By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: Fabian Cotter

AFTER STARTING his career with MAN Truck and Bus as a diesel technician apprentice, regional sales manager John Dernaj commemorated his 50 years of service with the company recently, with increased NZ market share a highlight of his achievements, it’s reported.

John Dernaj celebrated 50 years at MAN, recently.

It all started on 15 June, 1967, in Sydney before Dernaj moved across to MAN Truck & Bus assembly as a technical adviser in the assembly and installation of engines into vehicles at Kurri Kurri, near Newcastle, three years later.

Dernaj was then promoted to technical manager in 1975 in the research and development team, looking after ADR conversions for MAN Truck & Bus in Sydney.

The early ’80s saw him transferred to MAN New Zealand as head of its bus and truck assembly service and sales manager to NZ operators.

In 1992, he was transferred back to Australia, heading to MAN in Melbourne to take on a role as production manager for the assembly of trucks and buses.

He then took on the position of national bus sales manager in 2000 at Transpacific Commercial Vehicle Group (now Penske Commercial Vehicles), before moving across to a regional sales manager role in 2005, responsible for VIC/SA/TAS, and then MAN bus and coach sales manager for VIC/TAS/SA in 2007.

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Dernaj continues his career with MAN as bus sales manager for VIC/TAS/SA with Penske Commercial Vehicles, the company states.

With myriad career highlights, Dernaj counts the introduction and supply of the MAN bus product to all metropolitan operators in New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, New Polymath and Invercargill) as a high point.

He also assembled chassis of buses and trucks for New Zealand body builders and delivered completed buses to NZ operators.

Dernaj also introduced MAN on-road and off-road trucks to the most prominent operators in New Zealand, including all-wheel drive product such as 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 for the ground-spreader market (fertiliser spreading trucks).

The MAN bus market share in New Zealand reached 95 per cent during Dernaj’s time thanks to his, and his colleagues’, efforts, the company states.


MAN Truck & Bus, with headquarters in Munich, Germany, is one of the leading international suppliers of commercial vehicles and transport solutions in Europe, with production plants in three European countries as well as in Russia, South Africa, India and Turkey.

As well as new and used trucks, coaches, rural and municipal buses and all you need in terms of service, support and funding, MAN Germany also operates its own trucks and buses and manages vehicle fleets.

In Australasia, the Penske brand is proudly represented in through leading on- and off-highway business concerns including Penske Commercial Vehicles, Penske Power Systems and Penske Truck Rental.

It distributes commercial vehicles from Western Star Trucks, MAN Truck & Bus and Dennis Eagle, as well as diesel and gas engines, and power systems from Detroit, MTU and Allison Transmission, with related parts and service interests.

All of these local brands form a part of Penske Transportation Group International, the local holding company for Penske Automotive Group, which is a Fortune 500 company, operating automotive and commercial vehicle dealerships across the United States and Western Europe.

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