Volkswagen AG’s Traton SE is continuing its makeover of recently acquired Navistar International, importing a MAN SE executive to lead commercial operations and dispatching a top Navistar executive to the German company’s corresponding position.
Interestingly, both Goran Nyberg, who begins at Navistar as executive vice president of commercial operations March 1, and Friedrich Baumann, who will join MAN as head of sales and customer solutions April 1, have expertise with Traton’s trucking competitors.
Nyberg returns to the United States, where he previously served as president of Volvo Truck North America. Baumann was a longtime Daimler Truck executive, spending five years with Daimler Trucks North America, before joining Navistar in 2018.
“Both Friedrich Baumann and Göran Nyberg are proven commercial vehicle experts with extensive experience and a clear understanding of customer needs in the transport industry,” Christian Levin, CEO of Traton, said in a press release.
‘Traton Group as a whole will benefit’
“The change in personnel means that our international group of strong commercial vehicle brands is growing ever closer together. MAN, Navistar and thus the Traton Group as a whole will benefit from this change and exchange of experience.”
Traton, which completed its long-anticipated acquisition of Navistar on July 1, almost immediately changed leaders at the top of the house, with Matias Carlbaum succeeding Persio Lisboa, who retired, as president and CEO. More executive moves followed.
Traton’s other key brand, Sweden’s Scania, is expected to play a vital role as Traton seeks to compete on a more equal footing with recent spinoff Daimler Truck and Volvo AB, its two main global rivals. Levin also leads the Scania operation.
Tough job at Man
Traton, formerly the Volkswagen Truck and Bus Group, was spun off as a stand-alone company in 2019 with the mission of being a “global champion” in trucking at the time it lacked a presence in North America.
VW acquired about 17% of Navistar for $256 million in September 2016 along with forming alliances in purchasing and powertrain. Traton agreed to purchase the rest of Navistar for $3.7 billion in November 2020 after initially making an unsolicited bid of $2.9 billion in January.
Baumann, who was promoted to the top sales and marketing job at Navistar in August 2020, inherits a tough job at MAN, founded by Rudolf Diesel in 1898, which is eliminating 3,500 positions in Germany by the end of 2022. Man lost about $383 million during the first nine months of 2021.
Levin told Bloomberg in an interview last week that Munich-based Man’s long-standing target of an 8% return on sales through the industry’s up-and-down cycles remains valid.
Nyberg “brings a wealth of international sales and transformative experience, as well as a complete understanding of the North America market which is essential to the continued success of Navistar’s commercial operations and executive leadership team,” Carlbaum said.