It must be 2021 when the media briefing announcing the launch of a new truck range by MAN Truck & Bus is conducted virtually. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, the time’s, they really are changing, and so is the German manufacturer. Known for its mighty, muscular teutonic and behemothic haulers, the company is well on the way to embracing the softer skills required for the digital era that is overwhelming the transport and hauling industry.
Now installed into the TRATON Group, alongside VW and Scania, MAN is part of a collective that has ruggedly committed to take its accumulative engineering nous into the realms of cloud data and services – and by association, its importers and their customers too.
But, to backtrack a little. The New TG Range from MAN Truck & Bus is now available to order in the Middle East. And it is one heck of a hauler.
The launch comes 12 months after the global debut for the range and it arrives with many of the features that saw its TGX model snatch back the title of International Truck of the Year from the Mercedes-Benz’ own superlative Actros for 2021.
According to MAN, the development of the new trucks was based on customer feedback, to “provide them vehicles that meet their operational requirements – for today and for the future.”
MAN has spent much of the past decade focussing on the safety and efficiency of its flagship range but it has wrapped up the new vehicles with a winning combination of sustainable transport solutions and service.
It is hard to argue with MAN’s own launch notes that boasts that it has always delivered robust, reliable and efficient vehicles. You are still getting the high build quality forged by its engineering team at its factories but you can now also benefit from improved customisation – which remains a hallmark of sister company Scania. This means regional customers can also access the full range of options of the new range’s much praised cabin – digital display included – and Euro emission engine ratings from 2 up to 6; suiting most fuel standards in the GCC, Middle East and Africa.
In the past, MAN has shown a preference for a blocky and squared look to the grille and exterior. That traditional pretence of dogged robustness has been adopted by less premium brands to re-assure their customers. How best to signal that your money is still being well-spent on high technology and refinement? Well, in this case, the designers of the New TG Range must have thrown away their set-squares and dived headlong into the world of trapezium to give each surface of the tractor head an angular edge. They wanted a new look that is both visually appealing and functionally efficient. They got it.
Whether a truck can ever be designed to look like it offers the “highest levels of reliability and efficiency for diverse applications and operating conditions” is the privilege of the purchaser but there is no denying that on the inside, at least, MAN has scored with its focus on the sort of driving comfort that Ford used to great effect to win over the industry with its own IToY, the F-Max two years ago.
The TG also lays out a fully functional driver’s workplace with its clearly arranged and fully digital display.
Running beneath all of this, is the high degree of connectivity provided by its electronic architecture, which is a first of its kind in the commercial vehicle sector.
MAN is clearly confident that the truck will be a success in the market, and is prepared to offer fleets a 3-year warranty on the complete driveline on truck tractor models.
“We also have service contracts that can help customers in terms of preventive maintenance, predictable costs, optimised vehicle up- time and roadside/on-site assistance. Overall, we are offering the best ownership experience to customers,” notes Joerg Mommertz, Senior Vice President, Head of Sales Area Middle East, Africa and Latin America (MEA&LA), MAN Truck & Bus SE.
Mommertz describes the launch of the new range as a “milestone moment” for the company.
“It reflects MAN’s focus on helping our customers in their business. These trucks are built to be highly reliable; able to withstand rugged use over their typical operating life, while delivering best-in-class performance. As a result, customers get the optimum uptime and attractive Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).”
He says that the TG is a demonstration of MAN wanting to be viewed as a global transport solution provider but is balancing that out with an almost back to basics approach in the field.
“This is a new range and a new era in trucking. We had a good launch last year with the TG range in Europe and now it is the turn of the Middle East and Africa, and the Latin America. These are the most diverse and demanding markets we have in the Group and therefore I am very happy that we have the best product in the portfolio and the perfect fit for the market.
“We are providing sustainable transport solutions because it is not only about hardware. There is still the commitment to provide robust reliable and efficient vehicles. We have a strong history and legacy. It is an asset but it is also an obligation towards our customers and we are staying to fulfill customers expectations and to fulfill our promises with the hardware, with the truck, but also with all the services that fleets wanted.”
Expanding on the final point, he says the trucks have been developed based on customer feedback and trying to simplify their own businesses.
“The new TG range is built on four pillars that are all about the customer benefits: greater efficiency and economy every day; being a strong partner for all customers everyday; guarantee our customers optimised up time; and also offering excellent driver comfort.”
MAN is currently the only manufacturer that offers engine emissision norms from Euro 2 to Euro 6 and based upon the model and market requirements. For Mommertz, who has three continents to juggle, this means that MAN is hitting all the customer requirements on his watch. He claims that the engine range remains robust, reliable and more efficient than before and will deliver consistently high performance over long duty cycles. He adds that the focus has been on reducing service costs.
“You are familiar with the market conditions in the Middle East and Africa. History has shown that MAN has always offered reliable high performing trucks under all conditions but substantial improvements made on the product and in the areas of maintenance and service can reduce service life costs. This range also offers a significant payload advantage for weight-sensitive applications and we are very proud to say the TGL and TGM are Best in Class regarding payload.”
For our full coverage of the New TG range, read the full story in the May issue of Truck & Fleet Middle East