Thomas Hemmerich MAN TGX

A long-term loyal supporter of the CV Show, MAN Truck & Bus was the only OEM to book space at the 2018 event, with its big deep red TGX dominating hall 5 on 24-26 April.

UK MD Thomas Hemmerich has been in place for just over a year and he is puzzled – but pleased - by the other manufacturers’ reluctance to support the UK’s premier CV event, despite the fact that their trade association the SMMT owns a third of the CV Show.

“I constantly wonder why we are the only one at the show,” he told “It is a great opportunity to touch base in three days with the whole CV industry. If you consider how much time you would have to spend on the road to meet all these customers, it is a no-brainer to be here.”

Other manufacturers have made no secret of their preference for the CV Show to go biennial in years when there is no IAA show in Hanover, a sentiment Hemmerich has some sympathy with. But he argues that the UK is one of the most important markets in Europe and few operators make the trip from Britain to Hanover.

The message Hemmerich wants to get across to UK operators whose view of MAN was tarnished by reliability issues with the old EGR engines is that the latest Euro-6 SCR models are reliable, economical and – with the new interiors unveiled at the CV Show – appeal to drivers.


MAN's TGX dominated hall 5 at this week's CV Show

“Once a reputation is damaged it takes years to get confidence back,” he said. “I can understand that people are nervous having had a bad experience. The strategy is obvious – we need to get people behind the steering wheel and get that confidence back. That won’t happen in 12 months and we are focusing on events where we get customers into the trucks.

“Our SCR trucks have no issues at all and I am 100% convinced we have overcome the technical problems – now we just need to rebuild their reputation. Our demo fleet is over 70 units and we started the Acorn campaign for retail customers where they can try a truck for six months. We monitor the truck’s performance monthly through Microlise telematics and if it performs we want their commitment to take the truck.

“The feedback we are getting from customers is that they are happy with the MPG and I have no doubt we are comparable with the competition.”

In the UK, MAN is still using the ZF TraXon gearbox rather than the ‘co-operation’ gearbox developed with sister VW manufacturer Scania which is now fitted to the 4x2 tractors.

While Hemmerich is “super confident” in the performance of the latest MAN line up, he acknowledged that there is still work to do improving their residual values. So he wants to avoid getting into a trap of selling a lot of new trucks cheap and then ending up with too many used trucks on the market three years down the line.

“At the moment I am not at all nervous about our used stock situation,” he said. “Our RVs need to get better and we are working on this. It is easy to generate sales if you give credit based on high RVs. We will go step by step in the right direction without being stupid. It doesn’t make sense to generate lots of new truck sales now and in three years’ time to be facing a problem.”

But Hemmerich wants to boost MAN’s UK market share by at least one percentage point from its 7.3% share in 2017, despite predicting a higher overall market.

“I am amazed by the volume of new truck sales,” he said. “When Brexit was announced we revisited our plan for the total market for the next five or six years. But the total market for 2016 was a surprise and there has been no downturn.

“I thought at the beginning of this year the 2018 market would be around 43,500 units, but now looking at the March figures I think it might be closer to 44,500. Operators do not seem to be afraid of Brexit."