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June 12 2018
By Mel Holley

Mel was routeONE magazine’s Editor until autumn 2018. He has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

MAN minibus offers promise of
what could be delivered

MAN used a five-day customer event at Millbrook, Bedfordshire, to provide a static demonstration of the first of its TGE minibuses, built in the Neoplan factory, to show a taste of what might be possible.

Although mainly a truck ride-and-drive event, it also demonstrated the two and three-axle Tourliner.

While the TGE minibus (and its van stablemates) is a re-badged VW Crafter, for operators it means that they can be maintained by MAN’s bus and truck network with its 24/7 opening hours and full commercial focus, rather than the car-oriented VW network.

The factory-built version has a fold-out step, 15 reclining luxury seats on full tracking with plenty of legroom and air-con. However, its build costs mean it is unlikely to be offered in the competitive UK market.

Instead, MAN is in discussions with five un-named existing UK convertors, with a view to creating a network of ‘approved convertors’. Under this programme, converted vehicles would retain MAN’s three-year unlimited mileage driveline and chassis warranty.

The TGE is available in front and rear-wheel drive, as a panel van, window van or chassis cowl from 3.5-5.5T with volume supplies available from Q3.

MAN plans to exhibit a UK-converted TGE minibus on its stand at the three-day Euro Bus Expo, opening at the NEC Birmingham on 30 October.

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