There are no pictures on the wall yet in Andreas Renschler’s office in the new MAN headquarters in Munich. But candles, cookies and a cigarette helped create a holiday mood.
Mr. Renschler told Handelsblatt how he plans to integrate the two truck brands at Volkswagen, why Dieselgate hasn’t put the brakes on his plans – and when the synergies will start flowing.
He also expects regulators to approve VW’s involvement in Navistar in spring 2017, which will make a material difference when it comes to procurement, for example.
Mr. Renschler said he had a pioneer gene that made him want to press forward.
He added that beyond the goals he outlined for the company’s trucking business, a new culture is taking shape at VW in the wake of the scandal that emerged in September 2015. As the company seeks to redress legal complaints, pay fines and repair its errors, Mr. Renschler said he can see progress.
Handelsblatt: Mr. Renschler, you moved to VW a year and a half ago with the ambitious goal of creating the world market leader out of subsidiaries MAN and Scania. How is it going with your effort to catch up to Daimler, your former employer?
Andreas Renschler: I am very pleased with our development so far. The employees and managers understand our strategy and are cooperating. We want to make Volkswagen Truck & Bus the global champion in terms of customer satisfaction, innovation and profitability. We are not trying to be the biggest in terms of volume, though.
But MAN and Scania are still distinct companies today. Aren’t you still a long way from becoming the sort of champion you describe?
MAN, Scania and VW are working together on a number of projects. Our projects are achieving a great deal, especially in terms of cost savings. There is also our investment in Navistar, which will make us a major player in the United States. We intend to reach our goal of being the global leader within the next decade. We’ve already reached that point in Europe and Brazil, but we still need to fill a few white spots on the world map.
Isn’t this aspiration to grow bigger and bigger and go further and further precisely the culture that was so damaging to VW?
It isn’t about getting bigger and going further. People want to work at a successful company. This is a global aspiration, whether you a major corporation or a startup. Our customers feel exactly the same way. That’s why our goal at Volkswagen is to be at the front of the line.
What exactly made you leave Daimler? You were already the market leader with trucks there…