By on June 1, 2012

In the late 70’s, Volkswagen had plans to take over truck maker MAN and to sell a whole range of commercial vehicles, from light vans to heavy trucks under the MAN brand. MAN was never taken over, much to the relief of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle division in Hannover that feared for its independence. Some 35 years later, the plan is close to become reality.

A few years ago, Volkswagen took over Swedish truckmaker Scania.  After hectic back and forth and sundry scandals, Volkswagen finally took over German truckmaker MAN last year. Volkswagen’s  commercial vehicle division in Hannover began to become more worried than usual.

Now, the other shoe is about to drop.

Volkswagen chiefs Piech and Winterkorn are ready to put long-serving Volkswagen managers into key positions at MAN, says Das Handelsblatt. The paper sees this as the opening move to fulfill a decade old dream and to weld Scania, MAN and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles  into one large truckmaker.

Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will report to MAN trucks in Munich, Handelsblatt heard.  The brands MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will remain untouched, for the time being.  It would not be a big loss to ditch the unwieldy “Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge”  brand, which did not do much good except earn the people in Hannover the moniker “die Nutzis.”  

(Hat tip to Dipl.Ing. Anonymous.)

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16 Comments on “Volkswagen To Sacrifice Its Nutz For A Better Cause...”

  • avatar

    “Nutzi” jokes aside, the consolidation of facilities worldwide continues and I expect it to accelerate as there is too much capacity, witness the GM plant announcement. Passing the shuttered Wixam Ford facility the other week is a sad reminder.

    The plants that thrive and survive are the newest and ones representing the OEMs with the most sales and the up-and-comers (Hyundai).

  • avatar

    Wow, If VW had bought Scania earlier they could have owned Saab!

    • 0 avatar

      Scania never owned Saab Cars. Scania was called Saab-Scania when the defense contractor Saab owned the truckmaker Scania. That ended in 1995.

      • 0 avatar

        Oops my bad, Wikipedia certainly says it was. But that could be wrong.

      • 0 avatar

        Well Herr Shmitt, you’re right. The defense contractor – at the time however they where not just a defense contractor as they built civilian aircrafts and does still build components for aircraft manufacturers – SAAB however was the same company as the car maker.

        As the benefits of the new arrangement, my fear is that it becomes to MAN-centric to the deficit of Scania who’s a very effective and profitable truck maker.

      • 0 avatar

        The operations that became Saab Automobile was a part of the Saab-Scania group which also included trucks (currently Scania, still a listed public company but majority-owned by VW) and aerospace / defense technology (currently the publicly listed Saab AB). Saab-Scania sold half of the car operations in the early 90’s to GM and some years later the rest. Mid-nineties the truck operations were listed separately and slowly and then suddenly taken over by VW.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    So VW is the MAN?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    MAN is such a respected heavy truck brand, that it makes sense that VW’s own truck division reports to them.

    On the other hand, Scania also appears to be an extremely succesful truck maker. I would leave that company alone, but hey, I’m waaay down in the economic food chain.

  • avatar

    Don’t expect the VW Commercial Vehicles brand to disappear though. While MAN and Scania are building about the same products, and therefore a lot of “fighting” about responsibilities, leadership etc. can be expected, VWN (or VW CV’s) product range has almost no similarities to the ones of MAN and Scania. VWN is selling cars starting from the Caddy (a Golf sized van), then the T5-range (B-segment vans), up to the 5tonne van – the Crafter (same as the sprinter, except for looks and power train). Also the Amarok Pickup. The VW heavy duty unit (developing countries only) was already sold to MAN 3 years ago.

    Except for the biggest versions of the Crafter, none of that vehicles are even remotely in the range of the MAN / Scania products – so one shouldn’t expect the leadership in those classes to go away from VW(N). Even for the Crafter, I wouldn’t expect it, since the big volume in those sizes is in the 3,5t segment (where every idiot can drive the van) – and that segment is probably not of much interest to MAN (look at Iveco Daily / Fiat Ducato – two completely different vehicles, one BOF, one Unibody, because the interests are so different for the offering of a Heavy Truck brand and a passenger brand).

    Of course there will be synergies, etc, and some changes in the command structure, etc. But I wouldn’t expect the VWN brand to go anywhere or the responsibility for the light duty trucks to move away from Hannover. Moving it to MAN/Scania makes no sense (reasons above), and integrating into VW passenger brand would mean controlling commercial vehicles from a non-commercial vehicle POV. Which really is not a good idea…

  • avatar

    So VW wants to be the new GM. This is definitely how to do it. I wonder how long until VW starts selling off brands?

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