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A traditional enterprise sets its course for world markets

250 years of German industrial history and the best prospects for the future

(PresseBox) (München, ) A stock corporation with headquarters in Munich, four Group divisions, 55,000 employees, 15.5 billion euros in sales: MAN s key data in a nutshell. But what s behind the numbers? One of the most interesting companies of our times - with a fascinating history.

Today, MAN production sites in Germany, Europe and Asia manufacture the world s most modern trucks and buses, huge ship engines and turbines for every continent. MAN: a global enterprise with 250 years of company tradition and high-tech products. "In everything we do, we make only one demand on ourselves: to belong to the best," says MAN CEO Håkan Samuelsson.

MAN history reflects contemporary history. In 1758, the era of the coal and steel industry began with the founding of the first MAN company, the "St. Antony" ironworks in the Ruhr area: ore was mined, smelted and further processed into iron products. In the following years, numerous names of major industrial dynasties played a role in MAN s development: Krupp, Haniel, Huyssen und Jacobi in the Ruhr area; Reichenbach, Sander and Klett in South Germany.

Pioneers of German mechanical engineering were working in Augsburg, Nuremberg and Sterkrade ("Gutehoffnungshütte"); MAN predecessors built the first German rotary presses for newspaper and book printing, which in turn enabled large print runs, and thus, the development of mass media. They built Carl von Linde s first refrigerators, and together with inventor Rudolf Diesel, they developed, constructed and built the Diesel engine, still today s most effective combustion engine.

MAN was there from the beginning, playing a major role in the development and strength of new technologies. With knowledge and daring, the company s engineers also constructed Germany s first large steel bridges, the first German Rhine steamship, the Wuppertal suspension railway and key components of the European ARIANE launch vehicle.

MAN s corporate history is also a history of change: a history of fusions, acquisitions and sales as well as various restructurings. Only in 1986 did the Group become as we know it today: independently operating, contractually linked divisions. Today, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, MAN Diesel, MAN TURBO and MAN Ferrostaal as well as the gearbox specialist RENK work under the MAN AG umbrella.

Trucks are MAN s main sales driver today; two-thirds of the Group s sales are earned in this sector. 2007 was a landmark year for sales: over 100,000 trucks and buses were sold for the first time. MAN holds a strong position in Europe and has opened up many new markets for the future: Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS, and increasingly, Asia.

MAN Diesel stands for high-tech environmental protection and efficiency. Rudolf Diesel named his invention, which he began developing in 1893 at MAN in Augsburg together with MAN engineers, a "rational heat engine". The extremely high efficiency of the Diesel engine, i.e. its economic fuel utilization, also characterizes the large engines that power huge cargo ships and ocean liners today or which are used to generate power. MAN Diesel is a global market leader with solid returns on sales. As of 2010, the "Pieter Schelte", the largest ship in the world, will anchor offshore drilling rigs - powered by MAN Diesel engines.

Today, close to the birthplace of the MAN Group, the former ironworks territory in Ruhr area, MAN TURBO - the Group s third division - produces highly modern gas and steam turbines as well as compressors. MAN TURBO is one of the world s three leading providers in its branch and has key components for future technologies like Biomass-to-Liquid (BTL) and CO2 sequestration.

The fourth Group division, MAN Ferrostaal, offers industrial services throughout the world, plans and implements large plants and facilities, and increasingly focuses on renewable energies such as biodiesel and solar energy plants. MAN Ferrostaal is present in 60 countries.

But MAN has not just written technological history; it has also set standards in social progress. As early as 1818, the operators of the Sterkrade ironworks set up a cafeteria for workers and founded the first company savings and loan as well as a company town. In Augsburg, the company founded its own workers health insurance association four decades before the beginning of the national health insurance program.

Today, social responsibility is also lived through the establishment of high standards in the company s training programs and special initiatives, for example, in preventative health care. Then there are projects such as setup of a company day care center in Munich, the MAN Campus Initiative together with the Technical University of Munich or support of the Cecilia Bartoli Music Foundation. Foundations have a long tradition at MAN: Paul Reusch, who took over directorship of the company in the Ruhr area at the beginning of the 20th century, started a foundation (named after him), whose purpose is promoting vocational training for young people.

But where there is light, there is shadow: MAN has endured years of heavy crisis during the course of its history. The period after the First World War, with the occupation of the Ruhr and the Great Depression of 1929, posed existential economic threats to the company. The years of Nazi rule were a difficult ordeal for MAN. Paul Reusch and Dr. Otto Meyer, the two most important MAN directors during the Nazi period, had a tense relationship with the regime. Even though MAN produced various armaments, Reusch and Meyer rejected the racist policies of the government and never joined the party. In 1942, Reusch had to vacate his leadership position after pressure from the Nazis. Meyer was married to a Jewish woman.

The break-up of large companies by the Allies after the war meant that the Group had to give up its coal and steel activities. Mechanical engineering and plant construction gained significance. Today, MAN concentrates on transport, engines and energy; the truck sector has become its most important area. Viewing the MAN Group today, it is easy to sense the strong common corporate culture that has developed. The silver arch in the MAN logo stands for the bond within the Group and the substantial feeling of cohesion among its employees.

Even with 250 years of history under its belt, MAN remains active and vigorous.

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The MAN Group is one of Europe's foremost industrial players in the sector of Transport-Related Engineering, with sales in 2007 of some €15.5 billion. As a supplier of trucks, buses, diesel engines, turbo machinery and industrial services, MAN employs a workforce of around 55,000 worldwide. The MAN business areas hold leading positions in their markets. MAN AG, Munich, is listed in the DAX (German Stock Index) which comprises the thirty leading stock corporations in Germany.