LAHORE: The potential in Pakistan’s transport sector has attracted many companies to invest in the country. Despite taking a dip in the past years, the scope is now steadily increasing, with another leading company – the MAN Group – initiating operations in Pakistan by introducing its sister company MAN Truck and Bus.
The MAN Group is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles, engines and mechanical engineering equipment, with annual revenues of approximately €15.8 billion and around 54,300 employees worldwide. MAN supplies trucks, buses, diesel engines and turbomachinery, as well as turnkey power plants, according to the company’s website.
The group’s other sister concern – MAN Diesel and Turbo – has had a presence in Pakistan since 2008, and both companies will now work under one roof with an aim to capture the entire segment in the coming years.
“This will be a test for the company. We know that Pakistan is an emerging market, and might be a corridor for Central Asian countries, so hopes for our success are high,” said Clemens Wolff, product sales and engineering manager, Middle East, while talking with The Express Tribune.
A possible corridor to Central Asian countries is the most attractive incentive for the company to invest in Pakistan, as they know that when Gwadar Port starts functioning, there will be a massive in traffic taking goods to countries through Pakistan. This will be the time when the company hopes to see a growth in sales.
MAN Diesel Turbo Bus and Truck has opened its first office in Lahore, and will open a second one in Karachi soon. The company is confident that they can deliver a world-class value proposition through MAN Diesel and Turbo Pakistan, backed by a MAN-trained service team, customer-oriented mindset, and an innovative brand heritage, to emerge as a leading player in Pakistan’s commercial vehicle industry.
“Our latest product – MAN TGS WW – would be new and quite costly for Pakistani logistic companies, but it is a long-term product with reliability and safety, horse power ranging between 360-480, fuel efficiency and a life of more than 15 years,” Wolff added. “In Europe, our mileage is around 33 kilometres per litre, but it depends on the drive. In Pakistan, we will educate and create awareness among our clients to better use the product,” he added.
The company initially targets selling around 100 trucks a year, after which it will decide further strategy. Till date, the company has sold around 50 units of civil trucks in Pakistan. It also has sold more than 100 military trucks, but that was at the end of the previous decade.
Currently, the company will import entire units, but if sales rise to their expectations, then they might involve locals in the manufacturing process and expand premises to assemble units in Pakistan.
The company is also keen to kickoff operations due to a lack of railway services in the logistics segment. The company said that the number of goods transported via railways was over 14 million tons annually before Pakistan Railways started imploding, and has now reduced to 1.5 million tons per year. “This has shifted the burden on road transport and enhanced the demand for trucks. We hope to take out our share of this,” he said.
The company will soon launch its bus in the Pakistani market to cater to difficulties faced by commuters while travelling on inter- or intra-city routes. The company also has a close eye on upcoming METRO bus projects. According to Wolff, this sector will have huge potential as the masses are still quite unaware of quality travelling via road networks.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2013.
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