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VW: Vans could go to MAN

We can't help but be intrigued by the latest salvo in the VW-MAN-Scania debacle. Speaking at a VW press conference today, VW CV boss Stephan Schaller indicated that simply divesting VW's heavy truck business might prove to be a more onerous task than previously thought, and hinted at the possibility of sticking the German OEM's van business into the pot as well.

Molly Ivins, RIP.

A tribute here for Molly Ivins.A few years ago, I was asked to write a column for Truck Magazine. The prospect scared the life out of me, and I began to take a serious look at what real journalists wrote.Molly Ivins was something that we in Europe tend not to believe exists; a liberal Texan with a serious sense of humour, and an ability to make her point whilst respecting that of those who disagreed with her. Did she write about trucks?

GAZ Eyes Chrysler - Report.

It had to happen sooner or later. Last week, just about every corporate entity on earth denied being interested in Chrysler.But now, courtesy of Marketwatch, comes the news that GAZ might be tempted. As we know, GAZ is a fast growing and well-financed Russian OEM with global aspirations, and also owns LDV.

Today's the Day for MAN vs Freightliner

Today - Monday - is the day on which Freightliner has to tip up £250 / €372 / $491 million to MAN under the terms of the interim award made by Lord Justice Martin Moore-Bick, who found that MAN had been shafted over the sale of ERF. If Freightliner fails to pay up, it loses its right of appeal in the UK courts.US Judge Kathleen Dailey awarded more than $850 / €644.8 / £432.69 million to MAN in the same case on 15 December last year. The lawyers are still arguing over the specifics of that one.

Asia Motor Works Gets Bullish.

Asia Motor Works - a newcomer to the Indian market - wants a ten per cent piece of the pie, according to this article. We believe that AMW has Chinese money behind it, so anything's possible.

Hyundai CV Expands into Indonesia

Remember Hyundai?Once upon a time, it was a key part of DaimlerChrysler's Asian strategy. Then everything went wrong, and it's been very quiet of late. A couple of gaol sentences and not much more.But here is news of a planned expansion into Indonesia, a key Pacific Rim market, and, coincidentally, vital to the well-being of current DC Asian paramour Mitsubishi-Fuso.Has the sleeping giant that is the Hyundai CV business woken up? And, if it has, where else might it be looking for work?

AB Volvo: No Chancers Here.

AB Volvo has announced the candidates for election to its Board of Directors, and there seems to be no place for Cevian Capital CEO Christer Gardell.The fact that Volvo has given the Bronstjarn Cheer to Gardell leads to an intriguing situation.

MAN: Doomed, but Fun to Watch

The disaster zone that is MAN AG lurches from bad to worse, with the imposition of Martial Law and the deployment of the National Guard seemingly just minutes away.Why do we say this? News here suggests that VW is to take a 30 per cent stake in the German OEM, and will demand three seats on its supervisory board.

GAZ Targets the World

And on the subject of the Russian CV market, here is a missive from the GAZ Group, which has announced the complete integration of GAZ International (aka LDV) into the parent company's structure.A spokesman says: "Earlier we had no centralized structure which would sell our products abroad so the group's divisions had to do this themselves. However we now pursue the policy of expansion to the world markets and there arise a need in a unified sales company," Watch this space.