MAN has unveiled plans to move its bus production activities out of NEOPLAN’s Plauen site by the end of March 2015. The 420 employees affected by this are to be offered new positions with Volkswagen Sachsen in Zwickau. The board of MAN Truck & Bus AG and the Volkswagen Sachsen management team have, in principle, reached an agreement with the works councils of Volkswagen, MAN and NEOPLAN respectively. The details of the agreement shall be finalised over the next few days.
The market volume for buses in Europe is at an all-time low. Owing to the poor economic situation in important target markets and to the low demand for buses in the luxury sector, it is no longer economically viable to maintain production in Plauen.
"We regret this situation. This has been a hard decision to make. At MAN, we are aware of NEOPLAN’s long tradition in Plauen, but, ultimately, we have been left with no alternative but to move production, in order to increase efficiency within our production network. "We, together with employee representatives, have succeeded in finding our NEOPLAN co-workers a new home within the Volkswagen family. I would particularly like to thank Volkswagen Sachsen, as well as the works councils involved," explains Anders Nielsen, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus.
Starliner, Cityliner and Jetliner intercity buses and coaches were originally produced at the NEOPLAN site in Plauen. In future, this will be done at MAN’s Ankara plant, which already produces models such as the NEOPLAN Tourliner. The Ankara plant was the first MAN site outside of Germany and buses have been in production there since 1986. This site also boasts the most advanced electrophoretic painting system in the world.