MAN Truck & Bus (M) Sdn. Bhd. Managing Director Mr. Hartmut Mueller speaks to us about the next step for the company in Malaysia, it growth, new products, expansion of its after sales and the reasons why we should take note of the name MAN in the coming months.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, can you briefly explain your working experience with MAN Truck & Bus and for how long you have been with the company?
Answer: I have been with MAN for 14 years and for 35 years I have worked in the truck industry. I started my working life in Germany with another truck company and moved to Europe, and Paris and then Malaysia with MAN.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, how long have you been in Malaysia.
Answer: I have been in Malaysia for 2 years now.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, how has MAN changed in the last 5 years?
Answer: The main change has come from technology. Then we looked at the cost of ownership and so fuel consumption and running costs was next to be enhanced in our trucks and buses. Our engineering focus was to develop lower consumption engines and with higher traffic frequency on the roads in all markets, safety of the trucks was a big issue. Here a combination of intelligent telematics systems to prevent accidents and saving fuel was the priority for our trucks and customers.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, how often does MAN come up with a new model….after how many years for each model?
Answer: The lifecycle for example with the TG series of trucks, released in 2000 is still running with minor facelifts and the implementation of new gearboxes. There are also mild changes in the styling of the truck and technical updates when needed. However being a sister company to Scania we are able to shorten the product lifecycle to bring in new trucks. Previously it will take 15-18 years and now it will be faster. Developing a new generation of truck will take less years and we have not set a timeline….normally it takes 15 years for a total new generation product.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, does MAN do local assembly in Malaysia?
Answer: yes, we have a CKD assembly for both trucks and buses. We have our own license and we bring in the chassis and work with coach builders here.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, share with us the 2015 business movement for your company.
Answer: Since MIBTC we have seen more business and because we showed how much a MAN truck owner could save on running a MAN truck and bus we have seen a rise in sales.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, which part of the MAN business is at the moment the most profitable?
Answer: The bus business is bigger now with higher numbers but the pricing has lower margins per sale. With the trucks business we have pressure with the many Chinese and Japanese competitors and we see more profits from the truck division mostly because of the after sales that we get.
We are also speaking to RapidKL who are currently using MAN buses with no issue and they previously used to use Chinese buses, however operations of Chinese buses are more expensive and they do not last and so they prefer long lasting quality and low ownership costs and this is where MAN buses are the best.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, name one best-selling MAN truck or bus in Malaysia and why?
Answer: Our best-selling product in Malaysia is our Truck, the TGS 33.480, 6×4, which carries 480 horsepower and a total weight of 80 tonne.
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, can you share with us the MAN growth figures for 2015 to date?
Answer: We have increased our sales by about 20
QUESTION: Mr. Mueller, how much growth do you expect in 2016 for the truck business in Malaysia?
Answer: Despite the rising costs and growing economy, transportation is needed to transfer goods. This is why the demand for trucking business will continue to grow.