MAN FE Intercity Bus seen testing in Pune

The Indian commercial vehicle space is getting hotter and hotter with each passing day. The huge success of Volvo, especially in the luxury intercity passenger segment, has spurred many of its global competitors to setup shop in India. 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 company has already started testing this vehicle on public roads and there were a few spy-shots showing the rear view of the bus. So, when this partially-masked bus was seen at Talegaon near Pune a couple of days back with a very similar rear end, 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 this fully-built-vehicle is launched at a competitive price with now-essential features like a 250 HP engine, air conditioning, air suspension and ABS, it can very well give the 12M a run for its money. Over to you, MAN.


  1. WOW.... this is a good coverage. I agree with your views about the expected Positioning of MAN Coaches as in the Best amongst the Front engine Coaches in India... Though Globally MAN offers world class quality in Comfort and Luxury..but I am sure they must have priced the product somewhere in between High end Ashok leyland Coaches and Volvos to attract customers from both ends.
    Bus Market in India is booming and I am sure this product will find its niche soon in the industry.
    Good Luck to MAN Team.

  2. @ Above - I agree that globally MAN offers extremely good quality coaches that well and truly competes with Volvos and Mercs. But, since they are coming out with a front-engined model, I guess they are targeting the high-end Ashok Leylands and Tatas in India.

  3. @ Anything on wheels - This is Man Explorer Coach. We may need to wait and watch how the market responds to this FE coach!!

  4. @ Above - Thanks for your input. Though it is a little surprising that MAN is not targeting MB/Volvo with a RE coach, I think they are playing smart here by targeting luxury FE segment first.

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