The new MAN TG range for the MEA region was launched virtually earlier this year. MAN has been rolling out deliveries of the new vehicles in the regional market and the driver experience is exceedingly positive. This new range, which has been in the making for some years now, is more reliable and efficient than its predecessors.
MAN Trucks’ new TG range is proving to be quite the trailblazer in the trucking industry globally and in the MEA region. MAN is known for reliability and efficiency and these characteristics remain prominent in the new range. The TG trucks are equipped with an engine that delivers even better fuel efficiency than before. The response from the European market, which has experienced the new range for a longer time than the Middle East, is overwhelming. The fuel efficiency percentage being reported is from 8 to 10% as compared to MAN’s previous models.
Customer feedback (as well as regulatory requirements) was a major component in the design of these new trucks. “We met with customers from across the world to understand their specific requirements,” says Jöerg Mommertz, Senior Vice President, Head of Sales Area MEA and Latin America and Managing Director, MAN Trucks & Bus. The idea was to develop a truck that retains its relevance beyond the initial years after its launch and which can be upgraded periodically as per demands. “Our focus was to deliver robust solutions that can perform consistently over their typical operating life,” says Mommertz.
There is also impeccable attention to detail that went into the new design that is reflected in the features that offer convenience and safety. For example, there is an anti-slip step that has been designed to prevent mishaps and injuries during regular operations. Then there is a control panel on the driver door that provides ease of access and convenience.
“A well-rested driver can drive safely and deliver more efficiently than before. Additionally, thanks to ingenious solutions by engineers at MAN, the truck can carry more payload. This means that our customers now have the opportunity to increase their earnings with each trip,” continues Mommertz.
The driver experience is front and centre in this new truck. “The driver was one of the four focus areas in the development of our new truck range. It is also a key communication pillar at MAN – Excellent Driver Fit. The demands and needs were clear,” continues Mommertz. The driver workspace needed to become more ergonomic so it could provide enhanced comfort, a wider field of vision, easy access to the control panel, a clear display panel, and an improved area for rest/sleeping.
“Of course, there were inputs on some other important aspects such as an efficient air-conditioning system and even a charging port for electronic devices. We took care of all these requirements, and then some more,” he adds.
Another product offering connected to driver comfort is MAN’s ProfiDrive programme. The MAN ProfiDrive offers additional targeted and practice-oriented training to help drivers with efficient and safer driving methods, making good drivers even better.
One size does not fit all
As part of MAN’s customer-centric approach, along with the new TG trucks, they have also deployed new order systems that provide a high level of granularity. Customers can choose options ranging from the key aggregates (engine, gearbox, axle, etc.) to the tyres and cabs, and the smallest convenience features in the vehicle.
Besides the trucks, MAN also has customised solutions in after sales such as MAN Extended Warranty, MAN Service Contract and MAN ProfiDrive. These can be adapted to specific customer requirements and can help maintain the peak performance of the vehicles.
Safety remains at the core of all product development programmes at MAN. “We focus on two aspects of safety – features in the product (active and passive systems), and patterns and behaviors of drivers at the wheel,” explains Mommertz.
Customers can get safety features such as the MAN Lane Departure Warning System, which assists the driver with accurate lane keeping. If the truck touches the lane markings or leaves the lane without an activated turn indicator, an acoustic signal will sound.
The emergency brake assist system warns the driver of an impending collision and in an emergency automatically initiates a braking procedure. Then these are the ubiquitous seat belts and airbags.
“But for us, safety is not just a feature in our vehicles. MAN also offers solutions that can help enhance safety. The MAN EcoStyle telematics provides data that can be used to improve driving patterns and behaviors,” adds Mommertz.
The demand for trucks in the Middle Eastern and African countries varies based on the applications they are needed for, the operating duty cycles and topographies.
“Acceleration in infrastructure and haulage applications are some of the main reasons why customers opt for MAN trucks,” says Mommertz. “For instance, in Africa, heavy/deep mining applications and haulage drive the demand for many MAN vehicles. Every market that we are in presents a different set of opportunities, and we see a great appetite for the new range,” he adds. Since global and regional economies are still in different stages of recovery from the COVID-19, market sizes and projected sales cannot be assigned just yet.
The truck of the future
Future tech for trucks can be categorised into two sections. One is electrification, which is rapidly gaining momentum. MAN is very active in this area and already offers electric vans, trucks and buses for commercial operations. “The demand is consistently increasing with more customers opting for our e-mobility solutions. The development in this area is ultimately to achieve zero-emission targets in many countries,” says Mommertz.
The second is autonomous driving. “Here at MAN, we have taken initial steps with the successful pilot of its driverless truck at Hamburg port. The possibility of adoption of autonomous vehicles for operations in contained areas such as ports, is quite high. However, it is still early to predict the deployment of this technology on a larger scale in regular traffic areas,” he opines.
International Truck of the Year Award 2021
MAN’s top of the line truck from the TG range – the TGX – won the International Truck of the Year 2021 earlier this year. Top points that made the TGX the winner was comfort, safety, fuel efficiency, connectivity, an advanced service portfolio, its human-machine interface and improved cab aerodynamics.