MAN expects more traction from the new Traton boss

Munich (dpa) – MAN CEO Andreas Tostmann expects new momentum from the appointment of his Scania colleague Christian Levin as the new head of the VW truck holding Traton. “We now have to see how we can move faster within Traton,” said Tostmann of the German Press Agency.

He appreciates Levin “as a colleague and an experienced manager”. When asked about a shift in the balance of power in the Traton board, the MAN boss said: “On the Traton side, he is the one who coordinates the Traton group, alongside Scania activities. I think that goes well together. ”

VW has been pushing for a good 14 years on a close cooperation between MAN and Scania in order to create synergies to raise billions. The head of the highly profitable Swedish truck manufacturer Scania was surprisingly appointed as Traton boss a week ago and is now supposed to ensure “stronger profitability and growth” in the group.

Problem child MAN

MAN has been weak for years and made a loss of half a billion euros in the first half of the year. “We assume that we 2023 and in the following years have made such progress with our restructuring that we will significantly improve our profitability,” said Tostmann. «We are in the process of restructuring. In order to raise MAN to its target profitability, we first have to have implemented it in full. ” Then 8 percent of sales should remain as operating profit.

«By 2030 we should be 90 percent of the city buses and approximately 60 percent of the trucks in regional and distribution transport and 40 percent in long-distance transport with battery-electric drives in Europe, »said Tostmann . In the course of the transformation, MAN is currently shedding 3500 jobs in Germany, has sold its plant in Steyr, Austria, and will be manufacturing its light and medium-duty trucks in Poland in the future there is great synergy potential for the Traton Group, which also includes the US truck manufacturer Navistar and the Brazilian VW Caminhoes. “Common charging modules, drive modules, all of these are topics that are being worked on now,” said Tostmann. “In the future, there will also be significantly more synergies with car manufacturing, for example with CO2-free drives, battery technology, and autonomous driving. This opens up opportunities that did not exist in the past. We have to develop and use this strength. ”

Semiconductors are in short supply

At the moment, semiconductor bottlenecks“ could lead to production losses here and there, even in the fourth quarter. Shift cancellations may well occur, ”said Tostmann. He left it open whether semiconductors in the Traton or VW group would primarily go to highly profitable manufacturers and vehicles. «We have a very partnership-based solution. We use the common strengths in purchasing. ” The order backlog is good. “So that the waiting times are not too long for our customers, we have also finished some trucks so that they only need to be retrofitted.”

While Daimler and Volvo from 2025 want to jointly build fuel cells for their heavy trucks in long-distance transport, Traton relies on batteries. «Our first priority is battery electric. We are looking at hydrogen and fuel cells as options for special applications in regions where extremely long ranges are necessary and the infrastructure is not that good, ”said Tostmann. In long-distance traffic, a driver can manage 300 up to 400 kilometers in his permitted driving time. The battery can be charged when the truck is idle and when it is loaded and unloaded. Today it weighs around three tons for this range, but work is being done on it.

The truck business will soon change fundamentally as a result of autonomous driving: “This is the game changer,” said Tostmann. Without a truck driver, the transport costs drop significantly. “I can imagine the end of the decade on the autobahn in Europe.”

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