An interview with Andreas Renschler
Clarity, strength and innovative transport solutions - that is what TRATON stands for, as Andreas Renschler, Chairman of the Board of Management of TRATON AG and member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, explains in this interview.
Mr. Renschler, what was wrong with the name Volkswagen Truck & Bus? Didn’t you like it?
(Laughing) There was nothing wrong with the name. But it is no longer the right name for our Group.
So, what are the reasons? Why are you renaming your company?
Well, there are several reasons. First of all: The time has come for a new kind of company in the transportation industry. We aim for nothing less than transforming the way we do our business – and our customers will benefit from that. We will embrace a new model based on the spirit of partnerships and openness. This is the key for quick action in our rapidly changing environment.
You already started this approach by building up and intensifying your global partnerships. For instance with Navistar in North America, Hino and Sinotruk in Asia, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which is now part of Volkswagen’s volume group.
Therefore, we need an unique name in order to behave self-confident and independent on the global stage. The new name TRATON is the next milestone on our way to increase independence – and an important step towards capital market readiness. TRATON will definitely foster our visibility as a leading Group for innovative transportation solutions. It will increase our attractiveness for new talents as well as for capital markets. And of course, it will also make it easier to distinguish us from Volkswagen AG. Very important is also the internal effect: The name will strengthen the Group’s joint identity and uniqueness! TRATON reflects the DNA of a company, that was designed for and born in a new era of transportation.
I assume you discussed more options. Why did you choose TRATON?
Actually we discussed a lot of options! Our creative team explored hundreds of names. From Eastern mythology to compounds, to acronyms, to Scandinavian folklore. Believe me, no stone was left unturned in our quest to find the best name for our new company. And you have to consider: It also had to be available. With TRATON, we have found a name reflecting the terms that are important to us and define our identity.
And what are these terms that TRATON reflects?
You can find them literally in the name. The first three letters hint to the transportation business we operate in. They invoke our vision to transform and reinvent ourselves and also the entire transportation system. And of course they also show our respect to over a century of our brands’ tradition. A tradition of creating innovative solutions for the movement of people and products. The last three letters explain our great responsibility for moving immense tonnage around our world. Eventually the “on” in the end showcases our always-on attitude. Around the clock, around the world, we enable our customers and partners to stay always on with our innovative products. To sum it up: The name that we created, is powerful and unique. And TRATON will drive us into an exciting future. (Smiling) I can strongly recommend to watch our TRATON brand movie on our website!
With this strong messages: Will we one day see a TRATON truck on the highways?
Definitely not! Our brands will keep their own and proud identity! This is very important for us. For our customers, nothing changes due to the name change. Our brands will continue to provide strong solutions to serve their customers’ demand. Going forward, we will have an even more clear positioning with this strong new umbrella for our brands in the market: MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, and RIO.
So, if the brands’ identity is that important, what will TRATON stand for?
You have to think bigger. The role of the Group is to see the entire picture. Transportation has reached a new era. Everything is in a flow thanks to an increasing transportation of goods, digitization and connectivity. And on the other side we see ever higher emission standards and all other kinds of regulations. We are designed for and born in this new era: combining the agility and spirit of a start-up with the extensive experience of our great traditional brands. With this unique set-up, we are perfectly positioned to deliver the best solutions – and by that to re-invent transportation for future generations. This is what TRATON stands for!
Your ultimate goal is creating the Global Champion of the industry. Can you achieve this easier as TRATON than as Volkswagen Truck & Bus?
TRATON sharpens the focus on our Global Champion strategy. It will make us better, so that we can improve transportation. We have a clear goal: we want to become Global Champion of the transportation industry. Don’t forget: Our group was formed to achieve that goal. And we are making good progress! Since our foundation, we have grown together faster than expected. Now we are running at full speed on our way to capital market readiness. The new identity will increase our independence even further, bring us a higher visibility and grant us flexibility to finance future growth. Our Group contains tremendous potential that we will fully evolve – this is just the beginning!