Dr. Frederik Zohm (MAN)
Dr. Frederik Zohm (MAN)

Cooperation between MAN and Scania is becoming increasingly closer, and new synergy potential is constantly being explored. At the end of June, Dr. Frederik Zohm (MAN) and Claes Erixon (Scania), both Executive Vice Presidents for Development, signed an agreement regulating bilateral cooperation between the two brands in the areas of testing and trials.

“It is, in principle, a question of how we want to work together in the future,” Claes Erixon explains shortly after the document is signed. “This contract defines the basis of our cooperation,” Zohm adds, referring to cooperation in various testing and inspection procedures. For example, the agreement regulates which brand can use the test tracks of the other partner, and under which conditions.

But wait – what’s this all for? Doesn’t every brand have its own facilities? Why is it necessary or even useful to carry out certain tests several thousand kilometers from your own location? The reason for all this: in some areas, it makes sense to use the opportunities that are available to the other partner. The MAN test track in Karlsfeld simply has climatic advantages. “Sweden has a very long winter,” says Peter Bournobuke, acoustics specialist at Scania. To carry out more measurements, Scania trucks are being tested in Munich, where the test track can also be heated. What’s more: “Every market and every country has different laws and basic conditions that have to be fulfilled.” And each brand has nuanced differences when it comes to measurement methods and requirements.

Play VWTB Akustik Teststrecke
Claes Erixon (Scania)
Claes Erixon (Scania)

Since the agreement was signed, there has been a legally binding framework for this type of cooperation. The question of how different services are shared – and what can, at the end of the day, be billed – has now been clarified. Tax issues were also included in the agreement – after all, Sweden and Germany have different tax and fiscal systems.

 “In the future, we can save ourselves a lot of negotiations and consultations that have cost us time and energy in the past,” says Zohm. With a standard framework agreed with finance, tax and legal it is easier and much faster to share resources in testing. Using the joint resources is also a decisive advantage for staying ahead of competitors outside Volkswagen Truck & Bus AG. “This gives us an edge that no one else in our market has,” says Zohm. “Our European competitors usually go it alone.”

“We have now removed a number of obstacles,” adds Erixon. He sees the cooperation on a new level: “We have already worked together on a basis of trust in the past.” In addition, a set of rules has now been formulated and signed. “We have created security, both for ourselves and for MAN. And that is a win-win situation.” In particular, developers who work together on a daily basis will benefit from this in the future.