World class commuter transport for the City of Windhoek

Mercedes-Benz South Africa CV

M&Z Motors Commercial Vehicles, a franchise dealership of Mercedes-Benz, handed over ten Mercedes-Benz commuter buses to the City of Windhoek.

“Public transport is crucial to the regeneration of any city and, with our long-standing business relationship between the City of Windhoek and M & Z Motors, we are delighted that this association has now reached new dimensions of co-operation and service, and will benefit the people of Namibia as a whole,” says Verena Grüttemeyer, Dealer Principal, M & Z Motors & Commercial Vehicles.

“The City of Windhoek is to be commended for their commitment of providing safe, reliable passenger transport services, designed to meet the needs of an ever growing community,” adds Grüttemeyer.

Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach division is part of Daimler Buses who are the undisputed world market leader in bus and coach manufacture. The worldwide production network covers 13 countries with numerous sales and service outlets.

“We are pleased that we are able to be of service to the City of Windhoek and can rely on the support of our extensive network for any product related issues the City may require,” adds Grüttemeyer.

Left to right:
Honorable Matheus Shikongo: Mayor of the City of Windhoek
Verena Grüttemeyer: Dealer Principal, M & Z Motors & Commercial Vehicles
Honorable Jerry Ekandjo: Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing & Rural Development

Mercedes-Benz is well positioned with several regional production facilities, a broad portfolio of products and services and by providing both chassis and fully-equipped buses in conjunction with partners. In each case, the chassis supplied is precisely right for the region and intended use. All components are carefully harmonised to maximise service life, economy and safety. Requirements and suggestions expressed by the bodybuilders are incorporated into development. Mercedes-Benz provides a special consulting service to advise bus manufacturers on body-related aspects.

In its body/equipment mounting directives, Mercedes-Benz defines clear specifications for adding on to a chassis. If any bus is to bear the Mercedes-Benz star, it has to be signed off by the brand’s engineers first.

On every continent, companies that build bodies are transforming Mercedes-Benz chassis into buses tailored to specific market requirements. Mercedes-Benz supplied over 21 000 chassis worldwide over the past year, making it the global market leader for bus chassis.

“It is through this expertise that these ten Mercedes-Benz OF 1730/59 bus chassis were identified as the most suitable for the ten standard commuter buses to be supplied to the City. They are versatile and can be adapted to a wide range of applications, including rugged and city transportation,” said Jan Aichinger, Divisional Manager, Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach Division.

Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach Division in South Africa is the hub for bus and coach sales in the Southern African region including Namibia. Other markets include Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mauritius, and as far as Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. By making Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s Bus and Coach division responsible for sales and aftersales in these regions, this strategic move ensures shorter response times on customer requests, both on the sales and aftersales side.

“Our products are designed and manufactured to meet the needs of the market, as the typography and harsh terrain in the entire region has been taken into account from the onset. These Mercedes-Benz buses will be assembled in South Africa and shipped directly to the neighbouring countries on axle, thereby achieving great savings on logistical costs. Utilisation of a central stock pool for several countries, will make for shorter delivery times to these export markets,” adds Aichinger.

Mercedes-Benz approved body-builder partner, Marcopolo, fitted the stylish Torino bodies to the Mercedes-Benz bus chassis. M & Z Motors and the team from Mercedes-Benz South Africa worked closely with Marcopolo to select the most efficient and suitable bus-body combination for the City of Windhoek’s requirements.

Marcopolo has a successful global relationship with Mercedes-Benz and has fitted the latest comfort and safety features to the buses, such as the air operated entrance door with the anti-squeeze mechanism, illuminated entrance steps, individually split-back seats, tinted safety glass on the windows, intercom system and a dry chemical powder fire extinguisher amongst others.

The buses with a GVM of 17 tons, has an overall length of almost 12 metres and a seating capacity for 65 persons with a further 15 persons comfortably standing. These bodies comply with the stringent SABS standards and include special treatment of bodywork and under carriage quality corrosion protection.

The buses are ergonomically designed for ease of driving and competent use of controls. They are also fitted with the latest electronic Wayfarer Smart ticketing system, which is conveniently placed where the gearlever does not interfere with its operations.

The engine is the heart of the bus and the new Mercedes-Benz OM926LA turbo-charged intercooled diesel engine with 300 hp developing 1 200 Nm of torque meets Euro 3 emission standards. The engine is produced under stringent quality standards to ensure a high degree of durability, reliability and has proven to be extremely economical.

As with all Mercedes-Benz products, safety is a top priority and these buses are no exception. The bus chassis are equipped with the Top Brake, an exclusive Mercedes-Benz brake system, coupled to the conventional Telma AD72 Retarder, which allows for reduced gear shifting, thereby giving a longer life of the brake linings and tyres, which in turn further enhances the remarkably low operational costs of the vehicle. This is all important to the successful execution of the maintenance programme of the City.

M & Z Motors and Mercedes-Benz South Africa expressed their thanks to the City for the confidence placed in the brand with this significant bus order.

“Together with the City’s Solid Waste department with its compactors, tippers for road and street maintenance, aerial platforms for street light maintenance and the recently acquired UNIMOG for the fire department, these important service vehicles are confirmation of the importance the City places in its role in community service,” concluded Grüttemeyer.

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