Change at the helm of the bus business of MAN Truck & Bus, reported on German media Bus Blickpunkt: starting from March 1st, Robert Katzer, previously Managing Director of MAN Truck & Bus in Austria, takes over the leadership position in global bus sales from Rudi Kuchta, who in turn takes over Katzer’s position in Vienna.
A total of 3,562 buses and coaches from MAN and Neoplan were registered in Europe, down 11 per cent from the 4,012 registered in 2021. However, it should be mentioned that last year TRATON group, to which MAN belongs, has reported a significant increase in incoming orders for buses, which grew 45% to 32,300 (2021: 22,200) vehicles.
UPDATE 9 MARCH 2023: Robert Katzer new role is Head of Sales Bus in a new structure established by MAN Truck & Bus SE.
Rudi Kuchta, in MAN since 1993
Rudi Kuchta (here interviewed by Sustainable Bus in early 2021) began as a regional sales manager in 1993 and became responsible for all of Europe in 1998. He has been leading MAN (and Neoplan) bus sales since 2008. In 2019, he took on the role of Senior Vice President – Head of Business Unit Bus. He has been “essentially serving as the head of the “Bus Leadership Circle,” which was formed during a time of poor margins to turn around the bus division and make it profitable again”, Bus Blickpunkt says. He has also been Chairperson of ACEA’s Bus and Coach General Managers’ Committee until January 2022.
Robert Katzer at the head of MAN bus business
Robert Katzer began his career in 1996 as a bus salesperson at Neoplan in Stuttgart. During the Neoman era, he was responsible for Southern Europe, particularly Spain (from 2013), as a regional sales manager in Stuttgart and Salzgitter. In 2017 he took over the management of MAN Truck & Bus Sales Austria.
Bus Blickpunkt highlights that “The reasons for this personnel reshuffle can only be speculated about at this time. Many decisions are currently being made in the bus sector with Ankara in mind, such as moving the entire technology, testing, validation, and homologation department to Turkey. Sales figures have remained fairly stable in the urban bus sector, with sales in 2022 up four percent from the previous year. To put this in perspective, over 6,000 buses were sold during the best Neoman years. MAN is not yet satisfied with its market share in electric buses, which stands at 5.5 percent, or with the declining market share of Neoplan, which is also due to a somewhat unexciting model policy”.