The market for buses in India has really picked up. Auto giants such as Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland who almost enjoyed a sort of shared monopoly now have reason to put their thinking caps on. Automobile giants especially Volvo has been a huge success in the luxury intercity passenger segment, has spurred many of its global competitors to setup shop in India. The demand for buses in India, be it public buses or luxury buses just seems to be on a continuous rise.
Mercedes-Benz made a grand entry a couple of years back to end Volvo’s decade-long monopoly and there are reports that Scania is also trying to make an entry. In the meanwhile, MAN, the German major which has a joint-venture with Force Motors for its commercial vehicles, is planning to launch an intercity bus in India. The latest buses introduced in India are equipped with the latest technologies, great looking exteriors and interiors and most importantly follow the norms of emission.
Now our friends at Any-thing-on-wheels caught the spy shots of the MAN bus undergoing tests at Talegaon near Pune. There was no doubt that these bus belongs to MAN as design similarities with MAN’s international models were clearly visible, there was hardly any doubt about its identity. The front end of this bus, though unique, is nowhere close to the classy looks that the Volvos come with. The profile and rear looks no different to most buses that we see in India, but the fit and finish looked great.
Strangely, MAN is coming out with a front-engine model instead of the rear-engine configuration that most luxury buses come up with. Probably, MAN is not trying to compete with Volvo and Mercedes-Benz but is, in fact, trying to slug it out with the high-end front-engine models from our very own Ashok Leyland and Tata. Ashok Leyland’s 12M is currently the biggest player in this segment but the company only sells the chassis while external coach builders build the bodies over them.
If MAN launches this fully-built-vehicle at a competitive price with now-essential features like a 250 HP engine, air conditioning, air suspension and ABS, it has a fair chance of giving tough competition to the AL 12M Chassis.
Also see –Spied – BharatBenz (Daimler) trucks near Chennai
Source – Any-thing-on-wheels