Volkswagen To Sacrifice Its Nutz For A Better Cause

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
volkswagen to sacrifice its nutz for a better cause

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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10 of 16 comments
  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jun 01, 2012

    So VW is the MAN?

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Jun 01, 2012

    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.

  • Fusion Fusion on Jun 01, 2012

    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...

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    • CRConrad CRConrad on Jun 01, 2012

      @cafe Na ja, ein Grossteil von diesen Kentnissen bekommt man ja schon als interessierter Amateur.

  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Jun 01, 2012

    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?