MAN has overhauled the management of its coach and bus business unit in a change that has seen Barbaros Oktay (pictured) take over as Head of Bus. His appointment is part of “a comprehensive package of measures” to restructure the arm as it continues post-pandemic recovery.
Mr Oktay will have overall “entrepreneurial responsibility” for the business unit, and direct responsibility for its engineering, production and sales activities.
Speaking about the work on the coach and bus unit, MAN Truck and Bus CEO Alexander Vlaskamp says: “Barbaros Oktay is an internationally experienced manager with proven competence. His main task will be to consistently implement our comprehensive package of measures to improve earnings and to make the bus business sustainably profitable again.
“To ensure that this succeeds, we have significantly strengthened the role of the Head of Bus and the overall entrepreneurial responsibility for MAN’s bus business.” Mr Vlaskamp has underlined that coach and bus “will continue to be an important part of MAN’s product portfolio in the future.”
Change at the business unit follow what MAN says is “delayed” recovery in the coach segment, which it notes in Europe is being tested by war in Ukraine, a challenging economic situation and increasing energy and material costs. The manufacturer says that the restructure will help to drive increased sales and cost reductions.
MAN has a well-advanced battery-electric bus platform, although it is not offered in the UK.
In 2022, Mr Vlaskamp railed against Euro 7/VII proposals published by the European Commission. He described those as something that will divert resources from zero-emission development to a “diminishing technology” in diesel.
Mr Oktay began his career with MAN Truck and Bus in 2004 at its Turkish plant in Ankara. Since then he has held various managerial positions. Most recently he was Head of Bus Solutions at Traton and Head of Bus Engineering, Product and Project Management with MAN Truck and Bus as Senior Vice President.
Mr Vlaskamp has articulated a belief that the future is rosy for MAN in coach and bus despite current challenges. He points to a strong product range as a reason for that, along with a “highly motivated team and the proximity to our customers” that he says collectively give “the best prerequisites for a positive development.”
MAN has also created Bus Chief Financial Officer, Bus Chief Human Resources Officer and Bus Chief Procurement Officer roles. The individuals in those positions will “act as business partners” to Mr Oktay. As a result of the restructuring, former head of MAN’s coach and bus business Rudi Kuchta has become Managing Director of MAN Truck and Bus Austria.