In this article, we’re going to talk about MAN Company. How a successful company of its time, failed miserably? Why Man Trucks Failed
What was the reason for their breakdown and what made MAN company left India?
Timeline of the Man Trucks and Buses in India
This was in 2003, India’s one of the biggest automobile company Force motors who manufactured minibuses and mini trucks.
Force decided to step into the Heavy vehicles segment and to manufacture big trucks too.
The idea was great at that time, but Force also knew that it will not be easy for them to manufacture a new project. Because any new project or manufacture requires at least 7 to 8 years, this includes prototype, road test, get approval from ARAI, start production and much more work.
To get away with this process, Force decided to not use own their innovation but to use someone else’s technology and start the production of mega trucks.
Force approached Man Company, Man accepted the offer and allowed them to use their engine, axle, cabin, and chassis with license.
And they bought the gearbox from the ZF Friedrichshafen Company.
Now Force has all spares needed to build a mega truck, the only thing that is needed was assembly.
3 years passed, Force, has done testing and assembly process.
In 2006, MAN decided to set up manufacture their own in India, Man collaborated with Force and took entry in India.
They set up their manufacturing plant in the Pithampur industrial area, Madhya Pradesh.
This plant has a manufacturing capacity of 10000 to 12000 vehicles every year.
In 2006, Force has almost 70% shares of the Man Company, while Man has only 30% of their own.
Years passed, in 2008, Man purchased 20% more shares of their own from Force motors, now they both have 50-50 shares of the Man.
Man Company manufactures trucks, tippers, RMC, tractors & buses in India under CLA range. Everything was going good, people liked their vehicles.
Sales of the company were also on fire, their trucks were bought the most among their other vehicles.
Most of their buses were bought by Paulo travels from Goa. They still have Man’s biggest fleet of buses till now.
Man also holds a good market hold in India till 2016.
Then comes 2017, this was also the time when India’s one of the biggest automobile company was about to say goodbye from India, which was Chevrolet or General Motors.
Chevrolet makes cars for Indian roads, but because of their low sales, this company left India.
There was one more company that was about to say goodbye to the Indian market because of their product failure, which was Multix.
They have manufactured a multipurpose small vehicle under the joint venture of Eicher and Polaris Company. This was a big failure for them.
Sales of the man company were affected and saw a downward trend in 2017, sales were going down but the company was trying their best to survive.
They kept their manufacturing and production alive despite seeing a downward trend in their sales.
Then comes the worst case for the man’s company.
Man’s buses production was stopped due to low sales which were tagged under Scania brand name.
Most of you shouldn’t know about this, but Scania and Man both work under the same company, Volkswagen.
The government of India in 2018 has notified with the prior notice for BS6 Emission Norms.
From 1st April 2020, India will allow BS6 norms will be deployed.
All other companies have already started to upgrade their engines and vehicles under BS6 norms.
While every company is upgrading their engines, Man knows that upgrading every vehicle into BS6 will be very costly for them.
Also, the manufacturing cost will rise by 3 to 3.5 lakhs per vehicle, which means their sales number would go from bad to worst.
There was already a bad time for them, and on top of that, the manufacturing cost will also affect their number of sales.
Sales were already affected because of the presence of the bigger competitors like Tata, Ashok Leyland, Bharat Benz, Eicher & Mahindra were already present in the market.
Also on Man’s vehicles, there was no such change, that old range which was started earlier was continued.
Vehicles constantly need an upgrade to survive in the market, but because of the loss, they didn’t step into any innovation.
While their other huge competitors were continuously upgrading their efficiency and engines.
Man now decided that they will not manufacture any CLA range vehicle in India, and decided to focus only on premium range trucks.
This means that they need to shut down their manufacturing plant in India and sell their plant too.
Man has also requested their buyer to provide jobs to their existing 1000 workers, but buyers only want to buy their plant and not their workers.
Man has sold their company. They requested their company’s vendors, dealers and service stations to hire their existing 1000 workers because the life of more than 4000 was depended on their existing 1000 workers.
Interesting Facts about the Man Company:
- They have India’s very first front-engine multi-axle bus chassis. At that time, Volvo, Scania, Mercedes Benz has also multi-axle bus but the man did a great job after launching a front-engine multi-axle chassis.
Man launched their chassis for just 45lakh, if we compare today’s cost then Bharat Benz’s single axle bus chassis was being sold at almost 40lakhs.
They launched at a very cheap rate and that was a plus point for their company at that time.
Though their cheapest rate, buyers had not shown any interest in this vehicle, no one knows why?
Despite this vehicle has a lot more features like a powerful engine, air suspension on every axle (premium buses feature), and the length was also good.
Because of the low interest by the buyers, this vehicle got failed miserably.
- If facelift was done on that vehicle, then the cost would be easily around 65 lakhs.
After Man got failed, AMW launched the Magnus bus, which also got failed in the Indian market due to the low number of sales.
- After-Sale Service of Man Company: There is a very few service station present in India for their service and maintenance.