Volkswagen Expands Trucking Reach With Majority Stake in Rival MAN

Volkswagen AG said Wednesday it has completed purchase of a majority stake of fellow German truck producer MAN SE, opening the way to becoming “a new top player on the global truck market.”

VW has been trying for years to merge its commercial vehicle operations with MAN and with truck manufacturer Scania AB of Sweden, which Volkswagen has controlled for five years.

“The Volkswagen Group has moved a key step closer towards realizing its goal of an integrated commercial vehicles group” by combining the three operations, VW said in a statement.

“Europe’s largest automaker now holds 55.9% of the voting rights and 53.71% of the share capital of MAN SE,” said Volkswagen, which is also a major worldwide automobile producer.

“This marks the birth of a new top player on the global truck market,” Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG, said in a statement at VW’s Wolfsburg, Germany.

The combined companies sell more trucks in Europe than do either Sweden-based Volvo AB or Germany’s Daimler AG.

“MAN and Scania together had 30% of the European heavy-truck market last year . . . [while] Volvo and Stuttgart-based Daimler each had 21%,” Bloomberg reported earlier this month.

VW said the combined operations are expected to generate annual at least $270 million annually.

Other large global truck makers include Daimler AG, which owns Freightliner and Western Star trucks in North America, and Volvo AB, parent of Volvo Trucks North America and Mack trucks.

Paccar Inc. owns Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks, along with truck builder DAF of the Netherlands, while Navistar Inc. builds International trucks, and though it has joint ventures and operates internationally, the company independent.