November 13, 2017 / 1:24 PM / 2 years ago

Volkswagen's truck brand MAN spends $2.8 billion to upgrade plants

FILE PHOTO - A man walks past a truck in the truck production plant of German truck and bus-maker MAN AG in Munich, Germany July 30, 2015. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

MUNICH (Reuters) - Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) heavy-trucks brand MAN (MANG.DE) said it will spend more than 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) through 2020 on upgrading plants in Europe, Asia and Africa as part of efforts to overhaul production and boost profit.

Parent Volkswagen (VW) has been building a global trucks business to challenge rivals Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volvo (VOLVb.ST) by integrating its MAN and Scania divisions and getting them to share development of engines, transmissions, axles and emissions-treatment systems.

MAN Truck & Bus has production sites in three European countries as well as in Russia, South Africa, India and Turkey.

About half of the planned investments, some 1.1 billion euros, will be spent by 2020 at its Munich headquarters where a new paint shop for drivers’ cabins and extra research and development facilities are being added, MAN said on Monday.

The supervisory board at VW, the world’s largest automaker, is expected to sign off on Friday on new targets for group spending over the next five years on property, plants and equipment.

VW is pushing a strategic shift to electric cars and new mobility services more than two years after its diesel emissions test-cheating scandal broke.

MAN said on Monday it will spend a mid-range three-digit million-euro amount on electric mobility with battery-powered buses due to come to market next year.

($1 = 0.8581 euros)

Reporting by Irene Preisinger and Andreas Cremer, editing by David Evans

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