IAA Voices: Interview Paul Group
An interview with Bernhard Wasner, Managing Director of the Paul Group (Vilshofen).
What does the Paul Group stand for and what should every IAA visitor know about the company?
We have evolved from service to special vehicle construction to the Paul Group, which includes our activities from vehicle trade and after-sales service to special vehicle construction, as well as our business unit Next Mobility, which comprises developments of vehicles and infrastructures for climate-neutral mobility in the commercial vehicle sector to digital services and training. The programme behind this is: Transforming Trucking.
What is the company's most important project for 2022/23?
We have consciously invested in the expansion of our manufacturing and in our own production site. The focus is clearly on the development of vehicles with new drive technologies, such as our PH2P® Truck, the first hydrogen fuel cell truck from Germany. In the field of e-mobility, we also launched BAX, the first fully electric truck from Germany, together with BPW last autumn. We are now producing both of these in series, which means that we are evolving from classic individual vehicle production in special vehicle manufacturing into a series vehicle producer. Nevertheless, special vehicle construction is still clearly part of our core business: we combine the new with the tried and tested - which will continue to be relevant for a long time to come. We are the market leader in special vehicle construction in Europe and are one of the drivers of the industry.
The newly designed IAA TRANSPORTATION is a platform and meeting place for transport and logistics companies from all over the world. What makes the trade fair so appealing to you?
The IAA is the most important trade fair and platform for us because the entire transport world meets there - with the national and international customers that we have also been serving for decades. Our vehicles and technologies are also on the road in China and Canada.
It's also nice that many of our partners are also presenting vehicles at the IAA that were developed together with Paul: in addition to the Bax at BPW, also start-ups like KEYOU, which designed an efficient hydrogen engine that we integrate into trucks and buses at Paul. Or Pepper Motion, for whom we are implementing retro-fit battery-electric buses.
What can IAA visitors look forward to most at your stand?
Bavarian wheat beer (laughs). And of course our PH2P® hydrogen fuel cell truck, which we will be able to show for the first time on the open-air site as it will be produced in series, i.e. with all the components that will be installed. Furthermore, we will present a completely new modular H2 tank system that can be individually adapted to any type of truck, regardless of size, load or volume - the system is scalable and can be flexibly used by other OEMs or vehicle converters.
What we are also bringing to the IAA is our own yard conversion vehicle, an Arocs 8x6 conversion to a heavy-duty tractor for equally heavy terrain, and an Arocs 12x4 chassis to carry heavy concrete pumps.
The coming years are all about transformation. Where will the transport and logistics industry be in 2030 - and what milestones do you want to have achieved by then?
We want to implement the transformation for the entire Group and act as a pioneer in the transport and logistics industry. And as the Paul Group, we want to establish ourselves as a partner in the development, expansion and conversion of new drive technologies - not only in vehicle production, but in all areas. For the Paul Group, this includes after-sales service with maintenance and repair as well as digital services in the area of vehicle management and integration of electric drives and, last but not least, the offer of training programmes in the use of alternative drive systems. The Paul Group wants to play a leading role in the further development of mobility and transport and of commercial vehicles.
Bernhard Wasner began his career at Paul after completing his training as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician. After further training to become a master craftsman, he was appointed plant manager in 2008. He developed the company significantly in the following years and has been Managing Director of the group of companies since 2021. His focus is on future topics and long-term strategic orientation. Topics such as digitalisation, new drive and software solutions, process optimisation and sustainability play important roles.