Hartmut Mueller. PIC BY zunnur al-shafiq

MAN Truck & Bus (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd anticipates that in the next 10 years, the market share of European-made trucks in Malaysia will increase to 50 per cent from 25 to 30 per cent currently.

“I believe the market will grow because more fleet owners are looking into good transport management and solutions that suit their business,” said Hartmut Mueller in an interview recently, ahead of his last day as the company’s managing director on April 30.

He said a cost-efficient strategy among fleet owners would be the main driver of growth.

“The mindset of fleet owners is changing, where they reflect on their cost. Other than being fuel efficient, it is very important to have 99 per cent availability with a low transportation cost. This is where they will see that European brands provide the best solutions.”

Mueller said the company would start delivering electric trucks next year but it would take some time before they would reach Malaysia.

“It will take five to 10 years before Malaysia is ready for fully electric buses. The infrastructure is not yet in place in Malaysia. Apart from the infrastructure, the drivers will also need a different kind of training to handle the electric buses.

“Driving an electric bus is different from the diesel buses. The driver needs to learn how to manage the energy to be more efficient.”

Meanwhile, Mueller said he decided to step down earlier despite his contract ending only in August.

Pending the appointment of a replacement and to ensure a smooth transition, general manager of sales and marketing Jerome Wong and head of aftersales Thayalan Subramanium will assume acting leadership roles.

Mueller joined MAN Malaysia in September 2013. Prior to that, he had held various positions in MAN, including senior vice-president of sales management, senior vice-president of international key accounts and MAN France chief executive officer.

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