Reliability, efficiency and robustness – these are the criteria that truck customers all over the world look for. And that is as true in the Middle East and Africa regions as anywhere. Customers using our trucks there face the toughest conditions. Daimler is now taking the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz trucks, in the form of the Actros and Arocs, to more than 40 markets. Until now, customers in these areas have driven trucks of the previous model generation. Experts forecast economic growth of between two and five percent over the coming years in the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa regions. As far as the global growth strategy of Daimler Trucks is concerned, the launch of the current Actros and Arocs models in these markets marks an important step.
In 2017, Daimler was able to sell more than 35,000 vehicles under the Mercedes-Benz and Fuso brand names across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, some 20 percent more than in the year before. The Mercedes-Benz brand is very highly regarded in these regions. For many transport operators, the Actros has become something of a legend. Many customers continue to operate “Mileage Millionaires”, as they are known – trucks from earlier generations of the Actros that have driven more than a million kilometres, still with their first engine. All in all, since the market launch of the Actros model series in 1996, Mercedes-Benz has sold more than 100,000 Actros across the Middle East and North Africa. Globally, more than 1,000,000 Mercedes-Benz Actros have been sold since 1996.
Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “Our Mercedes-Benz Actros and Arocs have proved that they can be relied on – as our customers do day in, day out, in many markets around the world. A truck has to help a customer do the best job possible. And that is as true in the Middle East and Africa regions as anywhere. We are now taking our latest Actros and Arocs models to the markets there, with the aim of leveraging the momentum being experienced across these regions.”
Successful models Mercedes-Benz Actros & Arocs
Since the launch of the current generation of the Actros and Arocs series in 2011, Mercedes-Benz has been the clear leader in the heavy-duty truck sector in Europe. Some 300,000 Actros and Arocs have been delivered to customers there since 2011. Daimler Trucks now aims to continue this success story by becoming the undisputed number one for commercial vehicles in the growth markets of the Middle East and Africa. The Actros is well known as a reliable and efficient solution in the long-distance and distribution transport sector, while Mercedes-Benz also offers the Arocs in answer to the more extreme challenges presented on construction sites or in off-road use.
Benefits to the customer through efficiency, safety and services
Extreme temperatures of more than 50° C at times, difficult terrain, dust and loads of over 40 tonnes on construction sites or on unsurfaced tracks – these are the challenges faced on a daily basis by Mercedes-Benz trucks in the Middle East and Africa. The newly introduced Actros and Arocs models have been specifically configured for this sort of environment. Customers can order the vehicles with robust in-line 6-cylinder engines in four different variants – with output ranging from 240 kW (326 hp) through to 460 kW (625 hp). Combining any of these with the Mercedes-Benz PowerShift 3 automated transmission gives transport operators a reliable powertrain offering maximum efficiency and ease of handling. Additional features include reinforced frames, robust planetary axles, optimised filter and cooling systems, plus the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz’s hallmark safety and assistance systems, such as Active Brake Assist (ABA4) or adaptive cruise control. When it comes to the driver’s cab, fleet operators can choose between as many as 22 variants, all of which are noticeably more comfortable and aerodynamically designed than was the case with the previous generation.
Intensive testings for highest reliability
In preparing for this market introduction, Mercedes-Benz has put the vehicles through the most intensive programme of testing ever used by the company for trucks. From a base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), experts from the Mercedes-Benz Truck Testing Centre in Stuttgart subjected test vehicles from the two model series to more than 6 million kilometres of testing right across the UAE, under the toughest conditions imaginable – both on- and off-road, in very humid conditions and at extreme temperatures of up to more than 50° Celsius, while also carrying extremely heavy loads. Further extensive testing was undertaken in other regions with similar climatic conditions where the current-generation Actros and Arocs have also been introduced (e.g. South Africa and China) or where they are due to be launched shortly (Latin America).
More customer focus through Regional Centres for MENA and Africa
The market introduction of the current generation of Mercedes-Benz trucks is being effected through Daimler’s Regional Centers for commercial vehicles in Dubai and Nairobi. This continuing regionalisation ensures that the business remains more closely in tune with the customers in the market. Years of product and service expertise pay dividends here, as does the broad product range of the group’s different commercial vehicle brands. The regional centre Middle East & North Africa is responsible for managing sales and distribution activities in the following markets: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The regional centre Africa (East, Central and West Africa) in Nairobi controls sales and marketing activities for commercial vehicles in 41 markets, including Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon and Ghana.