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29 Jan 04. The decision as to the preferred bidder for the multi-billion pound UK Support vehicle Contract, which involves the supply of 8500+ trucks to the U.K. MoD over a multi-year support period, has been put back to the end of June. This follows an announcement from the DPA that they could not reach a satisfactory recommendation to go before the IAB after Easter. Cynics could suggest that the timing is to coincide with the MoD’s DVD exhibition to keep the other three bidders sweet to prevent them pulling out form the show!

Following an analysis of the products and packages by BATTLESPACE, we have come to the conclusion that the two consortia offering the best packages come out with Stewart & Stevenson and MAN

BATTLESPACE Editor met Dr Jurgen Knorpp of MAN trucks to discuss his company’s bid. “MAN has been in the military truck business since 1908 and we are regarded as the mainstay of the Bundeswher fleet of medium and high mobility movers. We are an acknowledged expert in the field and the fact that we have 60000 military vehicles in service in 25 different countries underlines this,” Knorpp told the Editor.

There is little doubt that in terms of pure hardware MAN is the only one of the four competitors which can offer a complete range of proven 18-6 tonne vehicles on 8×8, 8×86, 6×6 and 4×4 configurations based on its new HX and SX range, a derivative of the successful TGA range. MAN has proposed 8231 Cargo vehicles based on the HX and SX range, 389 Recovery vehicles based on SX range and 69 recovery trailers. In addition the military division has access to the company’s huge commercial vehicle expertise and capability. Estimates suggest that MAN has a 16% share of the estimated 300,000 truck units world market, giving MAN a share of 61,000 trucks. The range offered have MAN engines and axles with ZF gearboxes. Dr Knorpp said, “We have based our offering to the MoD on quality, through life partnership and low risk. If you want to be a partner in a 27 year contract you have to supply a products which is reliable and to price. We have analysed what the customer wants over the life time on time with the required quality and at the lowest risk and at the correct price. To achieve this we have based the bid as much as is possible around our commercial products to ensure commonality of spares and the ability of our world-wide dealership to service and support the vehicles.”

“This strength in world-wide commercial sales coupled to our military business means that MAN has a worldwide presence in the military market. In the UK alone we have 65000 MAN/ERF vehicles with 14000 Repair and Maintenance contracts based at our 110 dealerships, all owned by MAN. In addition we are meeting the rigorous ADR requirements through our involvement in the supply of tankers to the Petroleum industry where we have an 80% market share.”

The MAN vehicles will be delivered in CKD form from its purpose-built military plant in Austria acquired from OAF in the 1970’s. They will then be sent to the ERF plant in Middlewich to be kitted out with UK equipment. MAN has chosen Fluid Transfer, EKA and Marshals of Cambridge as partners.

To support the bid MAN has offered, as part of its package, an offset from the Austrian Eurofighter Typhoon requirement that could be used for the purchase of Austrian built trucks. The offset has been approved and supported by DESO in the UK and BWMA and is a strong carrot to BAE and the Eurofighter consortium to clinch the Austrian Eurofighter deal. In addition the offset is based on 200% of the value equivalent to £1bn or £100,000 per job.

“The huge resource MAN puts into R&D for our commercial trucks automatically flows to our military range thus we can offer the MoD access to our new quiet EURO IV & V D20 fuel efficient engine range and our advanced engine Management Information System.” he continued

However, in spite of all the benefits offered by the MAN bid, the combination of the weak dollar, sp

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