Reports persist that Fiat’s truck-making division, Iveco, and MAN AG are working towards a partnership arrangement. An announcement could come early next week. Iveco is known to be extremely anxious to find a partner and MAN is seen as a relatively compatible truckmaker. MAN is also on the lookout for a partnership. Iveco has so far lost out in the round of consolidations that has accelerated in the truck business in recent years. Recent announcements have reduced the list of potential partners. Volvo Truck Corporation will now tie up with Renault VI and VW has recently taken an equity stake in Scania.
The heavy truck industry is facing increasing rationalisation due to its high capital costs and increasingly competitive market conditions. Truck sales are forecast to decline in Europe this year in response to higher interest rates and lower replacement demand after the boom markets of recent years. In the last big demand downturn in the early 1990s DAF of the Netherlands went bankrupt and had to be rescued by the Dutch government.