a driver for certain activities, for example when a safety vehicle secures motorway building sites. MAN Truck & Bus will use these and completely new ideas to ensure sustainable development of ultra-modern business vehicles in the future.
250 years of MAN history
In 2015, MAN is celebrating its 100th anniversary in commercial vehicle construction. However, the history of the current MAN Group started more than 250 years ago, with three historical starting points: the establishment of the St. Antony ironworks in Oberhausen in 1758, the establishment of the Sandersche Maschinenfabrik in 1840 and the establishment of the Eisengießerei und Maschinenfabrik Klett & Comp in Nuremberg in 1841. In 1878, the St. Antony ironworks merged with two other ironworks in the Ruhr area to form the "Gutehoffnungshütte" (GHH), while the two South-German predecessor companies merged to form Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG in 1898. This was the origin of the name "MAN". Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine in this Augsburg factory from 1893 to 1897. It served as the basis for later engine generations in MAN commercial vehicles. In 1921, MAN and GHH merged to form the current company that has been part of the Volkswagen Group since 2011.
Most important milestones of the product anniversary
1897: Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine together with MAN engineers.
1915: MAN built the first trucks and buses in Lindau in cooperation with the firm Saurer. One year later, the production moves to MAN’s plant in Nuremberg.
1924: Presentation of the first vehicle engine with diesel direct injection, developed by MAN. This is the starting point of diesel engines’ success story within trucks – until nowadays.
1924: MAN presented the first bus on a low-frame chassis.
1932: With 140 hp, MAN S1H6 was the most powerful diesel truck in the world in 1932. A year later MAN brought the truck with 150 hp to the market.
1937: Development and implementation of a significantly more fuel efficient engine. MAN introduced the all-wheel drive for trucks. It later became a key competitive advantage for tractors.
1951: The MAN truck F8 with its V8 180 hp engine was a flagship of the ongoing economic miracle.
1951: The first German truck engine with turbocharging achieved a 35 percent performance improvement over the conventional truck engines: the six-cylinder engine MAN 1546 GT with 175 instead of 130 hp.
1955: The truck, bus and tractor production moved from Nuremberg to the new plant in Munich. The first truck out of the production line was a MAN 515 L1. The engine production remained in Nuremberg.
1961: MAN launched with the 750 HO the first bus with modular chassis for city, intercity and coaches buses to the market.
1971: MAN took over the ÖAF and Büssing automobile plants. Büssing’s Lion was included in MAN’s logo.
1977: The cooperation with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles begun with the development of a light vehicle range from 6-10 tonnes gross weight. In 1979 started the production of the so-called VW-MAN joint series.
1978: MAN received the "Truck of the Year" award for the first time for the model 19.280.
1986: MAN brought the F90 series with a completely new cab to the market.
1992: The Coach MAN Lion's Star came to the market and was honored as “Coach of the Year”.
1994: The MAN F2000 was a successful model in the 90’s.
2000: The presentation of the Trucknology Generation TGA set the starting point of a major product offensive.
2001: MAN took over the brands NEOPLAN, ERF and Star.
2004: Introduction of the D20 Common Rail engine series with a completely new electronically controlled injection technology.
2005: Adaptation and improvement of the MAN Trucknology Generation with the launch of the TGL and TGM in the light and medium weight class from 7.5 to 26 tons.
2007: From TGA to MAN TGS and TGX in the Heavy-Truck series. Journalists awarded them the title of "Truck of the Year 2008".
2010: MAN Hybrid city bus went into series production.
2011: Rebirth of a legend: the double-decker NEOPLAN Skyliner.
2012: A new NEOPLAN model for intercity transport: launch of the Jetliner.
2012: The new MAN TG-series TGL, TGM, TGS and TGX series in Euro 6 celebrated its premiere.
2014: Top of the range: the new D38 Euro 6 engines for the MAN TGX series with 520-640 hp.
2015: The articulated natural gas Lion's City GL CNG is awarded "Bus of the Year".
8 x Design Award
7 x Truck of the Year
5 x Coach of the Year
4 x Bus of the Year
Around 100 years ago, the Augustiner brewery was among our first truck customers, and the company still puts its faith in MAN trucks
In 2015, MAN Truck & Bus celebrated its hundred year product anniversary. This is approximately the period in which the Augustiner Brewery has been delivering its beer kegs with MAN trucks. Portrait of a special Munich partnership.
Fire brigades and breweries – one hundred years ago, these were the source of the first customers of the newly founded "Lastwagenwerke M.A.N.-Saurer" (M.A.N.-Saurer Truck Factory). As different as the two fields are, each urgently needed new vehicles in 1915: While the fire brigades wanted to get to fires faster than with horses, Munich brewers such as Augustiner wanted to deliver their beer kegs further out from the city. The stamina of the horses was just not enough for the trips to towns such as Rosenheim or Traunstein. Faster vehicles with greater ranges were an absolute must. This is what led to the business relationship between Augustiner and MAN – one which continues to this day.
"It really is crazy to think about it," says Wolfgang Ketterl, Director of the vehicle fleet of Augustiner-Bräu Wagner KG, "Here we are today, 100 years later, still delivering our wooden kegs with MAN trucks – just with 440 horsepower instead of 36 horsepower." It is not just any beer that is loaded on to the trucks at 5:30 in the morning at the Munich-Freiham Logistics Centre. Augustiner still produces its own barley malt at its own floor malting plant. Such a commitment to quality and their roots pays off. Augustiner beer is given special pride of place in Munich. "Whoever visits the brewery can see immediately how proud employees are of the company and its tradition," says Stefan Mini, MAN sales representative for Augustiner. And because the brewery places great value on regionality, it specifically looks for service providers from Munich – such as MAN. "It is simply vital to us that our partners speak the same language we do," says fleet director Ketterl. Whether on the telephone or at a personal meeting: The contact partners of MAN and Augustiner are always in touch. "A real relationship of trust has developed in this way over the years," says Ketterl.
This relationship of trust is, of course, based on the long shared history. A hundred years ago, the Augustiner beer delivery men could accelerate up to all of fourteen and a half miles per hour. The drivers had to do without most of the comforts we expect today. "At that time, the trucks still had wooden wheels with hard rubber tyres and very little shock absorption," says Henning Stibbe, director of the historical archive of MAN Truck and Bus. Air-filled tyres only came at the end of the 20's. On short routes in the city, Augustiner stuck with horse-drawn wagons, and in part continued to do so until the 70's. At the same time, the motorised vehicle fleet continued to grow after the Second World War. In 1947, twelve vehicles stood on the lot, by 1958 it was 28. Augustiner trucks with flower decoration even took part in the Oktoberfest parades of the 60's. "This is a sign of how proud the company was of its vehicles even then," says Augustiner archivist Ursula Eymold. In the mid-80's, the company overhauled its fleet. While the brewery had previously mainly bought used vehicles, it now started to invest in a new fleet with modern trucks like the MAN F90, which was remarkable above all because of its generous cab and new, particularly efficient series of engines.
Over the course of time, special superstructures for beverages replaced the simple loading surfaces with planks. Hydraulic lift platforms facilitated loading and unloading and controlled trailing axles eased manoeuvring in the tight spaces of the city. "Truck driving used to be really exhausting, now it is as comfortable as driving a car," says vehicle fleet director Ketterl. From the F90 to the TGA to the brand new TGX: From the mid-80's to the present day, Augustiner has put every generation of MAN trucks to good use. "High vehicle efficiency was and still is crucial – especially as far as fuel consumption and low maintenance costs are concerned," stresses Ketterl.
Ever since the space in the Augustiner Headquarters in central Munich proved to too small and the fleet was moved to the new logistics centre in Munich-Freiham, the trucks have even had their own drive-through truck wash. Once or twice a week, the vehicles are cleaned – and even more often in the winter. For the company, which completely skips classical advertising, the shining white trucks with the blue Augustiner markings are a billboard known city-wide. The brewery seldom has to do without even a single one of its vehicles – the MAN Service Department makes sure of that. "We can always set up flexible repair deadlines – without waiting times," says MAN sales representative Stefan Mini. There is a big advantage here as well: The MAN shop is only a few kilometres from the Augustiner Logistics Centre. For several years now, Augustiner has also used MAN's Pick-up and Bring-in Service when maintenance was necessary. A MAN employee picks up the truck after the final route before the weekend and brings it back promptly prior to the first trip on Monday morning. "In this way, we save on expensive downtime during the week," explains Augustiner fleet director Ketterl.
The Augustiner employees themselves take care of maintaining another billboard for the company: the historical horse-drawn wagons which stand right next to the trucks in the logistics centre. The brewers still use them to deliver beer on the weekends – for example, to festivals. The reins are often held by Augustiner truck drivers who on weekdays drive the latest MAN trucks. They maintain the spirit which has characterised the partnership between Augustiner and MAN for over a hundred years. This keeps them in step with the times without losing sight of tradition.
A century of partnership: Augustiner Bräu was one of MAN's very first customers; as early as 1915 the brewery was delivering its barrels with a vehicle from M.A.N.-Saurer.
Augustiner by bonneted MAN truck: in the late 1970s Augustiner delivered its famous "Edelstoff" beer to the area around Munich with striking bonneted trucks.
Calling on the customer: Rainer Landsgesell, Augustiner's logistics manager (left), and Stefan Mini, MAN's salesman responsible for Augustiner (right), watch as beer barrels are loaded at the Augustiner logistics center at Freiham on the western edge of Munich.