MAN Truck & Bus, the company headquartered in Munich, Germany is the largest subsidiary of the MAN SE Corporation and one of the leading international providers of commercial vehicles. In this article, we will talk about the origin of this company, how it came into India and some of the ways for its re-return into India in its full glory. MAN Truck & Bus revolutionized the Indian Truck Industry by creating a new mid modern segment. German media has given good coverage about this new Joint venture of MAN in India.

MAN JV India news in German newspaper_ACG
A case study was done on the product range, price position and coordination were the aspects studied and analyzed between the offices at Munich and Pune. One of the aspects which were given major consideration in this study was the working days and time which highly varied between the two offices. This resulted in a lot of days in a week when one of the offices were closed thus affecting productivity. To add to the troubles were factors like lack of communication and time difference between the two places. The overall business was rather complicated.

In the year 2000, MAN was a global company but its knowledge was local, to begin with. The company decided to expand the growth and make the presence of the company globally. After nine years of planning and dedicated efforts, MAN now has collaboration with giant companies like CNHTC China. It has purchased Volkswagen Brazil Commercial Vehicle Business and established JV with Force Motors in India.

MAN FORCE JV Signed India_ACG

Although being a highly reputed brand and a globally known company, MAN could not establish itself in India as well as one had hoped. Let us understand why this happened which will further help us in building its position once again. Before Force Motors collaborated with MAN, it used Mercedes Engine for making Tempo Traveller. While looking for a reliable Indian partner, the company started looking for a company like MAN, Munich to get commercial engines. In the year 2006, MAN Force Motors Ltd was formed. The development of the military vehicle “Shaktiman” has been credited to vigorous efforts of Mr. Schumacker who was the first official appointed executive in India.

In the year 2008, MAN made the decision of opening a separate office in Mumbai which had MAN Diesel facility. Three people from MAN Munich Office who worked towards making this dream of a separate office come true are Mr. Atul Singh Chandel, Mr. Franz-Xaver Polster, and Mr. Neundlinger. Even though the initial plan was to build an operation to sell the premium TGX/TGA-WW products in India but this dream had a short life as the office in Mumbai was later closed down due to several reasons.

Intercultural dimensions of two countries was also one of the issues during JV

Germany and India Intercultural dimensions_ACG

MAN Trucks India Private Ltd

Between the years of 2006 and 2011, there have been numerous changes in the company. While it started out as a joint venture in the year 2006 with contribution from Force Motors. The plant was inaugurated in April 2006. In the same year, delivery of the first batch of MAN trucks happened in the month of August. The month of October in 2007 saw the first export vehicle and in March of 2012, JV was taken over by MAN and was renamed as MAN Trucks India Private Ltd. Now the company is a full subsidiary of MAN Truck & Bus AG, Germany.

With the headquarters located in Pune, Maharashtra and plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh, the company has over thousand employees. Some of the famous slogans used by the company to promote their brand are India’s Future is Riding the New Expressways, harnessing the world’s Best Technology, Introducing India’s New Benchmark of Reliability, Performance, Efficiency, Safety and Endurance; and Tomorrow’s vehicles manufactured in India only.

Product Launch:

In the beginning stages of the company, the product was launched with the Force product brand later the company realized that this could hamper MAN’s progress and its brand image. Even convincing customers about the premium brand value was not possible.

MAN Trucks with Force Motors product Brand_ACG

The company entered into tipper segment after launching tractor head to toe tractor segment with Product brand of MAN.

MAN Buses: In the category of buses, MAN has an AIRBUS, which is a 45 Seater Luxury AC Coach.

MAN Sales Performance

The sales performance of the MAN Company has been steadily growing since the day it started and continued till 2010. But since then the sales have dropped. This is itself is a big signal to the company to re-think its strategies to improve the growth.

BharatBenz, which is another German brand to enter into the Indian Maker has performed much better than the MAN in recent years if sales performance is judged.

MAN product Analysis:

Product Support

Some of the options in case of free service are:

  1. If you buy the Haulage, you get six free services at intervals of 15,000 km or 60 days whichever is earlier.
  2. When you buy Haulages with 2VCR&VP44, you get six free services at intervals of 20,000 km or 75 days whichever is earlier.
  3. In the case of Tippers and Special Application, you get six free services at the interval of 450 hours or 30 days whichever is earlier.

Warranty Policy

For Haulage, the warranty policy stands at 24 months or unlimited km. In the case of Tippers, it is 18 months or 3000 hours, whichever happens, earlier. Whereas bus has a warranty policy of 24 months or 200,000 km, whichever occurs earlier.

The company also offers warranty for the separate parts and works with the goal always being maximum customer satisfaction. The warranty for the parts is available for 6 months or 1000 hours or 40,000 km whichever happens earlier from the date of purchase from MTI Dealers.

Pan India Service Network

With a wide network of dealers who are spread nationwide, the company provides prompt and efficient after-sales service. The dealers have all the facilities necessary for them to work their best, like mobile service on the spot. All the dealers are situated along the Golden Quadrilateral. In the case of large operations, the company also provides customized “on-site” support. While they give forty sales, service and spares; the service and spares stand at 35.

Product & Price

When the company first came into the Indian market, the strategy was something like this, 65% Tractor Head product and 35% Tipper sales plan, whereas they had places a price of 24 lacs for 49.280 & 40.280 Tractor head. Initially, the customers took interest in the product due to its brand value and the hope that the collaboration which happened between the two companies will reduce the prices in turn due to the production of the components in the country itself. At this time, the product support came from Force Dealers and MFTPL dealers who were exclusively brought for this purpose. These MFTPL dealers were from seven places in India namely Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Gurgaon.

However, due to the poor service network, the market of Haulage with its initial plan completely collapsed and this lead to huge disappointment among the customers. Later, the MFTPL changes their track and went towards Tipper models with a capacity of 280 HP and 25 Ton which came for the mining segment and thus stood against Higher HP vehicles like Actros and Volvo but also the ones having vehicle cost. This step slightly improved their plan and increased their Tipper sales. However, in today’s market, the competition is with giants like BharatBenz and Tata who have already proven their worth in India with respect to customer prices. The bottom line that comes out of all this is that ultimately after waiting with expectations for a long period, the customers have been forced to move on from MAN to other known brands as they were never satisfied.

Applications

In India, maximum commercial vehicles are utilized in various projects like irrigation work, road construction, mining, RMC for Tipper models, soil and blue metal transportation and Logistics movement for Haulage and Tractor Head models. During the early stages of their entry into India, customers bought the MAN products due to the very high brand value that it held and the reliability and safety of the products. However, this did not work as their products started going into wrong places for an application like Tippers in Mining segment. On the other hand, the Tipper vehicles that came with a Gearbox had technical failures due to the same in the market in the state of Kerala. After conducting lots of trials to validate the vehicle, MAN AIRO bus was launched in India.

Promotion

The promotion techniques used by the company have been just about the basics like the road shows, advertisements, and campaigns for creating awareness about the brand. This did some work for them in terms of the positive impact on sales.

Purchase Full Report – MAN Trucks – “New Strategy, Markets & Products”

Contact – sales@autobei.com

Disclaimer
This publication contains information in summary form and is therefore intended for general guidance only. It is not intended to be a substitute for detailed research or the exercise of professional judgment. Neither ACG nor any other member of the organization can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any material in this publication.

17 Comments

Adil Rehman

MAN needs to understand the needs of Indian customers, work on their price positioning as well as their aftermarket service to save their existence in Indian market.

Adil Rehman
Deputy Manager
VE Commercial Vehicles Limited
(A Volvo Group and Eicher Motors Joint Venture)

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Aseem R Jain

MAN is no doubt gud product but pricing is very high as per indian market. After sales & spares availibility is major issue among thier customers due to which customer retainsion is poor.

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

    Sheel

    Ya,You are right Aseem !

    May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Deepak Agarwal

The potential is immense but will need some radical changes in strategy and execution. We see Daimler being successful but not AMW and Hino. So, unless your end to end business model is in syns with market dynamics, it may be difficult to sustain.

The customer should appreciate the value prop and partners should make money to invest. My sense is they chose the wrong partner in the beginning and could never attract the best potential.

Deepak Agarwal
Caterpillar
Marketing & Business Strategy Manager – South Asia

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Mohd Saleem

MAN is having its good track record, when I was in Indian Air Force, we were using Shaktiman from the same group of company.

Mohd Saleem
Sr.General Manager
Airwil Infrastructure

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Sadashiv Borgaonkar

MAN, if it has to become another TATA Motors or Ashok Leyland, then it has to be a hard price & channel strategist.

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

M Ramachandran

Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg. SE is one of the best Truck, Bus, Diesel Engine manufacturers in Europe. How ever they failed miserably in India for reasons listed below as I have 14 years of association with this company internationally.
1. They did not study the topography, customer profile, and road restrictions in India before they decided to launch the right product that India needs.
2.They blindly believed in the market study done by some “out sourced” agency who know nothing about “transportation” of people and cargo.
3.The shared their name with the most disreputed automobile company in India.
4.They recruited the “fence sitters” in the CV industry who could not perform and gave the responsibility.
5.They underestimated ” Indian customer expectations” and thought they are as accomodative as the europeans, africans, and arabs. An one $ (or less) ball pen will make them happy.
6.MAN refused to replicate the basic principles of “customer support” and left it to the dealers who had other businesses like timber trading, wheat flour, or agarbathis.
7. Man refused to “tropicalize” their product and make the customers understand that India has different altitudes, atmospheric pressures, ambient temperature and above all illiterate operators.
8. No one in MAN organisation ever thought of explaining the customer what is the owning and operating cost per ton/km in 28 different states in India. None of them knew about “AIP” ( all India Permit), toll taxes, entry taxes, sales tax, VAT, service tax and all other unreal expenses the customer has to pay to take one ton of wheat/iron ore/or garbage from one state to another.
9. Typical German attitude that “we know every thing” was the last nail in the coffin.
10. Come clean, indendent, and make sure the people whom you employ leave their egos and opinions at home and come clean with an open mind to accept the MAN’s philosophy.

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

    Josef Raufer

    Dear Mr Ramachandran,

    First of all What ACG has pointed out is real and they have a ground level information about issues.
    I do not agree with your comments that no one in MAN organization explained about TCO, Culture, AIP and other issue which you have mentioned. You cant sale without making all these things specially to big fleet owners who are MAN truck customers. Also Typical German attitude that German thing that they know every thing. It look that you do not have experience how German works, thye are highly qualified and professionals. Also you cant blame Germans only for this JV issues.

    Josef Raufer

    May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

      Manoharan B

      That’s true. I agree with you. Germans are very nice and they don’t have attitude that they know everything. There are many Indians with this attitudes. Opinions are always subjective issues, vary from person to person based on their perspective, and their inner nature. It in fact reflects themselves only ultimately.

      May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

      Rewati Kaul

      I agree with Mr Ramachandran’s comments as they cover most of the points making MAN an underperformer.

      May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Julius Stellwag

I also do not agree with Mr Ramachandran comments. He has no idea about how MAN work. I believe that MAN need to take effective medicine after proper diagnosis. I know MAN can successful in India. MAN India need to think seriously why they did not attract industry talent. If they could retain/attract talent then situation would be better than today. They entered in Indian market before Daimler even started to think about Indian market.

Julius Stellwag

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Jatin Chotalia

Good article. I think MAN India needs a new strategy to be a successful in Indian market

Jatin Chotalia
Technical Manager at Global Technology & Asst Manager
Ambetronics Engineers Pvt Ltd

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Madhup Chaturvedi

India is evolving. So shall be MAN’s strategy too. Think to win fleet owners with complete solutions of world class vehicles, super structures and fleet management.

Madhup Chaturvedi
General Manager – Production
Gunnebo

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Vijayakumar

Dear All,

ACG has highlighted at right time to know the status of how MAN is performing in Indian Market. One of the best product going down in India due to not having enough idea about Indian customers requirement. The following points are very much important for them,

1. Ownership
2.Cost
3.Return of Investment

Have ever MAN team working for the above. MAN India having lot of product issues, non availability of parts & higher price, which are pending till now. Dealers are unhappy with their policy and not having confident due to lack of support. At the last not understanding & create confident to their Employees. Under this circumstances how can you expect to success in India.

Understand the requirements of Customers, Dealers and Employees at right time to get success in India.

If they wake up now, then MAN have bright future in Indian Market.

Or else???

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Adhishakthi Krishnapillai

“Of course MAN is having the capabilities to gain the Indian CV market. ”

Adhishakthi Krishnapillai
Vehicle systems(Suspension systems)
Ashok Leyland

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

P P Deshmukh Panjdesh

The MAN chassis is better than other products in Indian market,it is good quality product and can lead the market if it focus on the pricing and after sales,I’m sure the days are not far of to hear the better rise in Indian Market,hence,it is true that the underperformed MAN has the potential to become a major brand in Indian Market.

P P Deshmukh Panjdesh

MBA/PGDM; Degree in Mechanical Engineering with 25+ years of experience in Automobiles/Aviation Ground Equipment

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

Komal Gulbake

Well Agreed!

Komal Gulbake
Area Manager Sales
Force Motors

May 20, 2014 - 11:57 am Reply

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