The regional managing director of MAN Truck & Bus Middle East has re-stated the firm’s commitment to the Middle East and Africa region during an expansive interview with T&FME.

Unlike his predecessor Franz von Redwitz, Mommertz is based in Germany; leading some industry observers to speculate that MAN Truck & Bus could fold its operation in the Middle East.

Mommertz told T&FME that his role will see him travel extensively throughout the two continents to maintain close contact with the market and customers.

He added that changing market demand means MAN’s Dubai operation will function as a hub as it looks to expand its business across the Middle East and North Africa.

“Opposite to the rumours, MAN doesn’t have any intention to close business here in Dubai,” said Mommertz. “We want to reinforce our activities here to use Dubai as a hub for the Middle East and the northern part of Africa.”

He added that southern Africa will be serviced by its present operation in South Africa.

“There will be two hubs and we want to use Dubai even more: as a training and trade hub for the entire region,” he said.

Describing the Middle East market as bottoming out last year, he said it has now stabilised and believes there will be small but sustainable growth in the coming years. Conversely, he emphasised that MAN was interested in the African market as it could experience faster growth.

“Most of the European truck manufacturers are looking for new opportunities, and I believe Africa has one of the biggest growth potentials.”

He added: “We want to be closer to the market and offer our customers in Africa and Middle East more adjusted, adapted and customised solutions taking care of the different market situations inside the continents. We want to be closer to the customer and follow our principle of ‘customer first’.”