MAN Truck & Bus South Africa and MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa have relocated their head-offices to new premises in Modderfontein, Johannesburg; a move that is representative of the organisation’s new strategy to satisfy markets across South Africa and Sub-equatorial Africa by leveraging synergies between the two regional divisions.

With the retirement of former MAN Truck & Bus SA Managing Director, Geoff du Plessis in December 2015, MAN AG has appointed erstwhile Chairman of MAN Truck & Bus SA (and Head of Sub-Equatorial Africa, Middle East and India), Markus Geyer as the new Managing Director of MAN Truck & Bus SA and MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa. Relocating from Munich, Geyer is now based in Johannesburg and is contracted to occupy the position for four years with the option of extending the term by two years.

“I am extremely excited to be living in South Africa and am looking forward to the arrival of my family in August when the international school year starts. My experience with MAN in South Africa and Africa as a whole goes back to 2004 when I was involved from a central controlling point of view. Since then, my engagement with African customers has increased and I have come to understand the idiosyncrasies of respective markets on the continent. I believe our local management team has the necessary experience to lead MAN into a new era of positive growth in the Pan-African markets I now manage,” says Geyer.


Joining Geyer on the Board of Directors of MAN Truck & Bus SA are Arshad Hassim (Financial Director) and Sarah Luthuli (Non-Executive Director).

Ian Seethal, Head of Network Development, adds the position of Head of Marketing Communications (South Africa and Sub-Equatorial Africa) to his portfolio of responsibilities. Robert Clough is Head of MAN Sub-Equatorial Africa.

“The streamlining of our management structure extends to our proprietary dealerships in Centurion, Pinetown and Cape Town, where we have created branch manager positions to elevate decision-making power at the point of sale. This forms part of MAN’s new global project PACE2017. The project is designed to enhance customer-centric product and service delivery for our customers and increase efficiencies within the company,” explains Geyer.

At the core of the PACE2017 project is a focus on a dynamic business culture where processes are simplified to ensure that customers get the right products and services more swiftly, with all MAN personnel being guided by the acronym, PACE (Performance, Accountability, Commitment, Execution).

Behind this commitment to customer satisfaction is the MAN portfolio of truck and bus products which continue to prove their ability to lower total cost of ownership through engineering excellence, says Geyer. MAN notched up its fourth consecutive number-one position in the 2015 TÜV Report, a German quality assurance audit of trucks and buses in active duty undertaken regular intervals.

“Our new head office reflects our premium brand positioning and our values of transparency and openness. A total investment of R75 million demonstrates MAN’s commitment to long-term investment in South Africa, to establishing the organisation as the leading employer in the heavy commercial vehicle sector by attracting the right talent to ensure market-leading customer orientation,” adds Geyer.


“We now have full decision-making power for the entire sub-equatorial Africa region, including South Africa, under one roof. MAN Financial Services, a joint venture between ABSA and VW Financial Services, will also relocate to our new headquarters, which will ensure stronger support between sales and finance, thus ensuring better customer service. Having our sales and aftersales teams sitting next to each other will also strengthen our ability to support our customers more effectively. Furthermore, having all strategic business units in one building enables us to not only share business intelligence from respective market bases more easily between operational divisions, but also cultivates concentrated effort to enhance efficiency in dealing with customer requirements.”

Commenting on MAN’s market performance globally in 2015, Geyer states that despite worldwide market volatility, MAN Truck & Bus experienced positive revenue growth on 2014 figures in its respective divisions, with order intake rising by nine percent, truck sales up by 7 percent and bus sales climbing by 21 percent.

“Our turnover for 2015 from global operations rose by seven percent and our final operative result showed an increase of 35 percent on 2014. The South African heavy truck market however, has been in slow decline for over a year, largely due to commodity market dips but our performance in other African markets has been positive,” says Geyer. “We continue to hold market-leadership in the bus segment and the optimisation of our product portfolio for respective African truck and bus applications has reached a point where we can confidently extend our range of services to add tangible value and return on investment for our customers.”

With the lion’s share of its revenue coming from extra-heavy truck sales, MAN Truck & Bus SA has had to weather the storm that has seen a plummet in regional mining activity.

“The MAN TGS range of long-haul truck-tractors has established industry benchmarks for fuel efficiency and despite headwinds in the side-tipper transport sector, the TGS range continues to perform as a viable solution for long-haul distribution applications,” Geyer says. “The TGS rigid-chassis freight-carrier derivatives are proving themselves in applications where superior traction is required, such as construction and timber transport. Our CLA, TGM and VW derivatives are also satisfying customer requirements in their segments, both private and municipal.”

A highlight for MAN during 2015 was the introduction of the Euro 5 MAN TGX 540 long-haul 6×4 truck-tractor and its 13 240 km ‘ONE MAN kann Journey’ across southern and east Africa. The epic trip not only proved the merits of the new flagship as a bona-fide long-haul truck for Africa, but also demonstrated the efficacy of two new MAN Support offerings, MAN ProfiDrive® (advanced driver training programme) and MAN TeleMatics® (a Fleet Management solution co-developed in South Africa by MAN and Cartrack).

“The Journey helped to showcase our growing dealer network in sub-equatorial Africa. New private-capital dealerships in Maputo, Nairobi, Lusaka and Windhoek were opened to coincide with the Journey as it made its way across the sub-continent. With 27 dealers in South Africa and 17 in 12 countries in sub-equatorial Africa, we are at the forefront of supplying optimum aftersales support to transporters, particularly those who conduct cross-border operations,” states Geyer.

“We are constantly investing in skills training to develop our dealer network, both proprietary and privately-owned. We doubled our technical training level percentage in 2015 and escalated our driver-training executions considerably with the launch of ProfiDrive®.

“After a period of consolidation, which saw a great amount of effort and good work lead to the introduction of genuine market-driven solutions, we now have an unprecedented degree of unity and focus that extends across all areas of our operations. From our new head office, to our assembly plants and Parts Distribution Centre, to each of our 43 dealerships south of the equator, we are perfectly geared to create a new paradigm of supplier responsiveness and competency for heavy-duty commercial vehicle operators across a broad spectrum of specialised applications.

“What is really exciting is that we are now in a position to offer solutions that will not only bring new intra-Africa opportunities for South African transporters, but to also provide a support infrastructure that will help unify and boost the burgeoning economies of sub-equatorial Africa,” concludes Geyer.