An agreement was signed with MAN Truck & Bus AG and Knaus Tabbert GmbH. It includes provisions for the delivery of MAN TGE van chassis to Knaus Tabbert in the years ahead. We met Laurent Lafitte, International Key Account Manager of MAN Truck & Bus AG, to deepen the issue of the agreement.
Words Giorgio Carpi
Photo Enrico Bona
Aboutcamp BtoB: What is in concrete your agreement with Knaus Tabbert?
Laurent Lafitte: A letter of intent on future collaboration was signed with Knaus Tabbert Gmbh. In the coming years, MAN Truck & Bus will supply MAN TGE model van chassis to Knaus Tabbert Gmbh for the production of motorhomes.
Aboutcamp BtoB: Do you foresee a cooperation, also, with other brands? Can you tell us which ones?
Laurent Lafitte: We do not have further agreements with other manufacturers of campers.
Aboutcamp BtoB: What are the advantages of the MAN basis, talking about chassis, engine, transmission and cab?
Laurent Lafitte: The Chassis of the MAN TGE (independent wheel suspension at front, rigid axle with leaf springs at rear) is outstanding in the transporter segment. It offer safe and easy handling with car-like driving characteristics. As well remarkable is the electromechanical steering, which imparts extraordinary agile handling and enables various driver assistance systems. That leads to another big advantage of the MAN TGE: the wide range of assistance systems offered. E.g. Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Lane Change Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), electromechanical power steering and driver emergency assist with a multi-collision brake. All in all 18 systems are offered.
The ergonomic TGE workplace in the cab sets maximum design standards in the light commercial vehicle segment, with 3 optional comfort seats. The comfort top seat offers air suspension known from truck cabins.
Aboutcamp BtoB: What are the basic differences with the Volkswagen Crafter?
Laurent Lafitte: There are no technical differences, except different features as a standard. MAN costumers benefit from a 24/7 professional service with extensive opening hours, warranty extensions, mobility guarantee and breakdown service.
Aboutcamp BtoB: While all manufacturers try to reduce the weight of the vehicle in order to stay in the limit of 3500 kg, does it make sense to put in range a four-wheel drive base?
Laurent Lafitte: Yes, of course. The reason is: Our 4×4 drive train is exceptional. It has the same loading capacity and load deck height as our rear wheel drive. So the costumer – especially the driver of a camper – gets more safety on all tracks without losing height nor payload. And all that for a very attractive price.
Aboutcamp BtoB: Does MAN supply an adequate service network in Europe to its final RV client?
Laurent Lafitte: As we already mentioned before, our professional service even makes a difference, because it is known for uncomplicated help and fast reaction.