MAN Trucks to leverage digital platform for customer service
MAN Trucks India has announced new initiatives to increase its market reach and customer service options to be a part of the sustainable commercial vehicle (CV) industry growth in India. The initiatives include introduction of Mobile24 and MAN ProfiDrive and introduction of new digital tools for customer connect.
Mobile24 is a 24x7 roadside assistance service that will support all MAN trucks and buses operating in the country, especially haulage vehicles. This will also be included in repair maintenance contracts (RMC) that can be customised to suit specific customer requirements. MAN will also offer customer solutions using digital platform that will make the interaction with the company more value-driven and efficient.
The MAN ProfiDrive programme will provide training to drivers to help them operate with better safety and deliver greater fuel efficiency. With 35 years of expertise, MAN ProfiDrive has made a significant contribution to the all-round support for business owners, fleet managers and drivers in over 67 countries worldwide. It has continuously improved and expanded in terms of its daily dealings with customers as well as the available training portfolio.
These initiatives complement the reliability and efficiency of the MAN CLA Evo haulage series. The products offer unique benefits such as highest payload in their respective categories; best-in-class fuel efficiency; unmatched 20-hour duty cycle; and maximum product lifecycle. Offered along with aftersales customer solutions such as Repair Maintenance Contracts, lubricants and coolant, customers get the best value proposition.
“As the GDP grows, the CV industry will grow. We are confident that the CLA Evo trucks will address the changing needs of fleet operators in terms of payload and efficiency,” Joerg Mommertz, Chairman and Managing Director, MAN Trucks India, said.
The company banks on the growth of tractor-trailer segments as transporters look for better productivity and profitability. Offering trucks (and bus chassis) in the 16- to 49-tonne category, the company is closely watching the emergence of rated payload. It is also expanding its network by rolling out new customer-centric features that will make operating a MAN truck advantageous.
Aspiring to grow faster than the industry and to create brand awareness, MAN Trucks India recently ran an expedition that saw 5 MAN trucks travel from
various parts of India to Pithampur (Indore) where the CV maker has a manufacturing plant since 2005. The 5 trucks clocked 9,884 km cumulatively, and highlighted the company’s focus on long-haul segments.
MAN Trucks India is set to increase its presence beyond 65 locations across India. With 4 touch-points in South India, the company will commission 5 new dealerships in the region. The company is also looking at easy financing schemes to guarantee customers for competitive lifecycle costs. With the demand for telematics increasing, the company will offer solutions that will help its customers to clock higher efficiency and profitability.
Not intending to penetrate segments below 16-tonne, even though it has such products on offer in many other markets, the company has a clear heavy vehicle strategy in place. Selling over 4500 units last year, MAN Trucks India is keen to increase its reach in all the segments above 16-tonnes.
Enjoying a good rapport in the construction and mining truck market, MAN Trucks India is looking for a sustained growth in the sector, Mommertz said. “A change in legislation to register the tractor and trailer as individual entities will lead to higher flexibility. Our customers are also demanding it,” he said.
As GST is elevating operator efficiency by enabling him to clock more kilometres, Mommertz said, “Customers are demanding trucks with more power; trucks that will help them to achieve higher uptime.”
Of the firm belief that high level of localisation is necessary to address market demand, Mommertz said, “This is a challenge.” For the current range of CVs that MAN Trucks India offers, the level of localisation is 82%. About 80% of the trucks that the company sells, are air-conditioned. The capacity of the Pithampur plant is to produce 9000 units a year.
Citing reports, which state that the availability of a truck has gone up by 15 to 20%, S Somasundaram, Head, Sales, MAN Trucks India, said they expect the demand for tractor-trailers to rise as operators tap long-haul business opportunities. “Customers will soon shift to a revenue model. They will look at the utilisation level of the vehicle,” he said. MAN Trucks India, in the meanwhile, will offer higher horsepower vehicles that do not sacrifice fuel efficiency. Set to launch 6x2 and 4x2 BS-IV bus chassis in early 2018, the company will also launch a heavy mining truck based on the CLA Evo platform.
MAN Trucks India is looking for substantial rise in its exports. The company is exporting trucks in CKD form (Truck-In-Box) and parts to South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia. Exporting 40% of what it produces at Pithampur to 14 countries, the company is exploring new markets like South-East Asia to further increase its export content. With 30% of the export volume, South Africa remains as the number 1 export destination for MAN Trucks India.
MAN Trucks India is also looking at the special application market abroad. In the domestic market, the company has received good success with the supply of its chassis for applications like fire tenders, tankers, tip-trailers, etc. The company is looking for similar opportunities in the international markets.
MAN Trucks India is investing in BS-VI technology to meet the 2020 target. It is also looking at alternate fuels. Mommertz said that the switch to 100% electric vehicles will be difficult. “Sustainability in CVs will come from a fuel mix of CNG, hydrogen, and others.
Much will depend on the availability of fuel. Electricity will find use in urban applications where the demand for a clean medium to curb pollution is necessary. It will also be a mix of CNG, hybrid and other technologies. The direction in which the synthetic fuel takes is not clear, though hydrogen fuel is back in news,” he said. The challenge while investing in electric, hybrid, hydrogen and other technologies is to know which direction they are moving to, Mommertz said.
Claimed to be the biggest producer of CNG buses, MAN is developing a CNG truck in India, he said. There has to be an efficient infrastructure to support such technologies, as “CNG would make a strong case for urban transport, and for buses,” Mommertz said.
Sivaramakrishnan C, Head - After Sales, Joerg Mommertz, Chairman and Managing Director and Somasundaram S, Vice President, MAN Trucks India