MAN

MAN Truck & Bus AG (formerly MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG) is the largest subsidiary of the MAN SE corporation and one of the leading international providers of commercial vehicles. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, MAN Truck & Bus produces trucks in the range from 7.49 to 44 t gvw, heavy goods vehicles up to 250 t road train gvw, bus-chassis, coaches, interurban coaches, and city buses. MAN Truck & Bus also produces diesel and natural-gas engines.

Trucks and buses of the product brand MAN and buses of the product brand NEOPLAN (VIP Class buses) belong to the MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group.[1] [2][3]

On 1 January 2011, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge (literally: commercial vehicles) was renamed as MAN Truck & Bus to better reflect the company's products on the international market.[4]

The first MAN chassis came to Australia in 1930 and later models soon gained a reputation for rugged reliability in the outback. They were particularly popular in Tasmanian forests where the freezing temperatures were no worse than the European conditions it was built for. While MAN has had a presence since the 1930s it only moved into Australia with a degree of force in 1951, specialising in all-wheel- drive trucks in the medium to heavy range. This was also the year MAN released the world’s first V8 auto motive diesel and the trucks soon gained a reputation for being rugged and durable even under the most extreme conditions. The biggest drawback to potential buyers of the MAN range in Australia was the high price tag, although the fact that over 85 percent of the componentry of any MAN truck is interchangeable with any other model of the range proved attractive to fleet customers.

MAN gained much publicity when Danish ad venturer Hans Holtrop crossed Australia from east to west in a six-cylinder 280hp MAN in a historic 11-day trip over 6,200 kilometres of the some of the worst and most isolated country in the world, crossing the Great Victoria, Gibson and Simpson deserts. With a load of two tractors, petrol and food and beer sup plies, and no back-up vehicle the MAN handled the trip with no major catastrophes, having to only call in help on one occasion when the truck sank down a deep waterhole at the Warburton Mission.

MAN traces its origins back to 1758, when the "St. Antony" ironworks commenced operation in Oberhausen, as the first heavy-industry enterprise in the Ruhr region. In 1808, the three ironworks "St. Antony", "Gute Hoffnung" (English: "Good Hope"), and "Neue Essen" (English: "New Forges") merged, to form the Hüttengewerkschaft und Handlung Jacobi (English: "Jacobi Iron And Steel Works Union And Trading Company"), Oberhausen, which was later renamed Gute Hoffnungshütte (GHH).[1]

In 1840, the German engineer Ludwig Sander founded in Augsburg the first predecessing enterprise of MAN in Southern Germany: the "Sander'sche Maschinenfabrik." It firstly became the "C. Reichenbach'sche Maschinenfabrik", which was named after the pioneer of printing machines Carl August Reichenbach, and later on the "Maschinenfabrik Augsburg".[1]

In 1908, the Vereinigte Maschinenfabrik Augsburg und Maschinenbaugesellschaft Nürnberg A.G., Augsburg ("United Machine Works Augsburg and Nuremberg Ltd."), which came into being through the 1898 merger of Maschinenbau-AG Nürnberg (founded 1841), and the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg AG (founded 1840) was renamed Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nürnberg AG, Augsburg, or in short M.A.N.

While the focus initially remained on ore mining and iron production in the Ruhr region, machine building became the dominating branch of business in Augsburg and Nuremberg. As director of the "Maschinenfabrik Augsburg" Heinrich von Buz created of a small business with 400 employees a major enterprise with 12,000 workpeople. Locomotion, propulsion and steel building were the big topics of this phase. The early predecessors of MAN were responsible for numerous technological innovations, the success of the early MAN entrepreneurs and engineers was based on a great openness towards new technologies. They constructed the Wuppertal monorail ("Wuppertaler Schwebebahn") and the first spectacular steel bridges like the Großhesseloher Brücke in Munich in 1857 and the Müngsten railway bridge between 1893 and 1897.

The invention of the rotary printing press allowed the copious printing of books and newspapers and since 1893, Rudolf Diesel puzzled for four years with future MAN engineers in a laboratory in Augsburg until his first Diesel engine was completed and fully functional.

During 1921, the majority of M.A.N. was taken over by the Gutehoffnungshütte Actienverein für Bergbau und Hüttenbetrieb, Sterkrade (GHH), (founded 1873).[1] Through well-directed equities and acquisitions of processing industries, e.g., Deutsche Werft (1918), Ferrostaal (1921), Deggendorfer Werft und Eisenbau (1924), MAN advanced to a nationwide operating enterprise.

Crisis and World War II
At the same time the GHH’s economic situation worsened. The causes for this were amongst others the reparations after World War I, the occupation of the Ruhr region and the world economic crisis. In only two years the number of the MAN employees sank from 14,000 in the year 1929/30 to 7,400 in 1931/32. While the civil business was largely collapsing, the military business increased with the armament under the national socialist regime. GHH/MAN enterprises supplied diesel engines for submarines, Panzers, cylinders for projectiles and artillery of every description. MAN also produced gun parts, including Mauser K98 rifle bolts. Their Waffenampt code was WaA53, and ordnance code was "coc".

The MAN works in Nuremberg were often the target of massive bombing attacks during World War II, because 40 percent of all Panther Panzers built in Germany were produced there.[1]

Postwar period
After the end of World War II the allies deconcentrated the GHH group. A vertical integration in which mining, iron and steel production are consolidated was not allowed any more. The “Gutehoffnungshütte”, together with the MAN firms of Southern Germany, therefore concentrated on engineering, plant construction, commercial vehicles and printing machines. This process has been supported by strategic acquisitions and dispositions; one the most important was the take-over of the truck and bus division of the commercial vehicles manufacturer Büssing (1971), the disposition of the shares of the shipyard Deutsche Werft (1966/67) and the acquisition of the printing machine producer Faber&Schleicher as well as its fusion to MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG (1979).[1]

In 1982/83 the “Gutehoffnungshütte” plunged into a deep corporate crisis. The enterprise suffered from the late effects of the second oil crises and a bad economic situation. This was particularly displayed by the dramatic downturn of the commercial vehicles sales figures. Besides external factors, the chief course of these problems was the obsolete company structure with extensive cross-subsidisation between the divisions. At this time the former director of GHH presented a reclamation concept that envisioned a complete consolidation of the subsidiary with the holding company. This concept encountered great resistance with GHH's major shareholders Allianz AG and Commerzbank. The media speculated about a “Bavarian conspiracy” against the Management in Oberhausen.[1]

In 1986, with Klaus Götte, the group got a new company structure and became a contractual group with economically independent division at several locations. This was also attended by the transferring of the MAN headquarters from Oberhausen to Munich and by the new company name MAN AG.

Rudolf Rupprecht repelled a takeover attempt in 2003. Furthermore, the disposition of the 50-percent share of the SMS Group and the strengthening of the turbomachinery division through the takeover of Sulzer Turbo induced MAN’s focusing process.

In September 2006, MAN produced an offer for the take-over of the Swedish competitor Scania AB. The European Commission approved the takeover on December, 14. Nevertheless, MAN voluntarily withdrew the offer on January 23, 2007, after Scania’s major shareholders Volkswagen AG and the influential Wallenberg family had declined the offer. On December 24, 2008, MAN published to possess further stock options of Scania and to therefore maintain more than 20 percent of the voting rights.

In 2008, the MAN group celebrated its 250 years anniversary with numerous events, like exhibitions in several museums, a vintage car tour with the motto “MAN on the road again” and a great anniversary gala. At the beginning of December 2008 MAN took over the company VW Truck and Bus Brazil and changed the firm’s name to MAN Latin America. Therewith, MAN now is market leader in Brazil with a market share of 30 percent.