UPDATE 2-MAN expands cost cutting as VW pushes truck alliance
* Cost cuts could save more than 600 mln euros by 2017 - CEO
* Stagnant truck markets place burden on 2015 - CEO
* 2014 group profit jump mainly due to non-truck operations (Adds CEO comments, background, shares)
By Andreas Cremer
MUNICH, March 11 (Reuters) - Germany's MAN SE will expand cost cutting at its core truck division to all business areas in a bid to improve profitability, as parent Volkswagen (VW) steps up its efforts to forge a global force in trucks.
VW hired ex-Daimler executive Andreas Renschler last month to align MAN with its Swedish subsidiary Scania and create a global business to better compete with truck industry leaders Daimler and Volvo.
"It's indisputable that one needs to create and must create a truck alliance" to boost synergies at the VW group level, MAN Chief Executive Georg Pachta-Reyhofen said at a news conference on Wednesday, after MAN posted a drop in truck-division profit.
Operating profit at the truck and bus division, which accounts for more than half of MAN's sales, plunged 38 percent to 152 million euros ($162 million) last year on falling demand in Europe and Brazil.
MAN announced a cost-cutting programme to target savings through 2017 across the business, which also makes diesel engines and turbines. Continuación...