New Benz as tilt at European opposition gathers pace

Next-generation truck and focus on local needs in the vanguard

New Benz as tilt at European opposition gathers pace
The new Mercedes-Benz.


Mercedes-Benz is making progress on its plans to challenge the market shares of Volvo and Scania, regional general manager Justin Whitford says.

In a multi-pronged assault, the German giant is pushing forward with building for Australian conditions, preparing to unveil its so-far unnamed next-generation truck in the Actros mould and beefing up its dealer profile.

The next generation prime mover is a local initiative that head office in Germany has agreed to.

"We pushed them to do it," Whitford confirms, in a move away from adapting existing platforms.

It will undergo two six monthly cycles of testing in local conditions with big fleets and be launched in the next 12-15 months with Euro 5 and Euro 6 options.

The first cycle aims to push it to breaking point and the second will test the improvements identified in the first cycle.

A name is yet to be decided on.

In what is becoming something of a regular practice, a new Actros 2660 Black Edition will be made available, with increased safety gear and a new interior at no extra cost.

Those wishing to see both in the metal, they will feature at the Brisbane Truck Show along with the Dual Drive Econic Euro 6 for the waste industry and the rugged Zetros off-road rigid.

With its dealerships, the make is rolling out truck and bus centres of excellence this year in mainland capital cities including Darwin.

The first, a $30 million operation with Automotive Holding Group (AHG) in Perth is due to open on July 25.

"It will be the biggest and certainly the best dealership in the southern hemisphere," Whitford says.

Similar developments in Sydney and Melbourne will be unveiled at the company’s own premises at Huntingwood and Laverton respectively.

Coupled with that and following a national dealers strategy meeting the make will offer finance at 4.9 per cent, its lowest ever, and focus on whole-of-life approach to ownership.



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