Volkswagen Truck & Bus has sold around 42,000 trucks and buses in the first three months of 2016, up 6% on the prior-year level.
Since May 2015, the activities of MAN Truck & Bus, MAN Latin America — which generates the major part of its sales under the brand Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus — and Scania are bundled under the roof of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH. In the first quarter of 2016, MAN Truck & Bus sold 18,940 units (+17%), MAN Latin America sold 4,670 units (-23%), and Scania 18,440 units (+5%).
Volkswagen Truck & Bus’s beginning of the year was particularly successful in the truck business. With 38,640 units sold, truck sales were up 7% compared with the same quarter last year. The development of the regions varied: sales in Western Europe increased by 24%. Especially the United Kingdom, France, and Germany posted an increase. Unit sales also increased in Central and Eastern Europe, buoyed especially by the positive trend in Poland. The developments in South America continued to be a challenge. The situation still remains exceptionally strained in Brazil. Due to the market climate, truck sales there declined by 23% in the first three months.
At 3,250 units, sales in the bus business of Volkswagen Truck & Bus were 6% below the prior-year level.
Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH and Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, is optimistic: “Our start in 2016 has been a great success — both in terms of building our business and in demand for our products. Particularly in Europe, orders for trucks are on the rise again. However, Brazil still remains a challenge: the market there has virtually ground to a halt. However, I am confident that we will see improvements there in the medium term, too. Our strong position there will be a major advantage and contribute significantly on our way to becoming global champion. Even in difficult times, we stand fully behind this key market of the future.”
MAN Latin America responded to the difficult situation with further cuts. Nevertheless, there were silver linings, too. Mexico posted a significant increase compared with the same quarter last year. Unit sales for vehicles in Angola, to where Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus exports vehicles, were also on the rise.
In the first quarter, MAN Truck & Bus firmly implemented its new corporate strategy and has continued to advance its future growth programme. MAN is planning to expand its business area within the framework of this strategy. The new division “Telematics and Digital Solutions”, that is already well advanced in terms of personnel and content, plays a key role here. MAN Truck & Bus is even slightly ahead of schedule implementing its future growth programme. The results of the first quarter already show positive effects from the restructuring measures.
In 2016, Scania is celebrating its 125-year anniversary — and at the same time looking into the future. In March 2016, the company announced its strategic partnership with the mobile communication provider Ericsson. Both companies want to advance connectivity in the commercial vehicles business. Scania has been working on this issue since the early 2000s. As a result, almost one in three Scania trucks notolder than ten years is interconnected.
MAN and Scania are fully engaged and have ample experience in electronic coupling and automated driving which they also demonstrated by participating in the “European Truck Platooning Challenge” — a test drive with trucks that are connected in platoons via digital data transmission. In this case, two or more trucks drive behind each other making optimum use of the slipstream of the vehicle driving in front. This reduces diesel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10%. German Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt gave the starting signal for MAN.
With around 200,000 trucks, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is market leader in Europe and is planning to make a three-digit million investment in the medium term into digital innovation within the next five years. At MAN and Scania, 300 employees are currently working on this development process.
Volkswagen Truck & Bus began its start-up process last year. All the core functions are now in place. In terms of process development, strategy, and product planning, the company has made considerable progress in the last few months. Collaboration among the truck brands joined under the roof of this holding is also progressing. The staff began moving into the headquarters in Braunschweig, Germany, in April this year.