The media launch for the new MAN TGX D38 in Brisbane yesterday could signal a rebirth for the German brand with the chairman of the Australian distributor Penske Commercial Vehicles, Roger Penske indicating the company will focus on upscaling its dealer network and levels of service to support the new flagship of the MAN fleet.

The company has spent the past 18 months trialling and testing the new D38 in Australia and adapting it to local conditions and Penske believes the company has to do better and lift its market share.

The US truck, automotive and racing magnate says the company is going to ask more from its dealers to lift   the levels of service, levels of qualified technicians and facilities to deliver the sort of service the industry demands.

“This may mean that if dealers in some areas may not want to make the investment we will look to buy in to that dealership and invest in that area,” said Roger Penske.

“We need to make sure we meet the expectations of our customers,” he added.

At the same time Penske has rationalised the MAN range in this country reducing the number of models and variants, from 19 models to five and decreasing the formerly 20 variants down to just eight.

The new TGX flagship model, the MAN’s D38 joins the Australian heavy-duty market on the back of an 18-month test period in local conditions that MAN Truck & Bus Australia general manager Mark Mello says has allowed them to get the truck right for Australian operations.

It is powered by a 15.2-litre, six-cylinder engine with 560hp at 2,000ft-lb and maximum torque at 930rpm and is firmly targeted at long distance B-double applications.

The automated manual 12-speed Traxion transmission is the only gearbox available offering three fuel-efficient modes and GPS-controlled cruise control via the MAN EfficientCruise.

The cruise control system also uses topographical map data to foresee route gradients ahead and optimise the required fuel consumption.

“The MAN D38 has been engineered for local customers and with their needs of economy at the core,” said Penske.

“I believe that the MAN D38 package from Penske Commercial Vehicles will quickly become an attractive and viable business option, giving our customers the edge they need.”

Mark Mello followed up Penske’s remarks by saying that the reliance on trucks in Australia and the distances between cities, efficiency and productivity are the key factors that dictate business success today.

“The MAN TGX D38 strikes an excellent balance of capacity and cost efficiency, and is built specifically for customers who transport high-gross combination weights.

“We believe these qualities stand operators requiring B-double and heavy-duty applications in Australia in good stead.”

The media drive at Mt Cotton Driver Training centre was all too brief but early indications are that it is quiet, efficient, very well designed ergonomically and well able to cope with the B Double task it is being aimed at. We hope to have a longer more detailed drive for both Truck & Bus News and Transport & Trucking Australia in the next few weeks.