German-based commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN has reported a 10% increase in the volume of its truck sales in the first half of the year to 25,857 units (which equates to a 4% revenue gain to 2.549 billion euros). The company said that its market share in Western Europe expanded by 2.4 percentage points to 15.6%.

However, MAN reported that bus sales declined by 13% in the period to 495 million euros, but expects to see a revival of orders in the second half.

MAN also said that the number of employees in its commercial vehicles division increased slightly in the first half to 34,697, but that this reflected a relocation of labour-intensive manufacturing activities – especially in the bus sector – to Turkey and Poland.

MAN was upbeat on the outlook, saying that it envisages an increase in business volume in Europe in spite of a declining truck market in Western Europe and expects a ‘marked improvement’ in pre-tax earnings in 2003 (CV division) over 2002’s 13 million euros following restructuring and productivity-enhancing measures.

The company also said that the economic environment is already improving and expected to get still better in the second half of the year.

MAN’s CEO Rudolf Rupprecht has also reportedly said that MAN is ‘open’ to cooperation with rivals including Volkswagen and Scania. VW boss Bernd Pischetsrieder recently said he would welcome cooperation with MAN and Scania.