Putting the record straight
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I READ Mr Christopher Evans' letter (CM March 2) with some amusement, as well as surprise that such a reputable magazine should print what was obviously a well concocted piece of pr, and certainly not a "from the heart" comment of any truck operator.
Without prolonging the subjective argument as to which manufacturer provides the best VOR system, I must correct Mr Evans on his statement that "Daimler-Benz (by which I assume he means Mercedes-Benz UK) will increase their percentage of the British truck market, while others will deteriorate."
As someone who has studied the British cv market from a statistical viewpoint over the past few years (as part of a wider market research operation), I would make the following factual observations: Of all the manufacturers who compete in heavy truck market sectors, and specifically artics over 29,000kg gcw, the importer who achieved the greatest percentage increase in volume during 1984 was MAN, with a 53 per cent improvement on 1983. This was only bettered by Foden with an 87 per cent increase. Mercedes managed just 6.5 per cent in a market which was up by almost 14 per cent on 1983.
Looking at the two-axle rigid sector over 15,000kg gvw, again MAN takes the honours with a 307 per cent increase in volume over 1983, Mercedes were up by 14 per cent.
In the largest sector over 3,500kg gvw (up to 7,500kg), the biggest increase of all manufacturers was registered by MAN-VW at 40 per cent, with Mercedes only managing a seven per cent improvement over 1983.
Just to complete the picture, a glance at the four-axle rigid sector shows that Beanie had the biggest increase at 52 per cent, with MAN second at 37 per cent. Of course, Mercedes do not, as yet, compete in this relatively small sector.
I think it should be apparent from the above information that if anyone is going from "strength to strength ... in the British truck market", it is MAN VW.
This letter is not meant to be a "plug" for MAN-VW, rather a statement of the facts, Similarly, I can assure Mr Evans that, from personal experience, the quality and after-sales service of MAN-VW is certainly second to none.
I am sure that every cv manufacturer would claim superiority for their products and services, and I would only ask that, wherever possible you print as much fact, and as little emotional outpouring as possible.
J. E. T. MORAN Chelworth Malmesbury, Wiltshire