The first concrete cooperation project between MAN and Scania, since they both came under Volkswagen’s ownership, has been announced. The German and Swedish truck manufacturers have said they will be cooperating on vehicle gearboxes in the future.
The first stage of this collaboration will start in 2016, when Scania’s Opticruise AMT will begin to be integrated into the MAN heavy duty line up, the TGX and TGS. Scania’s gearbox hardware will be gradually fitted to the Germany-made trucks. MAN has said it will develop the gearbox software to suit integration between Opticruise and its engine range, developing an effective gear changing strategy. The two companies say testing of the first prototype vehicles has already begun.
The second stage will be the development of the subsequent generation of the current Scania gearbox portfolio, with both truck makers working together to optimise it for their drivelines. The details of the cooperation are currently being drawn up.
“It means that Scania and MAN will be using a collectively developed, innovative gearbox concept in their vehicles in the future,” said Anders Nielsen, MAN CEO. “Our aim with this cooperation is for components which set global benchmarks for commercial vehicle technology to emerge. That’s why we want to cooperate on development projects with Scania in future too, provided that these do not impact upon their respective brands.”
MAN were at pains to point out, when making the announcement, ZF Friedrichshafen also remains a supplier of components for MAN’s trucks and buses. Currently, MAN sell the TGX and TGS range with the ZF AS Tronic AMT using MAN software to control the transmission.
Since the takeover, Volkswagen has been following a policy of ensuring MAN and Scania remain separate brands in a multi-brand strategy. Sales and service activities are completely separate. It is in the field of technological development where VW are looking to get value from the strengths of the different brands under its control. According to VW, the alliance enables the companies to exchange their know-how as much as possible and make use of the synergies which result from the collaboration.