MAN Truck & Bus UK celebrates 30 years

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The UK division of MAN celebrated a special anniversary recently, and is looking to the future

18 February 1992 was an important milestone date in the history of MAN Truck & Bus UK. Thirty years ago, the UK business, known then as MAN-VW Truck and Bus, was jointly owned by the manufacturing conglomerate Lonrho and MAN Nutzfahrzeuge. With its offices in London, Lonrho held a majority 80% shareholding, with MAN Nutzfahrzeuge owning the remaining 20%. At that time the business function was to market MAN Volkswagen middle-weight trucks and MAN HGVs through a 28-strong dealer network.

The share owner relationship between Lonrho and MAN-VW Truck and Bus was established in 1984, but MAN Germany had major expansion plans for its entire European business and a strong desire to increase its market share across all its major markets. In February 1992 MAN Germany shone lights on the UK where it felt could do better, and with a new focus and leadership grow its market share. The outright business purchase saw MAN in Germany purchase Lonrho’s share for £20m, and on 18 February 1992 MAN Truck & Bus UK was formed. Based at a new headquarters in Swindon, the firm took over responsibility for distribution, sales and service of MAN trucks, buses and spare parts. The Volkswagen light commercial vehicle business transferred back to VAG in Milton Keynes.

Jurgen Knorpp was appointed as the company’s first Managing Director, a position he held until December 2004. Today MAN Truck & Bus UK prides itself on supplying a range of award winning vehicles, from TGE vans, which are popular for conversion to minibuses, to luxurious Neoplan coaches, all of which are supported by its network and teams across the UK.

The Neoplan Tourliner was recently road tested by CBW at MAN’s modern site at Trafford Park, Manchester. RICHARD SHARMAN