MAN Truck & Bus (M) Sdn Bhd (MAN Malaysia) announced recently that Managing Director Hartmut Mueller had elected to retire ahead of the cessation of his contract in August this year. His last day with the company was 30th April, 2018.
“It has been an honour to serve and lead MAN Malaysia. Our strong pipeline and the strategies we implemented had put MAN Malaysia on a strong path for the future. On the personal side, after five wonderful years in this country, my family is ready to return to Germany. With MAN’s world-class products and services and our people’s broad capabilities, MAN’s customers here could rest assure they would continue to be in good hands,” said Mueller.
During his time in MAN Malaysia, the company made strong headway into both corporate and government sectors. Among some of MAN Malaysia’s customers are Mara Liner Sdn Bhd, Lee Ting San Group of Companies and Taipanco Sdn Bhd.
“We doubled the growth of MAN Malaysia in truck volume as well as profits. We did well in the bus segment – the intercity coach and city bus – and we are quite satisfied with our performance in the bus chassis business; we have successfully exported our chassis to Bangladesh.”
Another important milestone for the company, Mueller continued, was that it partnered with AVP Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd (AVP), a subsidiary of CB Industrial Product Holding Bhd, to supply 22 units MAN 4×4 light and medium series trucks in a military configuration to Malaysia’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) and 61 units to Civil Defence.
“We are proud to supply TGM 18.280 4×4 to them. The vehicle is our first complete knock down (CKD) assembled MAN military trucks in Malaysia that are used for the transportation of armed forces, carriage of goods as well as for other utility transportation and disaster recovery. MOD and Civil Defence have expressed their excitement in having such rescue trucks that meet international standards.
”Apart from that, the company also started the initiative of providing mobile service.
Mueller is optimistic about the future prospect. He anticipated that the market share of European-made trucks in Malaysia would grow to 50 per cent in the next few years from the current 25 to 30 per cent.
“I believe that the market would grow faster with more and more fleet owners looking at good transport management and solution. When they reflect on their cost, they would realise that besides fuel efficiency, the 99-per cent availability on the road with low transportation cost is equally important. They would then see that European brands provide the best solution. Thus, cost efficiency would be the main driver of growth.”
The trend is moving towards fully electric vehicle and Mueller revealed that MAN’s electric buses should be ready by 2019. However, he said deploying electric buses involved significant investments as well as strategic and comprehensive planning.
“I think Malaysia would not be ready for fully electric buses in the coming 3 to 4 years. Malaysia needs to get the infrastructure in place and the mechanics and drivers have to be trained and well equipped to handle an electric bus.”
Mueller, 62, came on board MAN Malaysia in September 2013. Prior to that, he held various positions in MAN including Senior Vice President of Sales Management, Senior Vice President of International Key Accounts and CEO for MAN France.
Pending the appointment of a replacement and to ensure a smooth transition, Jerome Wong, General Manager of Sales and Marketing, and Thayalan Subramaniam, Head of Aftersales, would assume acting leadership roles.
Spencer Tan, Managing Director of Importer Center, MAN Truck & Bus Asia Pacific, said: “Mueller has shown exceptional leadership during his five-year tenure with MAN Malaysia. Under his management, the company saw robust and consistent growth in Malaysia and he positioned the MAN brand prominently amidst a very competitive landscape. On behalf of the management team, I want to sincerely thank Mueller for his dedicated service to MAN.”