MAN restart

MAN is restarting truck production this week after supply chain issues, triggered by the war in Ukraine, saw its plants in Germany and Poland grind to a halt in March.

However, the manufacturer warned that whilst the war continues and the situation remains “volatile”, production levels at its plants will only be increased “step by step” with "significantly fewer variants".

The six-week shut down to its plants in Munich and Krakow, which began on 14 March, was a result of MAN’s Ukrainian suppliers being unable to manufacture and deliver wiring harnesses to the plants as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Plants in Nuremberg, Salzgitter and Wittlich were also impacted with all three seeing significant production downtime.

With MAN unable to meet its agreed delivery deadlines, due to the shutdown, it has been offering customers the option of cancelling their orders, whilst at the same time giving customers the option to place an order at new conditions.

However this week MAN appeared to have turned a corner, with the manufacturer announcing that its Munich and Krakow plants have reopened and that its Nuremberg and Salzgitter component plants are ramping up capacity.

MAN attributed the restart to its Ukrainian suppliers being able to begin the manufacture and delivery of the wiring harness components again, “albeit at a low level”, boosted by supplies of additional components from other countries.

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MAN chief executive Alexander Vlaskamp welcomed the end of the shutdown but warned that production is yet to meet full capacity.

He said: “The restart in our truck production is a very good signal for our workforce and our customers. However, there is no reason for euphoria yet.

“Production remains subject to major uncertainties. If the war shifts more strongly to western Ukraine again, we may be faced with a renewed standstill. Flexibility is and remains the order of the day, as is strict cost discipline.”

Cost cutting measures, instigated as a result of the supply chain crisis, included a hiring freeze and a comprehensive halt to all spending on non-business-critical activities.

In addition, short-time work for around 11,000 workers was prolonged at the Munich, Nuremberg, Salzgitter and Wittlich sites on 14 March and extended to include administration.

In a show of solidarity with the workforce, the executive board also waived their salaries for three months.

This week MAN said the cost cutting continues with the manufacturer it is “systematically adhering to its restructuring program in connection with the company's transformation. Due to the reduced production program, the company will have to continue to use the instrument of short-time working at its German sites.”