MAN expects lower demand in 2012 image

MAN SE, the German mechanical engineering company sees significant economic uncertainty in 2012, particularly due to the debt crisis in Europe and expects a slight fall in revenues.

MAN said it expects profitability at its core commercial vehicles division to decline to about 7 percent in 2012 from last year’s 7.7 percent, it said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes shortly after Sweden’s Scania AB, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of heavy trucks said that the euro zone crisis is making demand in 2012 difficult to assess, especially in Europe, as it reported a 29% drop in fourth-quarter net profit on lower production.

In addition Volvo is scaling back manufacturing at its Renault Trucks unit in France in response to an expected decline in European demand.

Volvo’s truck-market estimates would amount to a 9.2 percent contraction for Europe, based on the 242,400 vehicles that Volvo said were sold industrywide in the region in 2011, and a 16 percent increase in North America from last year’s 216,000 deliveries.

Last year a total of 1,935,392 new commercial vehicles were registered. This is 9.9% more than in 2010 but still about one-fifth below pre-crisis levels when annual volumes averaged 2.5 million units.