MAN-sized year

MAN-sized year

With stable truck sales and climbing bus sales, 2012 has proven to be a stellar year for MAN Truck and Bus SA.

This positive news comes amidst a company reshuffle, with Markus Geyer (current CEO of sales region Middle East and Africa) stepping down from his position as CEO (while remaining chairman of the board) and handing over the reins to Ray Karshagen (current deputy-CEO in charge of the bus division) and Bruce Dickson (current deputy-CEO in charge of the truck division).

Karshagen and Dickson will now share the post as joint CEOs with immediate effect.

The announcement came at a media breakfast held by MAN earlier this week. Enthused Dickson: “The company has huge potential; Ray and I have tonnes of energy, we have a good team around us and we can’t wait to take the company to the next level.” Karshagen thanked Geyer for “following the logo of the lion and giving us in the south the teeth to really take the business forward”.

Looking back, Geyer outlined that, despite the company’s success during 2012, it has not been an easy year. “The market has proven to be much more difficult and exchange rate patterns have not helped at all, but overall we are very happy with what MAN has achieved,” he said. Geyer notes that the company’s traditional big customers have all put their orders on hold until 2013. As such, in order to keep truck sales stable, the company had to focus on other key areas.

“It’s not a bad thing to have these kind of years,” says Dickson, “it builds a lot of resilience in the organisation as well as forcing you to look at other areas of the business and optimising it as well.” He was pleased to announce that the company had broken through into many fleets this year usually dominated by competitors.

Among other trends to be excited about are the company’s own telematics system, set to be introduced in February, and “MAN trucks to go” – which will see the company holding a stock of variously-bodied heavy trucks which can be sold “off the shelf”. Karshagen is positive that the local bus market will see growth next year.

Inroads into African countries will continue to be strongly forged as they were this year, with particular interest in the VW brand of trucks and a strengthened network within the continent. “We have seen almost 100 percent growth over 2011, and we expect the same for next year,” notes Geyer. “The order book for 2013 covers almost half of that already.”

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