BERLIN -- Volkswagen AG is keeping “all options open” to create the region’s biggest commercial-vehicle alliance after completing the purchase of a majority stake in MAN SE.
A move to integrate MAN with Scania AB, which VW also controls, will save at least 200 million euros ($275 million) annually, Volkswagen said in a statement on Wednesday.
The cost reductions will come initially from procurement activities and will be followed by savings in production as well as research and development, VW said.
VW has been pushing for closer cooperation between the two truckmakers and its own commercial-vehicles unit to forge a three-way linkup that would leapfrog Daimler AG and Volvo AB as Europe’s largest truckmaker.
VW’s takeover of MAN is the final twist in a fight for control of the two makers of commercial vehicles that started in September of 2006 when MAN made a hostile bid for Scania that VW eventually blocked.
“This marks the birth of a new top player on the global truck market,” VW Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said in the statement.
VW will own 55.9 percent of Munich-based MAN. VW triggered a mandatory bid for MAN by raising its stake to 30.5 percent from 29.9 percent on May 9.
The German automaker received the final approval of its takeover bid on Nov. 3 from Chinese antitrust authorities following clearance by the European Union in September.
VW’s voting rights in Scania will increase to 89.2 percent from 71.8 percent because a stake in the Swedish truckmaker held by MAN is now legally attributable to VW as well.
MAN CEO Georg Pachta-Reyhofen said on Nov. 2 that expert groups will resume work to identify synergies once regulatory approval is in place. Chief Financial Officer Frank Lutz said the same day he has “no signs” that VW will increase its holding beyond the 55.9 percent.
A MAN-Scania combination would surpass Volvo Trucks and Daimler in Europe. MAN and Scania together had 30 percent of the region’s heavy-truck market last year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Volvo and Daimler each had 21 percent.