President Max Burger of MAN Truck & Bus Korea says that his company will step up efforts to enhance its market position in Korea’s commercial vehicle sector with upgraded customer services and new technology related to autonomous driving. At a recent interview with The Korea Post media, President Burger emphasized that opening of the Pyeongtaek PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) Center will enable the company to further improve its customer services. Excerpts from the interview follow:
Question: Would you introduce the history of the MAN SE and MAN Truck & Bus Korea?
Answer: MAN SE is an abbreviation of Maschinenfabrick Augsbrug-Nurnberg Societas Europaea. MAN SE, formerly MAN AG, is a German mechanical engineering company and parent company of MAN Group. The company is now named Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nürnberg AG, or in short, M·A·N.
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, "St. Antony" and two other ironworks merged to form the Hüttengewerkschaft und Handlung Jacobi (English: "Jacobi Iron And Steel Works Union And Trading Company"),
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 toward new technologies. They constructed the Wuppertal monorail and the first spectacular steel bridges in Munich and the Müngsten railway bridge. During 1921, MAN advanced to a nationwide operating enterprise.
MAN supplies trucks, buses, vans, diesel engines`, turbomachinery, and special gear units and holds leading market positions in all divisions. The company, which is based in Munich, Germany, is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles. Its products range from trucks and special-purpose vehicles, buses and coaches, to diesel and gas engines.
MAN Truck & Bus Korea is the Korean corporation of MAN Truck & Bus AG which is ranked second in Europe’s truck market and third in the bus market. Since its establishment in Korea in 2001, MAN Truck & Bus Korea has carried out plenty of research on the Korean market, while trying hard to satisfy the requirements of customers. In 2011, with its strong growth potential, the Korean corporation was upgraded to the East Asian Center of MAN Truck & Bus. To ensure that customers access best services as well as top quality products, we are expanding our service network throughout Korea.
Q: Would you introduce your marketing strategy?
A: Korea is an important market for commercial vehicles. It is one of our seven strategic markets. In Korea, demand for environment-friendly and value-added vehicles is rising rapidly, with competition among global firms becoming fiercer. In 2015, we launched commercial vehicles which are compliant with Euro 6 emissions standards. A year later in 2016, we sold a total of 1,545 vehicles, up 36% from a year earlier in Korea. It marked an impressive 450% rise over five years ago.
With the help of consistent advanced development of the fuel economy concept, we have succeeded in launching a highly efficient truck on the roads. In 2008, we launched TGX Efficient Line in Korea ahead of other Asian markets. Two years later, Euro-5 Tractors and Dump Trucks hit the market. In fact, Korea was designated as the “best truck market in the world” for three consecutive years starting 2014 by Man Truck & Bus in the number of trucks sold. Of note, Korea was chosen as “the best market in the world” in overall business areas including market value and growth potential.
Q: Would you explain the value of Pyeongtaek PDI Center?
A: In June 2017, MAN Truck & Bus Korea established a Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) center in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, with an investment of US$10 million in order to improve its competitive edge and ensure steady growth in the Korean vehicle market.
MAN Truck & Bus vehicle models will undergo detailed inspections at the center before being delivered to customers. The Pyeongtaek PDI center will deliver a differentiated customer service with its modernized facilities operation. MAN Truck & Bus seeks to expand its business operation through investment in its distribution centers as well as introducing new vehicle models.
The company also invested $10 million to build its 5,610-sq. meter local headquarters in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. The facility is made up of 12 double work bays, a cafeteria and recreation area as well as offices for the employees
Sitting on a 28,918 square-meter site, the Pyeongtaek PDI center is six times larger than its existing PDI center in South Chungcheong Province. It is made up of five buildings, which includes two PDI assembly facilities, a mechanic training center, finished vehicle storage and delivery center. A range of services including vehicle assembly, inspection, storage and delivery will be offered with high efficiency. The center also features accommodation facilities for visitors and employees. The PDI mechanic training center is where the world's top-class experts will provide engineer training for marketing and service quality.
Q: Do you expect to take No. 1 position in the commercial vehicle market?
A: MAN Truck & Bus Korea plans to expand its integrated service infrastructure alongside upgrading its service quality in response to customers’ requirements. Last year, the company newly opened or opened service centers in Inchon, Suncheon and Pohang, building a nationwide service network. This year, the company opened service centers in Yongin, Jeju and Gimhae. Plans also call for establishing service centers in Busan and Jeonju this year.
MAN Truck & Bus Korea is making steady investments for development of environment-friendly commercial vehicles such as hybrid buses and electric buses. The company is trying to increase the supply of its double-decker buses. Currently, our 52 double-decker buses are in service along the routes connecting Ansan and Gimpo cities.
The buses are equipped with a Euro-6 HP engine, automatic transmiss0n, emergency brake assistant and lane departure warning system. The company is preparing to launch diverse types of buses including those with three doors, in addition to double-decker buses. Of note, MAN Lion’s Coach beat 11 brands to receive the “Grand Award Coach 2017,” “Comfort Label 2017” and “Design Label 2017” in the recent Busworld Europe. The MAN Lion Double Decker bus has USB ports for cell phone charging.
MAN Truck & Bus is working hard to develop autonomous truck driving. We are focused on developing top-notch autonomous trucks which are different from conventional ones by using cameras along with radars in recognizing things around.