17 Oct 2023
There were countless new innovations to see at Busworld Europe 2023 in Brussels, including two world premieres from MAN. 526 exhibitors, 251 vehicles, 40,000 visitors – the event was a total success.
Anyone who walked into Hall 4 at the Brussels Expo couldn’t miss MAN’s Busworld 2023 stand. The Munich company’s presence in Belgium was big yet welcoming, making it a great meeting place. Alongside spaces for consultations with MAN experts, there was a large catering area where this year’s exciting innovations in the bus sector could be discussed face to face over delicious treats provided by the catering team.
However, the stars of the stand were without a doubt the five exhibits around which onlookers gathered the entire day. All visitors were able to inspect the MAN buses inside and out, including the two world premieres. On display were:
Outside, just a few minutes’ walk from the MAN stand, the company showcased two NEOPLAN Skyliners, one with the exclusive bistro design, and a NEOPLAN Cityliner “Diamond Edition”. Test drives were also possible. When else would you get the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a MAN Lion’s City 10 E or a MAN Lion’s City 12 E? A NEOPLAN Tourliner and a MAN TGE Coach were also available for test drives with experts from the MAN ProfiDrive team.
Although the coaches outside still had combustion engines, it was quickly clear to anyone who visited the MAN stand that the Munich-based company is committed to zero emissions and their goals of ensuring half of the new city buses it supplies are electric by 2025, and selling up to 90 per cent of its buses in Europe as battery-powered versions just five years later.
It’s a concept that resonates: Busworld 2023 was a BUZZZZ for MAN. Every time a customer concluded a purchase during the ten days of the event, they could press the famous big red buzzer on the stand. It let out a loud lion’s roar, which gleaned applause from the entire team. The lion’s roar rang out quite a few times during the show: more than 1,000 buses were delivered to customers during Busworld 2023. A cause for celebration for the #StrongTeam at MAN.
Sales weren’t the only reason for a loud lion’s roar. The week of the event provided MAN with three awards:
The evening before the trade show saw the Lion’s City 10 E win the “Sustainable Bus of the Year” award in the “City Bus” category. The prize was given at the official Busworld opening gala night. The panel were especially impressed by the efficiency, environmentally friendliness and compact size of the fully electric bus.
MAN was also popping corks somewhere else at almost the same time: the #Electrifying Europe Tour was a winner at the Best of Content Marketing Awards (BCM Award) in Berlin. In the summer of 2022, MAN sent the Lion’s City 12 E on a unique road trip from Munich to Limerick: 8 countries, 10 days, almost 2,500 kilometres entirely on electric power, and all experienced in multimedia. The BCM awarded it Gold.
Lastly, as part of the Digital Mobility Solutions Conference at the end of the trade show, the new digital cockpit in MAN and NEOPLAN buses was given the “Digital Award” in the category “Digital On-board Comfort”. The opinion of the jury, which comprised experts from the bus industry, independent entrepreneurs, journalists and user experience designers, was that thanks to the innovative “SmartSelect” controls and the complete integration of the new electric platform and latest ADAS systems, drivers can concentrate on their job without distractions.
Heinz Kiess, head of bus product marketing at MAN Truck & Bus, was delighted with the award. “The feedback at the show and the award are a superb acknowledgement of the tireless commitment and professional work of the entire team. They have worked intensively across all areas to develop the new cockpit and now to bring it to the market.”
Recognition and appreciation for the team came from the very top. The MAN top brass were out in force in Brussels. The presence of CEO Alexander Vlaskamp, board member responsible for production Michael Kobriger, and board member responsible for sales Friedrich Baumann emphasised the importance of the bus sector for MAN. The bus team, headed by Barbaros Oktay, were delighted.
They could be seen on the stand, together with many MAN experts and visitors from around the world. The MAN stand was definitely THE place to meet during the entire Busworld event.
The generous space allowed room for interesting discussions of the latest market trends, as well as networking. A party atmosphere reigned in the evenings with the Happy Hour, which included spontaneous musical interludes. 6,000 meals and 800 litres of beer: the unofficial balance sheet for Busworld 2023 shows that MAN are not just bus experts, they really know how to set the mood, too.
Text: Julia Fiedler