Equipment

Renschler Takes Over VW Trucks, Creating Speculation on Acquisitions

February 05, 2015

By Deborah Lockridge

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Andreas Renschler speaks at a 2012 event. Photo by Sven-Erik Lindstrand.
Andreas Renschler speaks at a 2012 event. Photo by Sven-Erik Lindstrand.

Former Daimler Trucks head Andreas Renschler started work this week as head of rival Volkswagen's trucks business, once again creating speculation that VW may look to North American shores as it works toward goals of expanding its global footprint.

Renschler will be working to integrate VW's different trucks businesses, according to published reports, which include Swedish truck maker Scania and German MAN as well as its own VW-branded light commercial vehicles.

Reuters reported recently that Volkswagen might spin off the trucks business and establish a separate headquarters for it in Frankfurt, Germany, citing a German management magazine.

Bernd Osterloh, head of VW's "works council," or labor council, told reporters in a briefing last week that Renschler will need to examine whether acquisitions are necessary, according to a report in the Detroit News.

“Focusing on Europe and Brazil won’t be enough if the goal is to be a global player,” Osterloh said, according to the paper. “We’ll have to talk about the U.S. market and about China as well.” However, speculation that Volkswagen may buy Paccar isn’t realistic at the moment, he said.

Renschler, the former head of Daimler Trucks, left the company a year ago, less than a year after he was promoted by parent Daimler AG to oversee production and purchasing of Mercedes Benz cars and vans.

Volkswagen announced soon afterward that Renschler wouldl be taking over responsibility for commercial vehicles at the company after his non-compete agreement was over, taking over for Leif Östling, who will continue to work with the commercial vehicles supervisory bodies in the Volkswagen Group.

Wolfgang Bernhard, who had been the head of operations with Mercedes-Benz Cars since 2010, replaced Renschler as the head of Daimler Trucks.

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