In a further twist in the saga of consolidation of the world’s truckmakers, there has been speculation that Volvo AB may be preparing to make a bid for MAN.

According to Reuters, rumours were going around dealers yesterday that Volvo is considering a bid of 90 euros (US$116) per MAN share.

Reuters said that Volvo, the world’s second largest truckmaker after DaimlerChrysler, has repeatedly pointed out that it would be nearly impossible for it to buy a European or North American rival because of anti-trust considerations. In 2000 the European Commission blocked a merger between Scania and Volvo.

At the end of last year, the Commission had approved a merger of MAN and Scania, proving that further consolidation is possible. However, MAN withdrew its hostile bid for the company last week. It is still pursuing friendly talks with Scania.

Talks between MAN and Scania, and its major shareholders, are currently in a ‘cool down’ period. At the weekend, MAN vice chairman, Lothar Pohlmann, accused Volkswagen of seeking too much power. Volkswagen effectively forced MAN to withdraw its offer and seek a friendly solution that would also include Volkswagen’s Brazilian heavy truck operations. According to German business magazine, Focus, Pohlmann said that unions cannot imagine a truck company under Volkswagen management, because Volkswagen is not a ‘true trucker’. Volkswagen lacks the know-how for the truck business, said Pohlmann.