MAN Truck & Bus UK reports a ‘hugely successful’ return to the CV Show, after almost three years away, with orders taken for new and used truck totalling several million pounds.
Des Evans, CEO of MAN in the UK, said: “We made a bold move away from having our own ‘neutral’ trucks on display, to showing customer vehicles. And, to talking to operators about ‘Total Cost of Ownership’. For years, too many operators saw truck price reductions as the only way to manage costs. When times were good, that almost worked. Now, times have changed! Oil costs are high, labour expensive and rates at rock bottom: yet too many operators are still trying to manage their bottom line through capital cost control. Even though truck price is only about 10% of ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ over the first five years of its life!
“So we focused on the major elements in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ equation. The 40% in fuel and 30% in repair and maintenance – and we let current operators tell their industry colleagues who visited us about their actual experiences with our approach.”
That move was reflected by the huge number operators looking at live demonstrations of MAN EcoStyle. This is the driver and vehicle performance programme at the heart of MAN’s fleet management system, and a key part of MAN’s overall strategy of operator cost reductions. EcoStyle delivers immediate, usable management information on such things as fuel usage, driver performance - and, let’s face it, its drivers that can make or break any operation, maintenance and PMI requirements, journey times and progress, idling times and so on. It can even sort out and file a truck’s legal documentation to help operators meet O Licence requirements.
Or, as Des Evans put it, “All the things you need to manage if you are going to cut down your total cost of operation. And keep it down!”
Alongside hundreds of sales for new vehicles ordered at the Show, MAN took several orders for retro-fitting EcoStyle onto existing MAN fleets and a number of mixed fleets.
Close behind in terms of success was the new MAN Rental operation. Hardly surprising as it comes with the EcoStyle system already on its trucks, all within the price.
MAN TopUsed too was a centre of attention. The finance and R&M packages MAN has put behind it top-quality used truck offering mirrors many of the benefits of new truck acquisition. For recession-hit operators needing to upgrade for such things as the impending LEZ changes, this is a real option worth close investigation.
Evans again: “If the firm orders and hundreds of enquiries taken on the stand are any sort of indicator, then we seem to have struck a real chord with our focus on Total Cost of Ownership. Better than that, we are actually delivering immediate bottom-line benefits to those operators who are tying up with us.”