Team ICB’s roving eye in the sky, EarthFusion has delivered yet another exclusive, this time in the commercial vehicle space. MAN has been spotted testing an inter-city rear-engined luxury bus. This luxury bus from MAN will take on the likes of the Volvo B9R and Mercedes Benz’s inter city luxury buses. Currently, MAN does have a front engined luxury bus in the form of the AIROBUS. The AIROBUS straddles the segment between front engined luxury buses and the top end inter-city luxury buses offered by the likes of Tata Motors, Volvo and Mercedes Benz.
With the new rear engined bus, MAN will be seeking to expand its product range and take on the likes of Volvo and Mercedes Benz. The rear engined MAN inter city luxury bus is expected to have a much better level of comfort than the front engined variant. Also, the rear engined bus is expected to be priced about 25% higher than the front engined bus. Also, the rear engined bus is expected to come with a more powerful engine than the front engined AIROBUS. Other details about the MAN rear engined luxury bus remain under wraps.
Given the stiff competition in this sector, expect MAN to come up with an offering that matches the competition in every respect, if not bettering it. Expect the MAN rear engined inter city luxury bus to be launched sometime in 2013. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen group operates two commercial vehicle arms in India, in the form of MAN and Scania. While MAN was focusing on the road going truck sector, Scania stayed in the off road trucks category. Now though, the lines between MAN and Scania have blurred as Scania is all set to enter the road going heavy duty truck sector, an area where MAN already has a presence in.
Also, Scania plans to enter the inter-city luxury bus segment, another area in which MAN has marked its presence with the AIROBUS, that was launched earlier this year. So, the MAN-Scania story in the Indian trucking commercial vehicle market seems very similar to the Skoda-Volkswagen story in the Indian car market. Essentially MAN will sit under the Scania brand, allowing the Volkswagen group to target all the commercial vehicle makers in India, from Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland to the likes of Bharat Benz and Volvo.