The latest additions to the Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle range now in Bahrain were unveiled at a glitzy affair at the Al Haddad Motors showroom in Tubli alongside a diamond anniversary celebration, writes Stan Szecowka.
Last Wednesday evening’s event was attended by VIP customers, company owners, members of the media, representatives from Mercedes-Benz Trucks, as well as the Al Haddad Motors’ management and board of directors.
Deema Al Haddad, head of HR and deputy chairman of Al Haddad Motors, delivered a welcoming speech, before joining Marc Legeay, GM of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, to cut a huge celebratory cake. It featured the marque’s famous three-pointed star emblem and commemorated 60 years of partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Al Haddad Motors.
It was certainly a sparking affair with spotlights shining, tasty titbits being served with fresh juices on trays, a jazzy band playing cool tunes and a big screen video presentation … but the fanfare couldn’t compare to the stars of the show when the big curtains were lifted to unveil the all-new Actros and Arocs.
To keep with the theme, the showroom also featured giant images of completed and continuing construction activities across the kingdom, from the creation of Bab Al Bahrain, the iconic main entrance to Manama Souq, to the huge fly-overs currently being built to ease the flow of traffic between Isa Town and Sitra.
The initial launch event for the trucks in the region was held in the UAE and, as reported in GulfWeekly, our motoring correspondent Kristian Harrison was in attendance.
He described it as ‘one of the most memorable moments’ of his career to date and when he got the chance to drive them around Dubai Autodrome, he added: “Sitting in the truck’s passenger seat alongside a German long distance driver of more than 30 years’ experience was cool, but it was nothing compared to being taken to the other side of the circuit and actually driving the trucks myself!”
These are impressive vehicles, made for long-distance work as well as heavy-duty distribution haulage. The Actros, for example, is available with up to 22 different cab variants and comes in steel or air-suspended versions. For tough operations, it features a heavy-duty 15.6l engine and the 16-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 automated gearbox.
What’s even more impressive is the safety features, particularly the Active Brake Assist 4: a radar-based emergency braking system that initiates maximum full-stop braking ahead of moving and stationary obstacles. It also warns the driver of any potential collision with pedestrians, triggering partial braking at the same time.
Marc told GulfWeekly after the launch that this particular aspect had already received tremendous feedback from truck companies, government bodies and police forces across the region.
“As well as the terrible human cost when someone suffers injuries in an accident there are severe financial costs for companies too,” he explained. “If technology can play a part in helping to reduce both, everyone wins.”
It certainly adds up, few construction companies can afford to be without an experienced driver recovering from injuries or having a truck off the road awaiting repairs in these challenging financial times.
Many papers have been written on the subject and some suggest on the average, the total costs of road accidents, including an economic valuation of lost quality of life, were estimated to about 2.5 per cent of the gross national product.
The all-new Actros and Arocs offer a further enhanced level of reliability, efficiency and robustness to the Mercedes-Benz Truck offering. Assembled at the world’s largest truck plant in Woerth, Germany, they come in specifically developed variants for the Middle East and Africa – designed and built to withstand the harshest operating conditions.
The new Actros and Arocs models are available at Al Haddad Motors. Established in 1958, the company remains the sole authorised general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the kingdom.
For more information call 17785454 or visit www.bahrain.mercedesbenzme.com
Stanley Louis Szecowka
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