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CEL­E­BRAT­ING OUT­STAND­ING DE­SIGN, Ger­man com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer MAN was crowned De­sign Team of the Year at the Au­to­mo­tive Brand Con­test 2018 dur­ing the Paris Mo­tor Show, one of the most pres­ti­gious de­sign awards in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try.

Against the grain of thought where many think about ex­cep­tional au­to­mo­tive de­sign in terms of sleek sports cars, el­e­gant lim­ou­sines, or stylish sedans, Mu­nich-based MAN has shat­tered those il­lu­sions.

The de­sign team, headed by Hol­ger Koos, de­vel­ops a whole ar­ray of ve­hi­cles – for in­stance light- and heavy- duty MAN trucks, and the MAN- and NEO­PLAN-branded coaches and city buses.

“We are, of course, very proud to have had the op­por­tu­nity to pick up our award here in Paris,” said Hol­ger Koos, head of de­sign at MAN Truck & Bus.

“Well- de­signed ve­hi­cles are gain­ing sig­nif­i­cance, es­pe­cially in the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle seg­ment, where the tech­no­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences be­tween the ve­hi­cles are be­com­ing less and less pro­nounced. This means us de­sign­ers have an im­por­tant part to play mak­ing sure the brand is seen in a pos­i­tive light.

“A ve­hi­cle’s de­sign is a vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of its brand; this is as true for trucks and buses as it is for pas­sen­ger cars,” he ex­plained.


There are, nev­er­the­less, a few dif­fer­ences: for in­stance, the markedly dif­fer­ent le­gal re­quire­ments stip­u­lat­ing weights and di­men­sions that re­sult in the typ­i­cal Euro­pean trucks and buses with a flat front end, ex­plains MAN.

Be­sides, re­li­a­bil­ity, longevity, and user friend­li­ness are even more im­por­tant for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles than for pas­sen­ger cars; mileage of around one mil­lion kilo­me­tres is not un­com­mon for th­ese ve­hi­cles.

“We do not set out to de­sign some­thing beau­ti­ful; in­stead we take a cre­ative ap­proach to im­ple­ment­ing tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions that can con­tain as­pects like a com­fort­able en­try, an at­trac­tive pas­sen­ger com­part­ment, or an er­gonomic lay­out,” said Koos.

“Well-de­signed ve­hi­cles are gain­ing sig­nif­i­cance.”

Above: (L-R) Rep­re­sent­ing the MAN De­sign Team in Paris were Sven Gaedtke, Stephan Schön­herr, Ru­dolf Kupitza und Hol­ger Koos.

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