Volkswagen Truck & Bus has announced a new name, Traton Group, as it increases its independence and readies itself to raise funds for global expansion in commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, parent company Volkswagen AG is talking to Ford about developing a line of commercial vans.
The New Traton
Volkswagen Truck & Bus was created in 2015 to bundle its truck and bus brands under the umbrella of an independent legal entity. Earlier this year, the company voted to change the legal structure as part of a strategy to move toward “capital market readiness,” which could mean an IPO as an independent entity. Now, a name change.
“Since our foundation, we have grown together faster than expected,” said Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group. “Traton provides us with more independence. It will further strengthen our group’s joint identity and uniqueness. The new name will also foster our visibility as the leading group for innovative transportation solutions. It will increase our attractiveness for new talents as well as for capital markets.”
The company’s truck brands – MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, and RIO – will retain their own identities under the umbrella brand of Traton Group. The official name change is expected to be effective by the third quarter of the year.
The compay said Traton stands for:
- TRAnsformation of the ecosystem transport
- TRAdition of its brands
- “Always 'ON' is the ultimate goal of our customers and our attitude in order to make everything possible for them,” the company said in the release.
Possible Volkswagen-Ford Partnership
Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company have signed a memorandum of understanding and are exploring a strategic alliance that among other things would include developing a range of commercial vehicles together “to better serve the evolving needs of customers.”
The potential alliance would not involve equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes.
“Markets and customer demand are changing at an incredible speed,” said Thomas Sedran, head of Volkswagen Group strategy, in a joint news release. “Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already. To adapt to the challenging environment, it is of utmost importance to gain flexibility through alliances.”
It's not the first alliance Volkswagen has forged in its quest for global expansion. In 2016, VW and Navistar announced a wide-ranging alliance. Earler this year it announced an agreement with Hino.
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