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MercedesBenz Trucks

Mercedes Benz, Setra and Fuso setting bench-mark very high at 2012 IAA - with 70 trucks, vans and buses

Again Mercedes Benz was the undisputed star at the 2012 IAA Commercial Cars Motor Show and again, just like in the previous years, the media and press activities were surely the best and most comprehensive ones among the competitors.

So after having a look at the Active Brake Assist 3 demonstration of Mercedes Benz Trucks, and after experiencing and watching the latest active and passive safety technologies for trucks and buses over the past few days, I came to the following conclusions:

1) Mercedes Benz Trucks & Buses and its partners in Brazil & Russia & India & China & Argentina ARE and will probably stay THE leaders for medium and heavy duty trucks as well as premium buses for a very very long time!

2) The future of the automotive industry will be based in Europe, USA, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and China!

3.) Neither Egypt not the Middle East are currently on the map of the big car manufacturers and big investors, neither as sales markets nor as investment markets ! But more to this later.

4.) If Egypt and the Middle East will not implement the latest active & passive safety features and the latest fuel-saving, low-emission and environment-friendly technologies like ESP, Active Brake Assist and Euro 6 in the truck fleets driving around the Middle East and North Africa, then we will never have safe roads and no efficient transportation fleets anytime soon.

But now, let us get back the International Motor Show for commercial vehicles and have a look on how Daimler and its brands Mercedes Benz, Setra and Fuso are setting the benchmark extremely high in their different segements, not only in Europe but also in the rest of the world.

The International Motor Show for commercial vehicles (IAA) 2012 is providing the ideal stage for a multitude of world premieres from Daimler AG. Trucks, vans and buses from Daimler's commercial vehicle brands Mercedes-Benz, Setra and Fuso are setting standards in efficiency, economy, environmental acceptability and safety.

"The engine of the future" – the slogan of the IAA this year is also a perfect description of the pioneering strength of the Daimler commercial vehicle brands.

Exciting commercial vehicles spread over 10 000 square metres:
Hall 14/15 at the Hanover exhibition grounds is the traditional platform for Daimler's IAA exhibition. Visitors will be able to see the whole range of Mercedes-Benz, Setra and Fuso vehicles with 70 trucks, vans and buses being exhibited over an area covering around 10 000 m?².

Since early summer last year, the company has been planning this year's exhibition at the show. It has taken seven weeks of hard work to transform the austere exhibition building into a fascinating commercial vehicle experience.

Trucks for the World – specially designed for every region:
The moment visitors pass through the two main entrances to Hall 14/15 they are put in the right mood for this exhibition within the exhibition. On one side, the phrase Trucks for the World is visible, hinting at the global presence of Daimler Trucks.

A powerful Western Star 4900 EX "Wanted" with sparkling chrome applications demonstrates the fascination of North American trucks. Behind its cab, a spacious living area awaits the driver, serving as bed and living room during driver rest breaks.

The two trucks from the company's new Indian brand Bharat Benz have been designed for completely different requirements. The LDT 914R platform truck and the HDT 3128 dumper are no less robust than a Western Star, but they have been designed and built for use in completely different areas, taking into account differences in the condition of the roads in the respective countries, for example. The message is clear: Daimler Trucks supplies suitable vehicles designed specifically for the varying regional requirements and conditions all over the world.

At the show, Western Star and Bharat Benz will be presented in typical Daimler style. As they make their way through the exhibition, visitors will be drawn in by spectacular displays which arouse curiosity about the Daimler AG commercial vehicle world.

Aerodynamics Trailer and Aerodynamics Truck now reality:
Approaching the exhibition hall from the other side, visitors will find themselves among pioneering innovations. The two design studies Aerodynamics Trailer and Aerodynamics Truck from Daimler Trucks demonstrate ways in which fuel consumption can be further reduced through the use of sophisticated aerodynamics. This lowers operating costs and at the same time supports the conservation of resources and the environment.

The two studies have not been designed futuristically; they reduce fuel consumption in a very realistic and practical manner within the scope of applicable legal requirements. An articulated vehicle consisting of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros and an Aerodynamics Trailer manage to achieve fuel savings of about 4.5 percent in long-distance transport.

The Aerodynaics Truck achieves an improvement of about 3.5 per cent. Measurements taken in practice on the road have already proven these results.

70 leading roles at the IAA from Mercedes-Benz, Setra, Fuso:
The stars at the IAA happily welcome all visitors to Hall 14/15. Mercedes-Benz is represented by 20 trucks, 24 vans, six buses and five special vehicles. Setra is represented by seven buses and Fuso by eight trucks.

Marked routes lead the visitors to their brands, and these are supported by sails suspended from the ceiling. Although united under the Daimler name and one roof, the brands each retain their own personal individuality: Mercedes-Benz, Setra and Fuso each define their own area with individually chosen colours and materials for the floor coverings. The wall decoration in the background also varies: here visitors can experience the typical areas of use for the trucks, vans and buses of the individual brands in so-called brand horizons.

Each of the main attractions is visually highlighted. The new Mercedes-Benz Actros and Antos, Citan and Citaro Euro VI, Setra ComfortClass 500 and the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid are just some of the highlights among the 70 stars at the IAA.

A fireworks display of innovations:
But there is a lot more to the fireworks display of premieres: for instance, the new, more economical Loader and Volumer versions of the Actros, the quiet Econic with LNG drive, the comfortable Mercedes-Benz Sprinter featuring a seven-speed automatic transmission with torque converter, the locally emissions-free Vito E-Cell crew bus and Sprinter E-CELL, the economical Mercedes-Benz Intouro or the fascinating Mercedes-Benz Unimog Euro VI technology carrier, and last but not least, the Fuso Canter 4x4 off-roader.

And on top of all that, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the first – and up to now only – complete range of engines complying with the Euro VI emissions standard. It includes unparalleled clean and economic engines for trucks, buses and special vehicles; the range stretches from compact four-cylinder engines to six-cylinder engines.

The unique emergency braking system "Active Brake Assist 3" is a further improvement in the safety standards of trucks, just as "Active Brake Assist 2" is for touring coaches. For the first time, the forward-looking Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) cruise control system links GPS data with the drivetrain control. Light trailer axles increase the efficiency of towed units.

Comprehensive service offers:
The cut-away model of an Actros with attractive accessories from the factory entices visitors to visit the Mercedes-Benz service area: FleetBoard, CharterWay, Mercedes-Benz Bank, Genuine Parts, Service 24h, Mercedes-Benz MobiloVan, MercedesServiceCard, Truck Maintenance Management, Telediagnosis – just to mention a few keywords in connection with trucks and vans. Above all, this means partnership, availability and competence. For buses and coaches from Mercedes-Benz and Setra, this is traditionally provided by OMNIplus.

Two stages with non-stop events:
But despite all these interesting and exciting topics, enjoyment has not been forgotten. On the Actros and Antos stage, the popular country rock cult band BossHoss will be appearing every hour, alternating with entertainment acts on the Citan stage. Behind the two stages LED screens showing a continuous programme have been set up – the IAA slogan "The engine of the future" does not just refer to vehicles built by Mercedes-Benz, Setra and Fuso, but also to the presentation of the stars at the IAA.

Practical, personal service is a top priority for Mercedes-Benz Service & Parts, in brief that is:

• Mercedes-Benz Service24h provides round-the-clock roadside assistance
• Telediagnosis minimises time off the road
• Service contracts to suit every customer
• Truck Maintenance Management for predictable servicing
• FOCUS accurately analyses vehicle running costs
• CharterWay offers made-to-measure warranties and service contracts
• Warranty and maintenance packages provide full planning certainty
• TruckWorks: a one-stop shop for truck and trailer servicing
• Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts are top quality
• Genuine remanufactured Mercedes-Benz parts represent affordable quality

So what are all these services in details?

Well, service is always a top priority at Mercedes-Benz. The role of service within the organization is clearly defined: to help Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle customers by ensuring they always have a vehicle available. This requires maximum flexibility, particularly in emergencies.

The Mercedes-Benz Service & Parts division is responsible for the global service and parts business for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, vans and trucks in partnership with dealers, company-owned sales and service outlets and our local subsidiaries.

Service & Parts is responsible for maintenance and breakdown assistance, the various services offered by CharterWay, the parts service, TruckWorks and much more.

Mercedes-Benz Service24h provides round-the-clock roadside assistance:
Drivers of Mercedes-Benz trucks or vans are never alone, because Service24h is a key element of the assistance provided. Customers can call Service24h on a European hotline 365 days a year to arrange fast, professional assistance. Around a thousand service partners in Germany alone and about three thousand across Europe take care of Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans. This means that Mercedes-Benz provides its customers with a bigger service network than any other commercial vehicle manufacturer, as well as services that are comprehensive, innovative and above all practical.

Telediagnosis minimises time off the road:
The aim of Telediagnosis is to keep time off the road to a minimum. If a truck or van breaks down, the driver can use FleetBoard to transmit diagnostic data directly to the workshop at the touch of a button. Before a Service24h engineer even sets out for the breakdown location, he is able to analyse the fault, and by making the appropriate preparations he can ensure that it is fixed as soon as possible.

This service requires use of the FleetBoard telematics system. A four-month, no obligation trial of the telematics system is available to drivers who have a FleetBoard service contract and the in-vehicle computer that is fitted as standard in the new Actros. It enables numerous customers to experience the benefits of Telediagnosis during the test period and beyond when they renew their contract. Together with FleetBoard, Telediagnosis is also available as an optional extra for owners of the new Mercedes-Benz Antos.

Service contracts to suit every customer:
Periodic maintenance helps to prevent unforeseen pit stops. Customised service contracts are tailored to meet the individual needs of each customer. The MercedesServiceCard is a convenient way to pay for maintenance and any roadside assistance.

Whether maintenance or roadside assistance is required, customers with a Mercedes-Benz truck or van benefit from Europe's biggest service network. More than 300 service partners for commercial vehicles are open until 10 p.m. or even midnight from Monday to Friday. Some even work round the clock, which cuts down on time off the road and makes route planning easier.

Truck Maintenance Management for predictable servicing:
The process is extremely simple and efficient: when a customer has authorised the transfer of vehicle data, the relevant information on maintenance and wear and tear is recorded and analysed by a Mercedes-Benz service partner. The customer is immediately sent a schedule for the next service due, including pricing information applicable to his/her specific vehicle. This service is exclusive to Mercedes-Benz.

Truck Maintenance Management is available with or without a service contract. It makes fleet management easier and reduces the time vehicles are off the road. It also means service partners are able to schedule services accurately because they already have all the relevant data when the vehicle is booked in and they can order the necessary spare parts in advance.

Use of the FleetBoard telematics service is required for Mercedes-Benz Truck Maintenance Management. The proactive, economical driving style encouraged by FleetBoard also reduces wear and tear so that service intervals for vehicles with an activated FleetBoard contract can be extended by up to 30,000km.
Together with FleetBoard, Truck Maintenance Management is also available as an optional extra to owners of the new Mercedes-Benz Antos.

FOCUS accurately analyses vehicle running costs:
The old saying 'Trust is good, control is better' definitely applies to variable vehicle costs, because surprises can turn out to be expensive and jeopardise the success of your business. Mercedes-Benz FOCUS is the perfect tool for controlling costs. Experts carry out a detailed analysis of customers' fleet costs and provide the results free of charge.

Each individual vehicle is scrutinised, regardless of its make. Every euro spent on fuel, oil, tyres or maintenance and repairs is revealed – precise assessments are made for every single vehicle. The analysis also includes a comparison of days off the road and the number of times a vehicle is taken to the workshop. The data is crunched to provide clear results regarding the efficiency of individual vehicles, makes and construction years. Cost allocation also indicates the factors responsible – including components such as the engine, brakes or electrics.

It is also possible to compare individual vehicle fleets with those of other companies and to establish the long-term value of individual models – these findings are ploughed back into the development of Daimler trucks and Mercedes-Benz vans. Current FOCUS data is based on more than 150 fleets in five countries with around 6,500 vehicles.

CharterWay offers made-to-measure warranties and service contracts:
Mercedes-Benz service is precisely tailored to meet the individual needs and desires of each customer, as exemplified by the practical services offered by CharterWay. For those who value security and planning certainty, the standard truck warranty can be extended with a drive train warranty for up to 48 months and 600,000km, for example. Depending on the vehicle type, the drive-train warranty and maintenance product can cover maximum mileages of 900,000km as well as a package of maintenance services. The terms of the extended warranty for a maximum of 36 months and 450,000km are even more comprehensive.

The full service package goes even further and covers all work carried out in the workshop from coordinating appointments to invoice control for a fixed monthly fee. All specified maintenance work and repairs are covered, including wear and tear and preventive work.

CharterWay also provides comparable maintenance packages for Mercedes-Benz vans, offering options – which are closely linked to vehicle mileage – for the Vito, Viano, Sprinter and now also the Citan.
The size of each fleet is also taken into account in the contracts – key-account customers need customised services and contracts.

Warranty and service packages provide full planning certainty:
CharterWay's new warranty and maintenance packages provide customised products for everyone who wants to budget their van fleet costs accurately. The extended warranty for Vito, Viano or Sprinter covers all main components for 48 months and mileage of 200,000km. A maintenance package for the same period and mileage is also available. The two can be combined in a cost-effective extended warranty and maintenance package that creates optimum cost transparency and planning certainty.

TruckWorks: a one-stop shop for van, truck and trailer servicing:
Mercedes-Benz doesn't just take care of the vehicles under its own brand, it also looks after the truck as a whole including trailers, add-on equipment and built-in accessories. TruckWorks is the number 1 one-stop service provided by commercial vehicle manufacturers. In Germany, 95 Mercedes-Benz service outlets have been certified as TruckWorks facilities. They offer maintenance and repairs in conjunction with 25 reputable manufacturers of trailers, add-ons, tail lifts, transport refrigeration equipment, trailer axles and brake and vehicle systems.

TruckWorks minimises the time vehicles are off the road and the costs for fleet management. Other benefits for customers include Service24h roadside assistance, mobility services, extended opening times and easy payment using the MercedesServiceCard.

Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts are top quality:
Choosing Mercedes-Benz Genuine Parts means choosing specialist development expertise, top-grade materials, precision machining, a perfect fit every time and an eco-friendly approach. Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts offer the highest level of technical perfection – every hole lines up, every thread grips, every connection fits. And quality always tells: Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts are worth the price.

Top priority is given to active and passive safety – primarily in the replacement of brake parts, shock
absorbers and lighting components. Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts ensure a maximum level of safety, e.g. through perfectly tuned brakes even with heavy loads. Efficiency is also important: all filters, for example, have been individually developed for their particular engine series. This ensures a long engine life, low fuel consumption and optimum exhaust emissions.

Our extensive range of original parts is available in all regions and at almost any time of day. Working behind the scenes is a team of logistics experts running a sophisticated network and efficient processes. Some 400,000 genuine Mercedes-Benz parts are available in Germany alone, in the Global Logistics Center in Germersheim – the world's biggest automotive warehouse – and in the five logistics centres in Hannover, Cologne, Mainz, Nuremberg and Reutlingen.

The logistics centres accept orders round the clock. If necessary, genuine Mercedes-Benz parts can be picked and packed on Sundays and public holidays and supplied on unscheduled transport runs. Every day, more than 325 truck deliveries are made worldwide. Parts logistics at Mercedes-Benz is professional and ultra-efficient, reducing repair times and keeping time off the road to a minimum. This seamless supply of spare parts plays a key role in the profitability calculation of a Mercedes-Benz.

Genuine remanufactured Mercedes-Benz parts represent affordable quality:
100 per cent quality with cost savings of up to 50 per cent: when it comes to genuine remanufactured Mercedes-Benz parts, the sums add up. The reconditioning process applies the same quality standards as with original or production parts and also factors in the latest advancements.

The range of genuine remanufactured parts is growing all the time. Those already available for the new Mercedes-Benz Actros include the Euro VI-compliant diesel particulate filter, the cylinder heads, turbochargers, transmissions and engines. Other parts will follow later in the year.

Also new to the range are torque converters for vans and cylinder heads for CDI engines. Cylinder heads are delivered pre-assembled, which lowers costs by up to 30 per cent in comparison with individual parts and reduces time off the road.

A dedicated development team works non-stop on new reconditioning technologies in order to increase the proportion of parts that can be reused. This not only saves costs, but also helps protect the environment. The use of remanufactured parts conserves valuable resources. This is borne out by figures from the ecological life-cycle assessments certified by T?œV S?¼d.

The life cycle of a genuine Mercedes-Benz remanufactured G281 transmission demonstrates impressive green credentials: reconditioning the part requires substantially less material and energy than to make it from scratch and cuts COâ‚‚ emissions by a staggering 52 per cent. How much of a saving 52 per cent of COâ‚‚ is becomes clear when you convert this value to diesel fuel.

For all genuine Mercedes-Benz G281 transmissions that were remanufactured in 2011, the saving is equivalent to an incredible 32,482 litres of fuel – enough for a fully loaded Actros to travel two and a half times around the world.

Mercedes-Benz Service & Parts:
The Mercedes-Benz Service & Parts division is responsible for the global service and parts business for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, vans and trucks in partnership with dealers, company-owned sales and service outlets and our local subsidiaries. Its service business comprises the service network with more than 5,000 outlets worldwide and the Service Center for customer queries in Maastricht.

The parts business encompasses parts sales and the development of innovative parts products and parts logistics.

The current marketing campaign for commercial vehicle servicing cleverly uses images and copy to put the focus squarely on availability and partnership – themes that Mercedes-Benz Service & Parts are keen to highlight in the run up to the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

Also the new FleetBoard service offers a range for short-radius distribution, a glimpse into the future of telematics, which in brief are:

• Attractive offering: logistics for short-radius distribution optimised
• New entry: easy communication with the driver
• Coaches operate efficiently with FleetBoard Performance Analysis
• FleetBoard ex-works in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
• Service offering also available as an App
• One-of-a-kind: Mercedes-Benz Bank offers new use-based truck insurance

In parallel with the new Mercedes-Benz Antos, FleetBoard is introducing new services for heavy short-radius distribution. The investment into telematics for touring coaches and vans is also proving more worthwhile than ever.

Throughout Europe, FleetBoard is a market leader amongst providers of telematics solutions for trucks, vans and coaches of all brands, in all markets. FleetBoard has also gained many new customers in South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East. The company recently received the renowned Frost & Sullivan Award for growth and innovation.

Attractive offering: logistics for short-radius distribution optimised:
The specific applications in short-radius distribution require flexible telematics solutions. With the help of FleetBoard, logistics and distribution processes are optimised and the vehicles' potential is exploited to the fullest extent.

For the new Mercedes-Benz Antos, FleetBoard offers an attractive range of amenities for the use of professional telematics: FleetBoard TiiRec – the built-in vehicle computer with modem and GPS receiver – is available including driver coaching for as little as 800 euro. The FleetBoard TiiRec terminal device is designed for the use of FleetBoard vehicle management and time management telematics services. It is used to exchange technical data for every vehicle with a vehicle interface. Customers can pick and choose from FleetBoard's wide range of services.

FleetBoard pays off: many years of experience of customers in the short-radius distribution business show that by using FleetBoard, fuel consumption can be lowered by 5 to 15 percent within a short time, wear is reduced and jobs can be managed optimally.

The FleetBoard vehicle management system records and evaluates technical data from the vehicle, displaying data such as speed, braking behaviour, engine map, stops and idling with the engine running, as well as the degree of difficulty of the deployment including the average gradient and vehicle weight.

This information serves to increase the economic efficiency of the fleet. Customised driver tips help to improve driving style, and in many companies, the Performance Analysis is used as the basis for a bonus system. At the IAA for Commercial Vehicles in 2012, FleetBoard will be presenting an enhanced Performance Analysis which delivers even more detailed data for the new Actros and includes such assistance systems as cruise control, adaptive cruise control, EcoRoll and kick-down usage.

New entry: easy communication with the driver
The entry-level solution in FleetBoard logistics services is a new transport management service with essential functions for an efficient logistics process. It is intended for companies looking to implement text communication between headquarters and the driver, along with vehicle locating and navigation.
Basic communication between logistics and the driver takes place via free-text transmission, messaging and status reports. The vehicle location can be seen at any time in FleetBoard Mapping. Messages from logistics land directly in the driver's cab via

The built-in with its large seven-inch (17.8-cm) screen acts as a navigation and communication device in the basic version. It can transfer addresses from logistics to the route guidance system. An upgrade to additional services such as simulation of company-specific workflows is possible at any time. Integrated into the navigation system are features such as Lane Assistant, a traffic jam display and consideration of hazardous goods transport for route planning.

Coaches operate efficiently with FleetBoard Performance Analysis:
Throughout Europe, fully equipped buses from Mercedes-Benz and Setra can either be equipped with the FleetBoard system ex-works or retrofitted ‒ as in the case of coaches from other manufacturers. Using a digital map, the fleet manager can at any time retrieve the vehicle's current location or a detailed tracking at 30-second intervals, and switch back and forth between a road view and a satellite view. In addition to coach location, the system also displays important route events and warning and status messages.

FleetBoard also allows coach operators to optimise their economic efficiency, since fuel consumption and wear can be significantly reduced by driving style. Evaluations give the driver feedback on actions that can be taken to improve driving style and, above all, make it safer.

FleetBoard ex-works in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter:
The FleetBoard telematics system is available in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter directly ex-works, as part of the original equipment. This provides significant savings for the fleet's operating and processing costs. Real-world tests in short-radius distribution have shown that fuel consumption and CO2 emissions can be lowered by up to 30 percent by adopting an efficient driving style.

And FleetBoard logic couldn't be easier: drivers learn a defensive, pre-emptive driving style and maintain it based on the regular, straightforward reports provided in their driving style assessment.

Service offering also available as an App:
With the FleetBoard App, all key fleet information is "at your fingertips", even while on the road. Business managers, fleet managers and logistics officers can access both current data and data histories via their iPhone or iPad. They can find out vehicle locations and remaining driving times and communicate these to the driver.

This allows them to locate drivers with enough driving time remaining in the vicinity of an order to be fulfilled on the spur of the moment, thus providing a quick answer to the question of whether a route will be carried out as planned. Short-notice transport requests or delays due to traffic can be responded to quickly ‒ even at night, if necessary.

One-of-a-kind: Mercedes-Benz Bank offers new use-based truck insurance:
For the new Mercedes-Benz Antos and the Actros for short-radius distribution use, the Mercedes-Benz Bank is offering Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard truck insurance. This is the first use-based insurance in Germany for trucks.

The premium is based on the degree of difficulty of the deployment and the driving style of the driver – information which is obtained via FleetBoard.

In addition to a modest basic fee for downtime risk, companies pay an insurance premium only when the truck is in use. The Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard truck insurance includes third party and comprehensive coverage. It is available for all Mercedes-Benz trucks equipped with FleetBoard.

The insurance premium is reduced by up to 20 percent if customers combine the Mercedes-Benz FleetBoard truck insurance with a leasing, finance or service leasing contract through Mercedes-Benz Bank or Mercedes-Benz CharterWay, or if they opt to install a Safety Pack Classic or Safety Pack Top.

Another new offering is the all-round, worry-free package called Safety Service Leasing from Mercedes-Benz Bank, which combines leasing, service, insurance and safety equipment. For the new Actros, the package includes the Safety Pack Top with Active Brake Assist, Lane Assistant, adaptive cruise control, retarder and driver's airbag.

Available for the first time across Europe:

Truck maintenance management and Telediagnosis are also very helpful tools and services offered by Daimler in this segment, in brief:

• Truck maintenance management: service made easier to schedule
• Telediagnosis: minimise downtime
• FleetBoard: as standard in the new Actros, optional in the Antos

Although the service intervals for Mercedes-Benz Trucks are unusually long, every star-studded Truck will need a Service from time to time. With Mercedes-Benz Truck maintenance management, the fleet operator can transfer the service schedule to their Service Partner.

This minimises downtime and makes it easier to plan your service requirements. In the event of a breakdown, Tele?¬diagnosis can also reduce downtime. These services have previously been available in some selected markets, but are now available across almost all of Europe.

Truck maintenance management: service made easier to schedule:
The process is logically simple and efficient: if the customer's vehicle is appropriately set up for the transmission of data, the relevant service and wear-and-tear information can be obtained and analysed by the Mercedes-Benz Service Partner. The customer then swiftly receives a time plan for the pending scope of the service as well as a quotation of the costs involved, calculated on the basis of the individual vehicle in question. This service is only offered by Mercedes-Benz.

Truck maintenance management is independent of a Service contract, facilitates the management of fleets and reduces downtime. On the other side of things, the Service Partner can also perfectly plan the service work as all of the relevant vehicle information and, where necessary, spare parts can be obtained before the vehicle is even brought in to the workshop.

Telediagnosis: minimise downtime:
The aim of Telediagnosis is to keep downtimes as low as possible. If a Truck breaks down, with the simple press of a button, the driver can transmit the diagnosis data via FleetBoard directly to the workshop. Before the 24 h Service employee arrives at the scene of the breakdown, he or she can already analyse the fault profile and carry out any necessary preparatory steps so as to guarantee the fastest possible assistance on-scene.

FleetBoard: as standard in the new Actros, optional in the Antos:
A prerequisite for the implementation of Mercedes-Benz Truck maintenance management and Telediagnosis is the use of the FleetBoard telematics service. The combination of a signed FleetBoard Service Agreement with the standard-fit vehicle computer in the new Actros is all it takes to be able to test the telematics service for four months with no obligation.

Even during the test phase, and if the contract is extended thereafter, a good many customers can benefit from the services offered by the Truck maintenance manager and Telediagnosis. Maintaining a preventive and economic driving style with the aid of FleetBoard also allows wear-and-tear to be reduced. This in turn means that the service intervals of vehicles with an activated FleetBoard contract can be extended by as much as 30,000 km.

Together with FleetBoard, the Truck maintenance management and Telediagnosis functions are also available as an option on the new Mercedes-Benz Antos.

OMNIplus: tailor-made bus-specific services are continually being improved
• OMNIplus: one-of-a-kind services for the bus branch
• Genuine parts in proven OMNIplus quality:
always safely on the road
• ServiceCard Basic and Premium: graded
Service card concept
• New Service contract concept
• With OMNIplus, you are always up-to-date

Premium service for premium buses: OMNIplus as the Service brand of Daimler for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses offers the decisive Service Plus for your bus. Widely accepted by the customers of both of these brands thanks to its complete concentration on bus-specific offers, OMNIplus has achieved an outstanding and incomparable position.

OMNIplus: one-of-a-kind services for the bus branch:
The comprehensive service from OMNIplus as a single-source provider saves both time and money. With their professional maintenance and repair services, efficient driver and service training courses, the largest offering of used vehicles and tailor-made financial services, OMNIplus offers a one-of-a-kind service for you and your bus.

Profitable and certified workshops are the prerequisite for a professional service. Thus, OMNIplus is continuously further developing its service network. With over 600 authorised service outlets, OMNIplus offers the most extensive bus-specific service network across Europe. Depending on the services on offer, OMNIplus service outlets are divided into two categories: OMNIplus BusWorld and OMNIplus BusPort.

This corresponds to the needs and types of work handled at the service outlets. It also ensures that customers requiring difficult and extensive repair work and those customers requiring checks and maintenance services are sent to the appropriate place.

Accordingly, 32 companies under the BusWorld category are currently operating at strategically important locations. The OMNIplus service network will, of course, be continually improved and optimised. One such optimisation is currently taking shape in the form of the new Dealer Management Systems (DMS) in all of the Service Support Points at EvoBus.

This means that customers can rely on competent service information regardless of the part of Europe in which they currently are. Amongst other information, the DMS delivers an overview of customer and vehicle information at a glance, such as the current work due or applicable offers, as well as relevant Service campaigns and maintenance intervals for the customer's vehicles. What's more, the customer interview can now take place in an efficient and customer-friendly manner at the vehicle itself thanks to the use of Toughbooks.

In the event that a bus has to take an involuntary break, the OMNIplus 24h Service is on hand 24 hours a day in connection with one of our Service cards. Owing to our qualitative selection of Service partners and our standardised repair processes, in the event of an emergency, OMNIplus ensures that your bus can be repaired at favourable conditions to a qualitatively high standard.

An example of great efficiency is the Spare Parts Logistics Center in Neu-Ulm. Here, there are more than 100,000 genuine parts from complete engines to the smallest of screws. It is only the right interplay of perfectly co-ordinated parts which brings about a complete and convincing whole.

Approved OMNIplus genuine parts thus ensure enhanced safety and, by means of the unified logistics standards, all parts are quickly with the customer. On the basis of a gapless vehicle and parts documentation and the reliable ordering system for genuine parts, all of the parts for your bus can be ordered in their entirety for at least 15 years after the end of production.

The Service contract concept was also completely reworked and has been split into two new packages. From now on, our customers can choose between the Basic package and the Premium package.

In the Basic package, all of the necessary maintenance work in accordance with the vehicle's Maintenance Booklet as well as selected wear-and-tear repairs are included.

The Premium package extends to all other repairs on the entire vehicle with the exception of defined cases, such as tyre changes or intentional damage.

With their fixed prices, OMNIplus has managed to create cost transparency and is able to ensure that your vehicle is always safely on the road.

But it's not only the bus itself which needs to be roadworthy. The driver, too, must be fit for the road.

Accordingly, OMNIplus also offers a wide range of driver training courses, which, for example, are recognised in Germany under the professional driver qualification laws. In order to ensure that customers have access to the latest and most important information on their vehicle, the extensive information systems at OMNIplus are continually under development.

Genuine parts in proven OMNIplus quality - always safely on the road:
With genuine parts in proven OMNIplus quality, customers of Mercedes-Benz and Setra can rest assured that their bus remains an original even after repair or maintenance work. Genuine parts from OMNIplus fulfil the highest expectations in terms of safety, reliability and economy.

They are specially attuned to Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses. OMNIplus as a supplier of parts does not just offer competence for the entire bus, rather it also ensures worldwide availability of genuine parts in proven OMNIplus quality as well as logistical reliability with its unified logistics standards.

A series of standards is currently being implemented throughout our subsidiaries. From uniform processes and components stores to standardised identification numbers and software systems across all sites, right up as far as original packaging – everything counts! Our aim is to roll out the logistics standards across the entire OMNIplus service network.

OMNIplus ServiceCard Basic and Premium: graded Service card concept
Gambling everything on one card? Clever businessmen and women tick differently, just like OMNIplus with its graded Service card concept: the OMNIplus ServiceCard Premium is available free-of-charge for Mercedes-Benz and Setra Bus customers and is valid for a period of two years.

Those who don't see the need for certain parts of its extensive range of services, such as the fuel, toll, tunnel and ferry services, can opt for the OMNIplus ServiceCard Basic instead.

OMNIplus ServiceCard: so many services
The ServiceCard Basic and the ServiceCard Premium offer so many different services. For example:
• OMNIplus workshop service
• Free 24-hour Service number in the customer's native language
• Rapid and unbureaucratic payment guarantee in the event of a breakdown
• Replacement bus service including driver within the scope of the OMNIplus BusPool in Germany
• International address pool if a replacement bus is required
• Fast help from the OMNIplus TireService in the event of a flat tyre.

The OMNIplus ServiceCard Basic is valid for four years and comprises the Basic mobility package with which bus customers of Mercedes-Benz and Setra have the possibility to receive fast, uncomplicated vehicle-specific services without the need to pay for them on the spot.

No nasty surprises from the breakdown service or in our invoices
In the event of a breakdown, we ensure fast and competent assistance. Furthermore, thanks to our internationally-fixed billing standards, there will be no nasty surprises in our invoices.

Europe-wide fixed mileage fees, billing of a maximum of 250 km travel costs for driving to and from the breakdown location, defined frameworks for the addition of mark-ups to the labour and replacement parts costs outside of regular opening hours, meeting of 50 % of the express costs incurred for parts procurement under the 24-hour Service – all of these provide drivers and operators with added peace of mind in the event of a breakdown in the most distant regions of Europe.

In addition to this, OMNIplus ServiceCard Basic customers benefit from an individual customer commitment. There is also the regular workshop service which can be processed via the ServiceCard Basic. This amount can be increased quickly online in discussion with you should the need arise.

Equally situation-oriented is the entire OMNIplus breakdown service: drivers register a problem in their own language via the international switchboard of the 24-hour Service number. Here drivers will be asked for their ServiceCard and then informed of the nearest service outlet. A mechanic will quickly deal with the bus.

In the rare eventuality of a particularly difficult breakdown, as a further backup, a specialist will be called via a hotline. This diverse yet individually graded Service can only be provided by a large manufacturer which has access to a powerful, bus-oriented organisation, such as is the case of OMNIplus.

Only we are in the position to appropriately resolve the most difficult of cases. It is this comprehensive range of services which provides not only operators but also drivers with a feeling of safety and faith in their daily job.

New Service contract concept – Basic and Premium package:
The new Service contract concept offers market-oriented, easy-to-comprehend packages which are tailored to our customers. In the Basic package, all of the necessary maintenance work in accordance with the vehicle's Maintenance Booklet as well as selected wear-and-tear repairs are included.

This includes, for example, changing wiper blades, wear-and-tear repairs on the brakes, suspension, belt drive or the manual transmission's clutch. The Premium package extends to all other repairs on the entire vehicle with the exception of defined cases, such as tyre changes, legally-required regular inspections, glass breakages, equipment which is not attached to the vehicle or intentional damage.

With their fixed prices, OMNIplus has managed to create cost transparency and is able to ensure that your vehicle is always safely on the road thanks to plannable downtimes for maintenance and repairs of your Mercedes-Benz or Setra bus.

With OMNIplus, you are always up-to-date
Having the right information at the right time is a crucial element in the success of every company. OMNIplus BusDoc 2.0, the optimised and further-developed information system, doesn't just provide all of the data required for repair work, with its new navigation and layout, it has also integrated further helpful features which make it all the more user-friendly.

With the introduction of a new spare parts catalogue, the OMNIplus BusParts Catalog, OMNIplus is now at a level where it meets the increasing demand for documentation and publications. Data integration from other systems means that the BusParts Catalog is now a central one-stop shop for information on OMNIplus spare parts. Integration into BusDoc 2.0 and the intelligent linking up with other systems and components within BusDoc 2.0 means that a comprehensive level of information can be provided.

Data confirmation over the internet
When a vehicle changes ownership several times in its life, important documents for vehicle registration may go missing. For a fee, you can register for our online service via the OMNIplus homepage and receive the complete data set for your vehicle, providing that it is not over 30 years old. To do this, all you need is the vehicle identification number (VIN) and the vehicle type designation.

After this very long and informative article, I hope it is now very clear to all our readers why North Africa and the Middle East in general, and Egypt in specific still have a very very long 'trip' in front of them until we reach and have such efficient, safe and environment-friendly truck and bus fleets in our region.

And as I said at the beginning of this article, neither Egypt nor the Middle East are currently on the map of the big car manufacturers and big investors, neither as sales markets nor as investment markets.

It is very important that Egypt and the Middle East start implementing the latest active & passive safety features and the latest fuel-saving, low-emission and environment-friendly technologies like ESP, Active Brake Assist and Euro 6 in the truck and bus fleets driving around the Middle East and North Africa, in order to reduce the numbers of road accidents and fatalities, reduce the emissions and become an interesting spot for possible automotive investors in the near futures.

Otherwise we will never have a strong automotive assembly or manufacturing industry, nor a strong feeding industry in the Middle East in general and Egypt in specific.

Mohamed Sheta
Hannover - Stuttgart - Cairo

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