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MAN Truck & Bus unites innovations with exclusiveness at MAN BusDays 2012

A world of experience focusing on topics concerning the bus provides customers and other interested parties with information on efficient technologies and new trends in modern bus travel.

MAN Truck & Bus is presenting the BusDays 2012 in the Truck and Bus Forum in Munich this March. The company will be displaying its current range of MAN and NEOPLAN brand buses and providing information on efficient technologies as well as on innovative trends in city buses, intercity buses and touring coaches. A local public transport and touring coach day, all-day vehicle exhibitions, opportunities for discussions with experts and test drives will be rounded off with an attractive program of activities. At the exhibition, customers and interested parties can expect a lot of exciting things centering on buses as well as a foretaste of the IAA Commercial Vehicles, which takes place in Hanover in September.

Business unit Bus successful in fiscal 2011

Fiscal 2011 saw MAN Truck & Bus continuing the positive development of the previous year. With double-digit increases in incoming orders (by 19 percent to €9.5 billion) and in turnover (by 21 percent to €9.0 billion), the operative result was tripled by comparison with the year before (by €407 million to €565 million).

With a volume of 28,500 units, the European bus market remained at much the same level as in 2010 (28,000 units). Here, MAN Truck & Bus was able to increase its market share from 13.3 to 13.8 percent. Incoming orders for the business unit Bus rose to €1.28 billion (2010: €1.16 billion). In all, 5,814 buses (2010: 5,459) were ordered from MAN. While the market for city buses shrank slightly, the touring coach segment expanded, with the biggest increase being noted in the intercity bus segment. During the course of last year 5,775 buses (2010: 5,483) were delivered to the customer; turnover in the bus business increased by six percent to €1.24 billion (2010: €1.17 billion). Business unit Bus improved its operative result from €18 million in the previous year to €29 million. This improvement and the higher sales are also due to a larger percentage of touring coaches.

In 2011, MAN Latin America achieved a record turnover of €3.6 billion and simultaneously the best operative result in its history (€400 million).

The growing Brazilian market saw new bus registrations soaring by 22 percent to 34,642 units. MAN Latin America participated in this positive development and was able to sell 10,573 bus chassis (2010: 8,691). In consequence, MAN Latin America expanded its market share by over five percentage points to 32.2 percent, thus strengthening its position in the local bus market. Moreover, the share of exported bus chassis rose to 13.1 percent. The new department for bus development established in mid-2010 enabled the introduction of many customer-specific technical modifications and improvements to the existing ranges, in particular with regard to engine and transmission. These developments contributed to MAN Latin America being able to further increase its market share.

MAN Service offers retrofitted efficiency

Transmission control that automatically selects the right gear-change program to suit the topography saves fuel. Newly delivered MAN city buses employ this efficient technology. However, many existing vehicles can also be made more efficient: MAN Truck & Bus is currently offering to retrofit this technology at its Service outlets at a special promotion price. All city buses, whether solo or articulated, can be upgraded with MAN Genuine Software. The only prerequisite: the vehicles have to comply with Euro IV or a later exhaust-gas standard. In this way, city-bus operators can save fuel and thus reduce CO2 emissions across the board. Topography-dependent transmission control automatically activates the most efficient gear-change program while the vehicle is in operation, basing its selection on the gradient of up- and downhill stretches. On steep inclines, the "Power" mode makes maximum power available. The "Eco" mode on the other hand changes to the fuel-saving higher gears earlier on level roads. Lower gear-change speeds lead to lower levels of vehicle noise, which passengers experience as more pleasant. On downhill sections, the software automatically makes optimum braking power available.

Alternative drives from MAN continue their advance

The MAN Lion's City Hybrid continues writing new chapters in its success story in 2012. After its market launch at the IAA 2010, this efficient bus is already in regular service in 15 European cities. MAN Truck & Bus expects moderate growth during the current year. In regular service over several hundred thousand kilometres, the MAN Lion's City has proven it beyond doubt: the serial hybrid drive with ultracaps as energy storage is the technological optimum for heavy urban traffic. From the point of view of economics, the diesel-electric hybrid represents today's state-of-the-art and is the best combination of affordable investment and achievable CO2 reduction obtainable. For this reason it is an important milestone on the way to E-mobility. The hybrid bus has confirmed that it is considerably more efficient in heavy urban traffic than the most modern conventional diesel-powered city bus. It achieves savings in diesel consumption of up to thirty percent - this is equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by the same percentage. And so the Lion's City Hybrid was not only voted "Bus of the Year 2011" in Spain, the fleet of hybrid buses continues to grow: Barcelona is putting ten new vehicles into service; Saxony, an electromobility pilot region, is already operating 24 new Lion's City Hybrids and the Hanseatic city of Luebeck has five new hybrid buses from MAN to service its historic old city, a World Heritage site.

As a clean alternative to the conventional diesel engine, MAN also offers environmentally friendly CNG buses. The experience of decades in using natural gas as a source of energy is now convincing an increasing number of customers in the UK and Russia. After successful testing, MAN has developed a right-hand-drive vehicle suitable for the UK market: the MAN EcoCity. Coinciding with the BusDays 2012, MAN is adding a low-entry variant to the EcoCity range. A midibus with a length of 10.80 metres is planned as a third variant and will also be launched on the market this year. The MAN Lion's City CNG was successfully introduced into Russia's important growth market by way of the "Blue Corridor 2011" in October and November last year. This is a long-distance rally over more than 3,570 kilometres, passing through eleven Russian cities.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems optimise transport infrastructures

In the framework of the European research project "European Bus System of the Future" (EBSF), MAN Truck & Bus completed trial operation of a five-door MAN Lion's City GL BRT bus in Budapest at the end of 2011. The objective was to gain insights that will enable the design of more efficient, eco-friendly and attractive urban bus systems in future. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems enable cities to optimise their transport infrastructures for local public transport relatively simply. Large-scale implementations of modern local public transport systems are currently taking place in the major Israeli cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv. MAN Truck & Bus is delivering 172 three-axle articulated bus chassis with EEV (Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicle) engines for the two networks, "Metronit" and "Red Line". The futuristically designed buses are low-floor from end to end and with their high passenger capacity and optimised interior design, they enable unobstructed passenger flow.

NEOPLAN Travelution – a new vision of travelling

A vision for modern lifestyle travelling is presented by the NEOPLAN Individual range of equipment, with a focus on modern, fresh cuisine on board. "Travelution" is a travel concept from NEOPLAN that is orientated towards the future, where coach operators fulfil the most demanding requirements and can offer their passengers a new way of travelling. Two concept vehicles based on the NEOPLAN Starliner and Cityliner each have rear sections showing a completely new kitchen concept, one which gives a new definition to the expression "on-board culinary experience". A modern infotainment system keeps passengers agreeably entertained during the trip. They are able to watch the TV programs being broadcast on DVB-T, enjoy films on DVD or keep track of the momentary position of the bus on two monitors. In addition, all seats are equipped with 230-V sockets so that mobile PCs can be run on mains voltage and mobile phones and smartphones can be charged.