Mercedes-Benz steps on it

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Mercedes-Benz steps on it
A Daimler Brand
Omnibus
The magazine for bus operators and transport companies.
Next stop: green city.
The new Citaro NGT. The benchmark. With up to 20% savings in fuel consumption
over the previous model, our new natural-gas-powered bus is exceptionally
cost-effective. Not to mention that it’s considerably quieter and achieves lower
CO² emissions. For more information go to www.mercedes-benz.com/buses
Supplier: EvoBus GmbH, Neue Straße 95, 73230 Kirchheim unter Teck
The new Citaro NGT
Mercedes-Benz
steps on it
3 | 2015
A warm
welcome to you,
dear customers and friends of Mercedes-Benz Omnibus. I am delighted to be able
to present you with the third issue of our magazine in 2015. As it is also the first one
for me in my new position with Daimler Buses, I would like to take this opportunity
to tell you a little bit about myself.
My name is Ulrich Bastert, and for the past eight
years I was responsible for all the marketing
and distribution activities at Mercedes-Benz
Trucks. One of my main tasks while I was there
was the global introduction of our new product
generation of trucks. On the one hand, this
meant lots of new challenges for me and my
staff. On the other, and again with my excellent
team, a tremendous amount of pleasure was
gained from the work we did together and that
is now complete. And then the time came, just
at the right time for me, to start looking for new
challenges. I am delighted about these new
challenges at Daimler Buses.
Talking of new, the task of looking after the
environment while lowering costs at the same
time is one that is faced by the new Citaro NGT
engine at its world première at the Busworld
in Kortrijk. Its CO2 emissions are considerably
lower than those of its predecessor, its fuel
consumption 15 to 20% more economical than
the same (Citaro CNG). You can find out exactly
what else it has to offer in this issue.
Long-distance buses are another exciting topic –
booming since the opening of the long-distance
market in Germany. Whereas some 8.2 million
passengers were carried in 2013, today the
figure is around 16 million, and there has also
been a dramatic increase in the number of
companies in the Federal Republic in the past
two years. A market with economic potential,
but also with commercial challenges.
People who set standards – just read about
Winfried Seidel‘s passion! The car, and in that
association his automobile museum Dr. Carl
Benz in Ladenburg. A life‘s work that makes
the history of mobility something that can be
experienced.
I hope you enjoy your reading!
With best wishes, Ulrich Bastert
Head of Marketing, Sales & Aftersales Daimler Buses
Editorial
2
Omnibus
Editorial
3
Omnibus
Technology &
Innovation
Top theme
6-9
Top theme
Citaro NGT: Mercedes-Benz
steps on it
Service
The new Citaro NGT
Mercedes-Benz steps on it
6-9
Curtain up for the Citaro NGT: With its new high-tech gas
engine, the city bus is now even more environmentally friendly
than a diesel, yet just as dynamic and highly efficient.
Contents
4
Omnibus
Market & Branches
Mobility Worldwide
10-13 Long-distance
Engine for the bus industry?
14-15 Tourismo as a touring bus
Born for long distances
16-17 Busworld Kortrijk
exhibition
See the sights with the star
18-19 Public transport on
demand
Line sprinters to order
20-23 Latin American bus market
Best foundation for more
mobility
24-25 Customer portrait
Nobina Group
Perfect fleet management
Discoveries
Spotlights
Impressum
26-27 Bus Depot Management
Factory service reduces
costs
28-35 People who set standards
The keepers of the treasure
36-38 Edwards Coaches
„Croeso i de Gymru“
(Welcome to South Wales)
Contents
5
Omnibus
39
Drivers‘ Club 3.0
Tremendous response for
the Citaro in Australia
40
Intouro now even safer
A „4-star bus“ for the
German Football Museum
The Citaro NGT combining cleanliness and
economy on the highest level.
Top theme
Citaro NGT:
Mercedes-Benz
steps on it
Curtain up for the Citaro NGT: With its new high-tech gas engine, the
city bus is now even more environmentally friendly than a diesel, yet
just as dynamic and highly efficient.
Exhaust emissions reduced again and a quieter engine, long maintenance intervals
and a lower vehicle weight – the new gas-engined Citaro NGT can do anything a
state-of-the-art city bus needs to do. The Citaro NGT is not a city bus for the gallery,
but for genuine practitioners: it is as dynamic as a diesel, holds more passengers
than before, has a greater range and is only rarely seen in the workshop. In other
words: the Citaro NGT combines cleanliness and economy on the very highest level.
One key feature of the Citaro NGT is the eye-catching cover on the roof, which
conceals the newly-developed gas bottles for the Citaro NGT. They are made of a
high-tech material, a composite with a synthetic core, a carbon fibre cover and –
new – an additional fibreglass coil. It‘s light, and yet highly stable.
The volume of the individual gas bottles has been increased by around 20 percent
to 227 litres. So to cover the same range, the new Citaro NGT needs one gas bottle
less than its predecessor - which noticeably saves weight. And if you’re watching the
pounds and the range, the Citaro NGT can be equipped to match its use: the rigid
bus comes as standard with four gas bottles but can be custom-ordered with up to
six; the articulated bus comes standard with seven gas bottles and even an eighth
if desired. Under the bottom line, the Citaro NGT has the range of a diesel bus, and
so requires no special agreements to be included in the fleet. The same applies to
the refuelling: it is at the rear as standard, but on request can be in the usual place
above the wheel arch on the right.
The heart of the Citaro NGT is its gas engine. The newly developed Mercedes-Benz
M 936 G, a charged in-line six cylinder engine of 7.7 litres capacity that is based on
the ever-popular OM 936 diesel engine. Both the performance of 222 kW (302 hp)
Technology & Innovation
6
Top theme
Technology & Innovation
7
Top theme
1 Key identifier of the Citaro NGT: the
cover hood on the roof.
and the maximum torque of 1200 Nm are on the diesel
level. Even more important: drivers will be delighted with
the identical performance development. The Citaro NGT
accelerates away from a bus stop or traffic lights with the
same dynamism as its diesel counterpart. This is due to the
powerful engine and the appropriately configured automatic drive with new switching programmes and a softer
converter by Voith and ZF and the appropriate ratios.
2 The newly-designed gas bottles are
light and yet highly stable.
3 The heart of the Citaro NGT is the new
Mercedes-Benz M 936 G gas engine.
2
1
3
At the same time, the Citaro NGT is undeniably a „Mr.
Clean“. Emissions level Euro VI requires no further
comment, since the gas engine performs well below its
limits. It does this without the customary SCR technology and without particle filters. A three-way catalytic
converter (like that of a petrol engine) is all. The CO2
emissions are well worth a closer look. Well to wheel,
so in the environmental balance from fuel production to
transportation to combustion, the CO2 advantage is up
to ten percent. Using bio natural gas raises this figure to
up to 80 percent in comparison with conventional diesel.
At the same time, the noise level of the Citaro NGT is
again much lower than that of the quiet, smooth-running
OM 936 diesel engine. Subjectively, the noise emission
is even halved – a distinct advantage in busy town and
city centres and on highly frequented routes.
All this is due to the M 936 G gas engine. Both its cylinder
block and the four-valve cylinder head are from the
diesel engine. Charging, charged air supply, ignition and
mixture preparation, as well as the water-cooled exhaust
gas recycling, were newly developed for gas operation,
as was the geometry of the piston cavity. The gas drive
of the externally ignited engine works like the petrol version. The spark plugs with pencil coils are housed where
the injectors for the fuel injection system are in a diesel
engine. As the dimensions of the gas engine (which was
installed upright) are the same as that of the diesel,
installation in the customary tower method in the Citaro
is perfectly straightforward.
So the environmental balance is spot on – as is the
economy. The long maintenance intervals also play their
part: the Citaro NGT only heads for the workshop for new
oil and spark plugs every 60,000 kilometres. So with the
usual sort of mileage, this means there is only one visit a
year. In the development, the engineers also made sure
there was easy access to the gas control on the roof, and
there is a service flap on the side of the cover over the
gas bottles.
The M 936 G weighs about 25 percent less than its
12-litre predecessor. Combined with the light gas bottles
and general weight reduction measures, this downsizing
gives the current Citaro surprisingly favourable results
in the weight balance: with series features, the rigid bus
can carry up to 96 passengers, and the „bendy“ bus a
maximum of 153. An achievement that is otherwise only
matched by diesel buses.
It‘s almost as if some transport companies had been
waiting for the Citaro NGT. As part of a double premiere,
the trade audience was recently able to see its advantages for itself during the French public transport trade
fair “Rencontres national du transport public” in Lyon/
France, shortly before the Kortrijk omnibus trade fair in
Belgium. The first order from France has already been
received: the Cars d‘Orsay company is to receive eight
rigid buses for use in the Île de France region in Paris before the end of the year. The Citaro NGT‘s predecessors
are already in use here. Cars d’Orsay wants to reduce
frequencies with the new coaches. The company has also
received an order from Augsburg in Germany, where the
municipal authority operates an all-gas bus fleet. The first
of the total of 68 Citaro NGT, including 53 articulated buses
plus other options, will be handed over from December.
The new Citaro NGT meets all the requirements of the
transport companies, and combines cleanliness and
economy on the very highest level.
The gas engine works like a modern petrol engine with
a stoichiometric combustion of Lambda=1. This means
that there is just the right amount of air available to burn
the fuel completely. This results in a cleaner combustion
with a high performance and low emissions. This not
only underlines the favourable carbon footprint, but the
NOx emissions are also significantly lower than those
of its predecessor, while fuel consumption is up to
between 15 and 20 percent lower than its predecessor
(the Citaro CNG).
Technology & Innovation
8
Top theme
Technology & Innovation
9
Top theme
Long-distance
Engine for the
bus industry?
The business in long-distance buses is booming. At least in Germany. The number
of passengers has more than quadrupled since the liberalisation of the longdistance market in 2013. Now France also wants to benefit from this trend. But the
competition is tough, and the expectations of the vehicle no less so.
Friedel Knipschild was convinced from
the beginning: „Long-distance bus
travel – that‘s something we could do.“
When the long-distance market opened
up to private bus operators in 2012, the
Market & Branches
10
Long-distance
owner and MD of Hunau-Reisen in Germany‘s Sauerland saw it as an excellent
opportunity to acquire another pillar to
go with the travel business, cruise ship
transfers and local bus transport that
Market & Branches
11
Long-distance
the family company, which was founded
in 1951, already runs. His son Axel, also
an MD, was a little more sceptical. „He
took some convincing,“ says Knipschild.
Today, just two years later, Hunau-Reisen
operates a total of eight coaches on
four long-distance routes between
Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Berlin and
Dresden. Like all MeinFernbus partners,
he benefits from the success of his
long-distance bus lines, but also bears
part of the risk. The 61-year-old wants to
keep the latter to the absolute minimum,
and so from the beginning has focused
on routes where he has been able
to estimate the passenger potential
accurately thanks to his experience in
tourist travel. „We‘ve spent many years
taking tourists to and from Dresden,
and I was fully aware that there was a
tremendous demand for that particular
route. Furthermore, almost all of our lines
go through our home region of the Sauerland, which makes it easy to organise
round trips. And we‘ve been able to
advertise our long-distance routes with
our regional bus passengers.“ Success
has proved him right: thanks to the
numerous passengers travelling parts of
the routes, Knipschild can now report on
„very good loads of up to 72 passengers
per 49-seater coach and route“.
16 million for 2014. And once again this
year, the BDO, the Federal Association of
Coach Operators, is expecting a significant increase to more than 20 million
passengers.
Not everyone got off to such a good
start with long-distance buses on the
German market. Although the growth
rates shot through the ceiling in the
first year and the number of passengers
almost rocketed to the eight-million
mark, the consistently low pricing
meant that renowned competitors such
as Aldi, ADAC and National Express
soon withdrew from the market. Nor
did it take long for the first provider to
file for bankruptcy. And yet the number
of offered long-distance bus lines into
and from Germany increased to more
than 250 in 2014. The German Federal
Statistical Office calculated an increase
in passenger numbers from 8.2 to
Further positive signals are coming from
France, where the industry‘s liberalisation
law introduced by Economic Minister
Emmanuel Macron in the middle of
August is to give the industry more
dynamism. This also affects passenger
transport, previously very strictly regulated, but which is now to be liberalised
and develop in line with the German
example. International bus operators
such as Megabus and Euroline and the
German market leader MeinFernbus/
Flixbus have already announced plans
to expand their long-distance network
to France.
Golden times for the bus industry?
Pragmatics such as Tobias Jungnitsch of
Theo‘s Reisen in Münster have a slightly
different view. The MeinFernbus partner
doesn‘t think that growth alone is a
guarantee of success for the longdistance business. „Above all, we need
to keep an eye on sustainability. It‘s too
early to say how profitable the development of the long-distance bus lines is
going to be for coach companies in the
long-term. We can‘t rest on our laurels
yet.“ And it‘s true - profit margins aren‘t
going to shoot up with low ticket prices
and constant investments in new lines,
and thus in new buses. Plus the wheelchair spaces that will be required by law
on new buses from January 2016 will
mean additional costs for the operators.
So this makes it even more important
that the vehicles are up to the challenges
presented by long-distance operation.
Being used on six or even seven days a
week and covering annual distances of
between 240,000 and 290,000 kilometres requires maximum reliability, low
service and repair expenditure, minimal
downtimes and low overall operating
costs. All things that Martin Verhuven,
managing director long-distance at
Verhuven-Reisen in Xanten on the
Lower Rhine in Germany, can testify to
with the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo in his
fleet. „With only two axles and measuring
13 metres in length, the Tourismo is a
highly economical vehicle that also has
the right price/performance ratio.“
Hunau-Reisen managing director Friedel
Knipschild adds: „Especially with the
features offered by Mercedes-Benz –
such as WLAN, 220V sockets on the
seats, WC with electric hand drier and
four-star seating – the Tourismo M/2
is the perfect long-distance bus.“ And
Father and son: Axel Knipschild (left) and Friedel Knipschild.
(Source: Westfalenpost/Laura Nowicki)
Market & Branches
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Long-distance
Market & Branches
13
Long-distance
although he isn‘t currently planning any
additions to his long-distance offer, he
isn‘t ruling it out. „I am delighted that we
joined the long-distance business in 2013,
and would do it again in a heartbeat.
There‘s still plenty of potential on this
market, in particular because it enables
us to reach a target group that we
haven‘t really addressed as a travel
company: young people under 30. And
after all, they are the bus travellers of
tomorrow.“
Tourismo as a touring bus
Born for long distances
1/2 Travel Star Eco with Softline upholstery –
deluxe seating comfort.
3 Although the classic on-board kitchen of
a coach is not required on a line bus, it will
increase the used value later on. A snack
machine is one alternative for long-distance
lines.
Reliable and robust, highly economical, comfortable and safe –
the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo is the perfect endurance runner for
3
use as a touring bus.
1
2
Geared up for long distances right down the line: the
Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RHD is the ultimate long-distance bus.
This the high-deck touring bus has everything it needs: After
a total of 30,000 buses and more than 10,000 models in the
current series, the Tourismo has reached a very high level of
maturity. At the same time, it is highly economical, comfortable
and safe. Available as two- and three-axle versions, it covers
the entire high-deck range from 12 to 14 metres in length.
Touring buses are veritable marathon runners that cover a
quarter of a million kilometres a year. The heavy-duty
Mercedes-Benz OM 470 motor with a capacity of 10.7 litres
is made for this kind of requirement. One recommendation is
the combination of a performance level of 315 kW (428 hp)
with the fully-automatic eight-gear GO 250-8 PowerShift drive.
This is better for the driver and the power unit; the Tourismo is
economical with low emissions. The Tourismo also scores as a
„mile eater“ with oil changes: it can go up to 120,000 between
them, and the intervals between cleaning the particle filter are
also long.
Market & Branches
14
One level up in the passenger‘s cab, the matching seating is
Travel Star Eco with Softline upholstery. The easy operation
appeals even to inexperienced passengers, while the seating
comfort will delight even experienced long-distance passengers.
Mercedes-Benz recommends extremely hard-wearing velour for
the seat covers. Another tip are headrests in „Composition“,
the new material. It is made from leather fibres, looks and feels
like leather, but is less sensitive and easy-care. A four-star seat
pitch is standard on touring buses, and there is also a middle
seat at the back. Footrests are a standard feature, as are folddown tables on the seat backs. Good to know: even a laptop
won‘t weaken the knees of the sturdy table on the Tourismo.
recommendations provided by disability associations in the
development.
hand drier is available to replace the paper, and a disinfectant
dispenser perfects the level of hygiene.
Entertainment electronics play a key role on a touring bus.
Wi-Fi is obligatory, but not enough in the long term. Each double
seat has a 230-volt plug to provide the power for passengers‘
devices.
There‘s no need to discuss safety with a Mercedes-Benz.
The AEBS emergency braking system on the Tourismo does
more than the law requires it to, as does the Lane Assistant.
To perfect the features, add the tyre pressure control system
or – new – the rain/light sensor to the list. To ensure that the
Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RHD is perfectly prepared for its
challenging existence as an endurance runner.
All passengers are welcome on board a Tourismo. The optional
lift and additional door are available to provide access for
passengers with a disability. The lift is installed in the luggage
compartment behind the front axle. Double seats on the right
and left of the passenger deck can be pushed together to
make room for wheelchairs. A bridge is available to cover
the centre aisle if necessary. Mercedes-Benz was guided by
The „little girls‘ (or boys‘)“ room on a touring bus undergoes
rigorous testing. A special configuration package helps. The
waste and fresh water tanks have both been increased to
150 litres, and flushing has been reduced from five to three
seconds. With a reinforced toilet seat, stainless steel tap,
second paper holder and additional mirror, the toilet on the
Tourismo is ready for the onslaught. On request, an electric
Tourismo as a touring bus
The energy supply to hungry passengers is not quite such a high
priority: the kitchen is cold. Still, it is often ordered, either
with a view to later use or to sell on. The fridge at the rear can
be replaced by a snack machine.
Market & Branches
15
Tourismo as a touring bus
Busworld Kortrijk exhibition
Travego, an innovative minibus and a flexible intercity bus – Mercedes-Benz at the Busworld Kortrijk.
designed for the entire lifetime of the
city bus, and increase safety because
their light isn‘t so tiring for the eyes.
Something else that is new are the
optional folding seats in the area for
special use. Thanks to their larger seats,
they can now be entered in the vehicle‘s
documents as full seats. The folding
seats are available as single or double
seats, and now – new – as mother-andchild seats.
The Gothic town hall, medieval towers,
the Beginenhof with 40 Baroque
houses – there is plenty to see in the
little Belgian town of Kortrijk. Kortrijk
and its picturesque centre are close
to the French border, not far from the
North Sea coast, so it‘s not exactly
central. But that hasn‘t prevented more
than 30,000 visitors from making their
way there every two years in October
for this biennial event. That‘s when
Kortrijkj‘s main attraction is the Busworld,
the world‘s biggest bus and coach
exhibition. The omnibus world meets on
An old town like Kortrijk, with narrow
roads and lanes, routes with low passenger frequency or quieter load times
– all these make up the domain of the
minibuses with the star. The displayed
Sprinter City 65 demonstrated all the
familiar advantages, such as the lowfloor platform between the axles, and
surprised visitors with its comprehensive
entertainment electronics. Passengers
receive a freely chosen range of information via the passenger information
system with TFT screen. So the line
operator becomes a programme maker.
If passengers want to choose their own
See the sights with the star
The world première of the Citaro NGT, the 10,000th Tourismo of the latest generation and the 10,000th
the Xpo exhibition site in the south-east
of the town.
There was plenty to see there in autumn,
especially in Hall Five. Mercedes-Benz
presented a representative cross-section
of its programme with countless innovations, from urban buses to coaches,
from maxi to mini, flanked by partners
OMNIplus, BusStore, FleetBoard and
Daimler Financial Services – a complete,
and completely successful, appearance.
The highlight was the world première
of the Citaro NGT (see also page 6 of
this issue) with its innovative natural
gas engine. Low emissions, quiet in
operation, light in weight and maximum
efficiency – the Citaro NGT and the
Mercedes-Benz M 936 G engine, which
was displayed separately, attracted
visitors like beacons.
The displayed Citaro NGT looked back
through special „eyes“: the best-selling
city bus is now also optionally available
with LED headlights. These headlights
lower the energy consumption, are
programme, they have the benefit of onboard Wi-Fi and plenty of USB connections for smartphones and tablets.
A version of the overland sales hit
Intouro M for France appeals in a completely different way. Fifty-five seats over
12.6 metres are the secret, especially
with this flexibility: swivelling double
seat beside the two-wing middle door, a
lift for passengers with limited mobility,
and two fold-down double seats on the
area for special use. Plus various other
comfort features, such as Travel Star Eco
coach seating with adjustable backrests,
double glazing, air conditioning and
spacious luggage racks – even on long
journeys, passengers will be very happy!
The Tourismo RHD is practically made
for long journeys. Especially, as was
demonstrated in Kortrijk, as a longdistance bus. Visitors were able to try
the new comfort headrests for the first
time. They pull out by 85 mm, and the
fold-down „ears“ comfortably support
the head even when the user is having
a snooze. The bus on display was the
1
2
1 Compact bus with comprehensive
entertainment electronics: Mercedes-Benz
Sprinter City 65 with passenger information system, WLAN and USB connections
on board.
2 Accelerate with the Mercedes-Benz
Citaro NGT: world premiere for the clean,
quite, economical and strong urban bus
with a natural gas engine.
Market & Branches
16
Busworld Kortrijk exhibition
Market & Branches
17
Busworld Kortrijk exhibition
10,000th in the current series – since
its première in the autumn of 2006, the
Mercedes-Benz Tourismo has become
the best-selling coach in Europe. The
unfussy, highly economical Tourismo
is the backbone for coach travel all
over Europe. As a high-decker coach,
high-floor bus or club bus, it covers all
the usual requirements – and that‘s how
you become a best-seller.
The Travego also celebrated a remarkable
anniversary in Kortrijk – 10,000 units
since it was first presented. Constantly
developed, the Travego is state-ofthe-art in technology and safety. The
high-deck coach is constantly setting
new standards, and for many companies
is the figurehead for exclusive travel –
like the displayed Travego M with Active
Brake Assist. This high-decker, in an
azure blue metallic finish and with an
extremely tasteful interior, was also one
of the sights of Kortrijk.
2
1 Fabrice Marcon, head of the
Alcis Group.
2 Low-level two-wing doors that
are also suitable for the disabled
make it easier to get on and off.
1
Public transport on demand
Line sprinters to order
Up to 20 stops an hour and 600 kilometres a day: for ten years, Alcis has been using the
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City and Sprinter Transfer to operate its on-demand public transport service
in and around Toulouse. High levels of reliability distinguish both the vehicles and the operator.
More and more people are moving into the centres of large
cities. This leads to changes in public transport services.
While mobility networks in the inner city areas experience
continuous improvements, public transport in suburbs and
rural areas becomes sparser. Nevertheless, this development
is not unstoppable. Ten years ago, the residents of Toulouse
voted to halt the erosion of transport timetables.
The pioneer behind this demand-driven public transport service
in France is the Toulouse-based bus and travel company Alcis.
Its ‘Alcis TAD’ system complements the classic bus lines and
covers a radius of up to 20 kilometres in the suburbs and
outskirts of the city, which is home to 450,000 inhabitants.
Passengers simply book the transport two hours beforehand by
telephone or Internet. The bus then takes them to their desired
stop, for exactly the same price as the conventional city bus.
With the TAD system (Transport à la demande, or ‘On-demand
transport’ in English), the city in the south-west of France initiated a service to retain transport provisions on endangered
routes, including during times of low demand and in low-traffic
areas, such as the Midi-Pyrénées region.
Market & Branches
‘We have adjusted our transport services to meet demand,
thus solving a problem that exists in many metropolitan areas.
Outside of rush hours, many vehicles are underused, which
makes classic bus lines very expensive,’ explains Fabrice
Marcon, President of the Alcis Group. ‘The TAD system offers
18
Public transport on demand
an effective mobility solution that increases the number of bus stops. After all, our minibuses not only enable
economical use during times of low demand, but also serve areas that are difficult to access for large
vehicles during peak times.’
The TAD fleet consists of 40 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City 35 and Sprinter Transfer 45 vehicles, all of which
are equipped with radio, GPS and geolocation. With its two low-floor double doors with disabled access,
the Sprinter City makes light work of intensive stop-and-go urban transport. Meanwhile, the larger Sprinter
Transfer models take passengers to the partly rural outskirts.
Like the conventional bus lines, the TAD services start every day at 5 a.m. and end at 1 a.m. – sometimes
after having clocked up 600 kilometres. After such a long day, the doors of a minibus have opened between
12 and 20 times per hour. With 180 stops located at an average distance of 300 metres apart, the network
can certainly be described as dense. It is also connected with larger train stations and tram terminals via
central intersections, or ‘hubs’.
‘With the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models, we have finally found a minibus capable of offering our service on
demand,’ states Fabrice Marcon. ‘Both models are more comfortable than comparable competitors. They
also have fewer technical problems, which in turn reduces maintenance costs. We are extremely satisfied.’
Flexible, punctual and with the usual high quality – for the residents of Toulouse, the popular vote was
definitely worth it. And through its collaboration with the public transport operators, Alcis has also proven
that providing optimal coverage of the region, schedule alignment with existing transport timetables and
top reliability needn’t lead to excessive costs. This is a concept that certainly belongs in the textbook for
public transport of the future. Where timetables are adapted to the citizens, and not the other way around.
Market & Branches
19
Public transport on demand
Latin American bus market
Whether hill farmers in the Andes or office workers in Bogotá, for most of the slightly less
than 500 million people in Latin America, buses are the key to mobility. From Cuba in the
north to Chile in the south, bus chassis by Mercedes-Benz are among the most popular
vehicle bases for bus and coach bodies – from the robust front-engined minibus to the
modern 23-metre articulated bus for BRT systems.
Best foundation
for more mobility
Mobility Worldwide
20
Latin American bus market
The location: Bogotá, Columbia – and a sight that will
make every bus fan‘s pulse race: almost every minute,
bright red articulated buses travel rapidly along two
specially closed off bus lanes, past kilometres-long
traffic jams. Not just on one line but on twelve, and
not for just a few kilometres but for more than 100.
Carrying around 1.5 million passengers every day, the
TransMilenio public transport network in the vast city
in the northern Andes is one of the biggest bus rapid
transport (BRT) systems in the world. And more than
one-third of the red buses have the Mercedes star.
Mobility Worldwide
21
Latin American bus market
In March 2015, 40 articulated buses with superstructures by Busscar de Colombia went
into operation in Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
in the Ecuadorian capital Quito. Situated at an altitude of
2800 metres, with countless inclines and slopes and blessed
with a large number of passengers, the BRT system there
places tremendous demands on the performance, safety and
strength of the bus chassis.
As the biggest bus manufacturer and the market leader in
Latin America, Daimler Buses is also investing in the further
development of its production capacities. As recently as June
2015, a new works opened its doors in Funza near Bogotá in
Colombia, and according to the plans, 4000 units are to roll
off the conveyors here every year. Daimler Buses will be producing six different chassis models with BlueTec 5 technology
in the new Colombian works. They will form the solid base
for the most diverse minibuses and urban buses, for intercity
buses and coaches – and an environmentally friendly, safe
and reliable base for more mobility for millions of people in
Latin America.
BRT systems are also absolutely on trend in the public transport systems in other mega cities of Latin America. And it‘s
no coincidence that Mercedes-Benz has set up a team of staff
to provide the transport operators with expert advice in the
planning and implementation of BRT systems.
The bus and transport company Movil Tours of Lima combines 20 destinations all over Peru every day.
Scene change: Panamericana to the south of Lima, Peru –
passengers have made themselves at home in the comfortable
leather armchairs on this orange and white, 14-metre
high-decker coach. The 3-axle vehicle glides smoothly along
the legendary North-South connection, here in the form of a
three-lane highway next to the coast. The long-distance coach
is en route to Cusco, around 1100 kilometres away, and once
the Inca capital. It is one of the vehicles on the 360-vehicle
fleet of the Movil Tours bus and transport company of Lima,
which provides daily links to 29 destinations all over Peru on
comfortably appointed long-distance coaches. The racy chassis
by the Brazilian body builder also conceals vehicle technology
by Mercedes-Benz. Only recently, Movil Tours ordered a
further 30 new coaches with Mercedes chassis.
more than 17,000 vehicles and thus more than half the world’s
annual bus production, the bus manufacturer sells more than
half the buses in the 23 countries between the Caribbean and
the Andes, the Amazon and Tierra del Fuego.
And as varied as the landscapes and climate zones of the
South American continent are, so too are its buses: minibuses,
midibuses and city buses with the engine in the front are seen
as frequently here as modern coaches with reclining seats that
can easily hold their own against any airline‘s Business Class.
And whereas the Euro 2 motors in buses in Honduras are still
state of the art, Chile requires all new registrations to have
modern, environmentally friendly Euro 5 standard engines.
Despite all the variety, though, one thing all these buses have
in common is the construction of the chassis. Traditionally,
vehicle manufacturers and regional chassis builders share
the added value in Latin America. This not only creates jobs
in the area, but also facilitates extremely flexible adjustments
of the bus body to the often very special requirements of the
individual bus operators.
And the Peruvians are not alone. The chassis with the star –
whether minibus, urban bus or coach, Euro 2, Euro 3 or Euro 5
drive – are in demand all over Latin America. In many countries
such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Paraguay and Peru,
Daimler Buses is by far the market leader and, with five production locations all over the world, also the biggest chassis
producer in this region. Despite some unsteadiness in the
economic development of these countries and the corresponding fluctuations in sales figures, Latin America is of tremendous importance to the Daimler company‘s bus division. With
Mobility Worldwide
Most recently, the O 500 MA chassis by Mercedes-Benz had a
particularly warm reception. In March, 40 articulated buses of
this type with Busscar de Colombia bodies went into operation
22
Latin American bus market
Turbus, Chile
By bus to the mine
1700 buses, 8000 staff – the Turbus bus company, founded in
1948, is today one of the biggest bus companies in Chile.
Turbus‘s long-distance lines provide regular connections from
and to 174 destinations all over Chile, from Arica in the north
to Puerto Montt in the south. Between them lie some 3000
kilometres. The figures clearly reveal just how important bus
transport is for the Chileans: every year, 29 million passengers
travel on Turbus‘s buses.
The Turbus bus company, founded in 1948, is today one of the biggest
companies in the whole of Chile.
The company also has two other divisions apart from longdistance traffic: freight transportation and „industry“. By
„industry“, Turbus means passengers transportation on behalf of
major industrial companies, and in particular mine operators.
Turbus operates this division under the „Viggo“ brand.
the north of Chile. Copper is mined both in opencast mines and
underground. Due to the tremendous distances between the
sites and the residential areas and the vast areas of the mines,
the mine operators need buses to get their workforces to
work and home again and to transport them around the mines
themselves. Every day, Turbus operates around 250 buses –
90 percent of them on Mercedes-Benz chassis – for more than
35 industry and mining customers.
Chile is the world‘s biggest producer of copper. The main copper
deposits, covering several thousand square kilometres, are in
Mobility Worldwide
23
Latin American bus market
Swebus, Sweden‘s biggest
long-distance provider, is
part of the Nobina Group.
The Nobina Group is the
biggest bus transport operator
in Scandinavia. It has its own
subsidiary that manages the
entire bus fleet, and knows
Customer portrait Nobina Group
exactly to the cent how much the
total operating costs are for each
Perfect fleet
management
vehicle – and more and more,
makes sure they are
Mercedes-Benz buses.
Mobility Worldwide
24
Customer portrait Nobina Group
Ever travelled by bus in Stockholm? Or
in Gothenburg, Helsinki, Copenhagen,
Oslo or Tromsø? Chances are it will have
been on a Nobina bus. The company
with subsidiaries in Sweden, Finland,
Norway and Denmark is the biggest
bus transport operator in Scandinavia.
Urban transport in all the northern
metropolises is as much a part of its
services as regional and school services.
And Swebus, Sweden‘s biggest longdistance provider, also belongs to the
Nobina Group. The well-known Stockholm-based company manages more
than 100 public passenger transportation commissions. Every day, the 3629
Nobina buses transport more than a
million passengers.
But Nobina boss Ragnar Norbäck isn‘t
only interested in size. Profitability, quality and sustainability are words like he
likes to use when talking about the company‘s goals. „We don‘t just see ourselves as a bus operator, we are rather
interested in managing public contracts
as well as possible,“ he explains.
One particular current trend goes in
Nobina‘s favour: whereas only a few
years ago, the number of buses used,
operating hours and kilometres driven
were the major factors considered when
accounting for the transportation service,
today more and more commissions
also include a proportion of incentives.
Remuneration for the transportation
services is based either entirely or partly
on the number of passengers carried,
the quality of transportation, or other
non-kilometre-based services. This
means the operator bears part of the
risk, but also has the opportunity to make
public transport more attractive, more
sustainable and more profitable in his
field of activity. „Service quality is becoming more important. We have embraced
this trend, and organised our operations
accordingly,“ explains Norbäck.
One particular measure that is intended
to make operations more efficient, to offer
better quality and to optimise costs was
the foundation of its own subsidiary to
manage and organise the entire bus
fleet. Nobina Fleet not only purchases
all its vehicles centrally and leases
them to its branches, but it also runs its
own workshops and monitors the fuel
consumption, repair and maintenance
costs for every single bus. „We use
various IT systems that help us to analyse the costs for every single bus and
run,“ explains Ingrid Håkanson, Nobina
Fleet MD. „We can put the figures on
the difference between low-floor and
low-entry buses just as easily as the
efficiency of buses with Euro 6 engines
over older models.“
With a fleet of more than 3600 buses
consisting of city buses that cover between 60,000 and 80,000, and Express
buses that travel up to 200,000 km,
Mobility Worldwide
25
Customer portrait Nobina Group
even small measures add up to make
impressive figures. So the right specification for use is already an important
factor in future operating costs. Unlike
other operators, though, Nobina can
better combine purchases of new buses
and existing buses from other contracts
more efficiently, which enables it to
optimise the cost structure. Increased
flexibility has also been established by
Mercedes-Benz Finans Sweden/Denmark (MBF SveDan). Although Daimler’s
captive financing brand is not established in Finland nor Norway, MBF SveDan
has set-up a cross border solution for
these two countries. By that, Nobina
benefits from a package solution from
EvoBus together with MBF in all 4 Scandinavian countries and the established
credit line can be used with complete
flexibility by Nobina between the 4
countries.
Lower total costs of ownership (TCO)
are the confirmation for the fleet
professionals of the Nobina Fleet that
the approximately 190 Mercedes-Benz
buses currently in use in various Nobina
operations are the right choice. The
portfolio is well mixed, and includes
low-floor or low-entry Citaros for city
traffic, Intouro high-floor buses for
school traffic and Tourismo coaches for
the long distance travels by Expressbus
subsidiary Swebus. „The support our
workshops receive from Mercedes-Benz
Service is also excellent,“ confirms
Ingrid Håkanson. So it‘s no coincidence
that the buses with the star are becoming increasingly popular at Nobina. Just
have a look for them next time you
happen to board a bus in Stockholm or
in Gothenburg, Helsinki, Copenhagen,
Oslo or Tromsø.
1
Bus Depot Management
Factoryservice
reduces
costs
1 Bus Depot Management – another good
idea by the service
brand OMNIplus.
Optimise fleet park, reduce service costs – now you can,
with Bus Depot Management by OMNIplus.
No one services or repairs buses better than the manufacturer.
That is why more and more operators in Europe are turning
to Bus Depot Management, a brilliant idea by OMNIplus. The
service brand provides all the support for entire fleets of
vehicles in a multi-stage model. This can include servicing and
repairs, but also the preparation of vehicles with refuelling and
washing. Other services such as breakdown and tyre service,
accident and glass repairs and the service for checkout and
information services are also included in Bus Depot Management. Benefit: Reduces costs, and the operator can focus on
the scheduled use of the buses.
buses, combined with a service contract. As part of Bus Depot
Management, OMNIplus took on both the workshop and the
warehouse. There are now six service technicians working
for the new fleet, while the management staff are provided by
OMNIplus. The services include maintenance, repairs, tyres
and a breakdown service. The workshop even carries out services and repairs on 17 buses belonging to a competitor that
are also included in the fleet.
The model for operator ATM in Milan is somewhat different.
Here, OMNIplus operates around 100 Citaro at two ATM
depots, carrying out the services and repairs. The mixed fleet
means that OMNIplus has no complete workshops, but takes
over areas at the depots and carries stocks of spare parts.
The town of Utrecht in Holland demonstrates how Bus Depot
Management works. Operator Qbuzz won a tender, after
which it ordered 138 Mercedes-Benz Citaro and Citaro G
Service
26
Bus Depot Management
2/3 An efficient service
guarantees shrinking
maintenance and repair
costs to make sure your
fleet is always in peak
performance.
2
4
3
4 Spares supplies based
on requirements:
guaranteeing quality
with top-quality original
spare parts.
In Milan and Utrecht, a depot technician is the interface to the
operator, ensuring that there is daily contact. All vehicle date
and facts are documented both in its own IT system and in the
customer‘s.
condition, fuel consumption is also lower. Vehicles and service
from a single source guarantee favourable financing, which
also benefits from the higher residual value of the fleet at the
end of the contract.
The benefits speak for themselves: efficient service to the
manufacturer‘s requirements and needs-based stocks of
spare parts reduce the costs for maintenance and repairs.
By the same token, availability is increased and the size of
the fleet can be reduced. As the buses are always in the best
Small wonder, then, that fleet operators from all over Europe
are currently interested in Bus Depot Management.
Service
27
Bus Depot Management
People who set standards
Meeting with Winfried A. Seidel and Jutta Benz at the
Dr. Carl Benz Automobile Museum, formerly the factory
of Carl Benz, inventor of the automobile.
The keepers of
the treasure
Discoveries
28
People who set standards
Discoveries
29
People who set standards
People who set standards
2
1 Classics on parade: Winfried A. Seidel and the many automobile members of his family in the museum. In
the background, a 1927 omnibus.
2 Home again: Jutta Benz and Winfried A. Seidel flanking an original
Benz from the factory in Ladenburg.
3 Cars as art: A wooden steering
wheel and filigree details appeal to
all the observer‘s senses. And you
can see where the term „dashboard“
comes from.
1
3
Winfried A. Seidel walks past a display
cabinet, apparently paying little attention
to it. Then he stops for a moment to
straighten a label before continuing on
his way. The aficionado and devotee of
vintage cars has the keen eye for details
that is needed in this field. We also
happen to be in the automobile museum
that he set up in memory of Dr. Carl
Benz. „My life‘s work,“ he emphasises,
and accuracy is required.
Carl Benz built his second factory here
in Ladenburg, at the gateway to the car
city of Mannheim. Incidentally, fashion
convinced him to sign his signature with
a fine „C“ for his first name, although he
was baptised with a „K“. Dissatisfaction
caused the inventor of the automobile
to leave his original company in 1903,
but he would later return as a member
of its supervisory board. Benz built a
new company in Ladenburg, C. Benz und
Söhne. Winfried A. Seidel, automobile
historian by passion, purchased these
venerable halls over ten years ago,
refurbished them completely with the
assistance of Daimler AG, and transformed
them into an absolute gem. With the focus
on Benz and Mercedes-Benz, of course.
The huge chestnut tree that stands
outside the estate was planted by Bertha
Benz to mark the opening of the factory
in 1906. The company operated out
of these halls for almost 100 years. It
Discoveries
30
People who set standards
might be in the past now, but it lives
on here. For instance in the meeting
room, half a storey above the museum.
At the head of the table is the chair that
Carl Benz used to sit on. The furniture
breathes automobile history; Winfried
Seidel speaks it. He is not only a keen
observer, but also a talented story-teller.
Whether about the museum or every
single one of its exhibits, the stories just
burst out of him, ready to be taken down
in writing. About the Mercedes-Benz
8/38 PS taxi, built in 1927, that was
found, abandoned and forgotten, in a
Stuttgart car showroom. Or the Benz
racing car with the starting number 6,
winner of the Avus opening in 1921.
Or the Mercedes-Benz 170 S Cabriolet
A, discovered in a greenhouse. Or the
300th „Adenauer“ model of 1953 that
turned up in the area of the museum.
To say nothing of the stories about the
stories when people think about the
cars on display. Or remember that their
ancestors drove them, and then look
out the pictures, bringing more stories.
Around 120 of the carefully restored or
preserved classics on two or four wheels
in the museum can still be driven, and
have become friends – or, as Winfried
Seidel puts it, „are part of the family“.
Saloons, convertibles, sports and racing
cars are all part of this large family of
classics. There‘s even an omnibus, a
Mercedes-Benz N1 observation car of
1927. „It‘s ready to roll,“ Seidel found
it on an Internet portal, being offered
by a forwarding agent. Just behind it is
the 2-metre long exhibition model of a
Mercedes-Benz O 6600 H, the legendary
1951 bus with a rear-mounted engine.
And the story of the museum‘s owner is
every bit as interesting as the stories behind the exhibits. There are a few deep
lines on his bearded face, signs of a life
that has been lived to the full. Winfried
Seidel is a classic, just like his cars.
Born in Silesia, he grew up in Bielefeld in
Germany, moved to Mannheim to follow
an early love, and got stuck on historic
vehicles – in the short version. As a
youngster, he once watched a
Mercedes-Benz being trashed by a conDiscoveries
31
People who set standards
crete wrecking ball. This „mental horror“
gave rise to his passion for cars. His
father explained to him that the scrap
metal was required to build new chassis
from it. Seidel was comforted. „After
that, I thought that every proud
Mercedes-Benz contained a piece of
my car.“
Another short version, this time of his
career. Rejected as a trainee automobile
electrician, he qualified as a telecommunications mechanic instead, trained
as an actor. Initiator and organiser of
Veterama, Europe‘s biggest marketplace
for vintage, veteran and classic cars,
seller of rubber profiles for the same,
museum owner. The list could go on:
4 Racy racers: Racing cars from various eras exuding
sport, adventure and passion.
People who set standards
5 A visit to the workshop: Winfried A. Seidel and his
first classic car were „born“ in same year, 1939.
6 The keepers of the treasure: Jutta Benz and Winfried
A. Seidel are preserving Carl Benz‘s legacy.
5
6
4
now in his mid-seventies and still always
on the go, what he doesn‘t know about
classic cars simply isn‘t worth knowing.
„I‘ve always done fabulous things in my
life that I have really enjoyed. And I got
paid for it!“ he says with satisfaction.
His heart lifts as he walks into the workshop in the rear hall. „It‘s not terribly tidy,
but anything else would be a disaster.“
Stacks of tyres all around; car parts,
thick tomes, order books from a former
Mercedes-Benz representation on high
shelves. Tools close by, ready for use.
You can tell from looking at them that
Seidel is happy to get his hands dirty.
His training included a basic course in
metal processing, six weeks with former
bicycle, sewing machine and automobile
manufacturer Dürkopp; he can file and
grind, and deal with anything electrical.
Later on, in Mannheim he also learnt
how to weld. His first classic, an Adler
Trumpf Junior of 1939, is at the back of
the workshop. „That‘s what started it
all,“ he says. He discovered the car at
the end of 1969 as he happened to pass
it, in a field, covered in snow and with a
broken soft top. The two are connected
by the year as well as this story.
Discoveries
32
People who set standards
Seidel‘s dream car with the star is the
300 SL with gull wings, „the loveliest
car ever built“. He also has a thing for
the legendary SSK sports cars. And he
is fascinated by the almost-forgotten
rear-engined Mercedes-Benz, and has
two of them in the museum. His current
fleet consists of various models from
the Smart to the Vito. As well as a series
W 124 Cabriolet, „the only new car I‘ve
ever bought“. It was built in 1992.
„But the main exhibit is the factory,“ he
emphasises, and talks about the 10,000
tiles that had to be replaced during the
restoration. C. Benz und Söhne – and
Winfried A. Seidel, who sought and
maintains contact with the Benz family.
was known as the ‚Kleenze vom Benze‘“,
she says in the local dialect – a famous
name can be a burden for children.
Today, the Benz family is Jutta Benz, the
last member to bear the family name.
The factory is not only a home for cars
– the only two surviving examples are
here – but it is also her home. „I grew
up here,“ she says, with a sweep of her
arm, and talks of how she used to sit at
a typewriter in the office or play in the
warehouse. She lived in what is known
as the „Wohnturm“, the family‘s raised
house that is right next to the factory. „I
Today, Jutta Benz is proud of her name;
she is cast in the mould of the family‘s
line of strong and confident women
that started with her great-grandmother
Bertha Benz, the woman who once gave
her husband Carl Benz the money for
his developments. It was she who, with
her sons, made the first long-distance
journey in the Model 3 – for a long time,
it was on loan to the Dr. Carl Benz Museum
from London‘s Science Museum – from
Discoveries
33
People who set standards
Mannheim to Pforzheim in 1888.
„It was her first and only car journey,“
reports Jutta Benz, who is now the brand
ambassador for Mercedes-Benz.
Like her great-grandfather, she focuses
on mobility rather than vehicle technology. It‘s no coincidence that Carl Benz
invented the omnibus after the car.
„He was a bus manufacturer at heart,“
explains his great-granddaughter. Which
goes with one of the stories that only
Jutta Benz can tell. Her great-grandfather used to like to walk from the
family‘s villa to the factory. One day, two
People who set standards
„But I like the freedom
a car gives me“
Jutta Benz
7
8
cars passed him, each one occupied only
by a chauffeur and a single passenger.
To which he commented: „If I had known
that only two people would be sitting in
my invention, I would have thrown them
into the Neckar River.“
Jutta Benz is the keeper of her family‘s
history, her great-grandparents‘ energy
and their spirit of discovery, the entrepreneurial spirit. „I have my story, my
history; I am a Benz.“ Jutta Benz talks
about this to the apprentices in the
Daimler Group’s factories. She still
remembers the stories her grandfather
Eugen Benz and his brother Richard told
her, the same men who once accompanied and supported Bertha Benz on
her historic journey. „Du schaffsch beim
Benz [you work at Benz],“ as it is still
said in the Mannheim dialect today.
Jutta Benz does not know everything
there is to know about cars; the retired
Discoveries
34
People who set standards
history and French teacher is more interested in the environment and animal
welfare. „But I like the freedom a car
gives me,“ she says, and praises her ‚C‘
class that will get her from Mannheim
to Brittany on a single tank of petrol.
Everything reminds us of Bertha Benz. In
1943, her great-grandmother wrote that
Jutta would one day be „a very clever
young lady“ – and who would argue with
her?
Automuseum Dr. Carl Benz
Ilvesheimer Straße 26
68526 Ladenburg
Tel. +49 (0) 62 03/18 17 86
7 At the sign of the star: Mercedes-Benz
and its predecessors cast a spell on Winfried Seidel at an early age.
8 Automobile museum in the former
automobile factory: Jutta Benz grew up
here, while for Winfried A. Seidel it is the
completion of his life‘s work.
www.automuseum-dr-carl-benz.de
Open on Wednesdays, Saturdays,
Sundays and public holidays
from 14:00 until 18:00.
Coach trips welcome, groups by agreement
outside normal opening times as well.
Discoveries
35
People who set standards
South Wales offers travel groups gently rolling hills, impressive castles and a
fabulous coastline, as well as plenty to delight the culture-lovers and gourmets.
Bus company owner Jason Edwards of Llantwit Fardre near Cardiff shares his
secret tips for a visit to his home with us.
Edwards Coaches
„Croeso i de Gymru“
(Welcome to South Wales)
A day is nowhere near enough, and even
a week would be cutting it fine. „Even
within just an hour‘s drive of Cardiff,
there is more for a travel group to see
than they could cope with in ten days,“
he says. The commercial director of
Edwards Coaches should know. The family company has been based near the
Welsh capital since 1925. Every year,
more than 80,000 passengers travel on
the light blue Edwards coaches.
man), a visit to Cardiff Castle is a must.
„Apart from its historical significance, it
is simply impressive,“ he explains. The
history of the castle that stands today
goes back to Roman times. Signs of the
Norman settlement can be seen on a
guided tour, as well as fabulously decorated chambers from the Victorian era.
Edwards‘ tip: the Welsh banquet with
medieval music and actors in traditional
Welsh costumes.
So what would travel pro Jason Edwards
suggest for anyone visiting his home?
Enterprising Jason took us on one of
the ten new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo
triple-axle coaches that have been
added to the Edwards Coaches fleet on
a brilliant combination of history, culture
and culinary delights.
Modern: Wales Millennium Centre
The contrast between Cardiff Castle
and Jason‘s next recommendation
couldn‘t be greater: a visit to the Wales
Millennium Centre. This modern building
is home to one of the island‘s loveliest
concert halls, with seating for 1900 people, various events rooms, exhibitions,
cafés, bars and restaurants. Britain‘s
leading orchestras perform here regularly; there are musicals and operas,
theatre and comedy, courses for adults
and children – and highly entertaining
History: Cardiff Castle
Jason states quite frankly that our first
stop is most definitely not a secret tip.
However, for the true Welshman (or wo-
Discoveries
36
Edwards Coaches
guided tours of one of the country‘s
most successful cultural sites.
1
Edwards Coaches regularly brings
visitors here, but the company also
supports the Millennium Centre as a
sponsor. The consistent continuation of
its corporate policy, in Jason‘s opinion:
„Our business is all about partnerships
and relationships – with customers,
partners, suppliers and our colleagues.
As a company, we benefit from good
relationships. But they don‘t happen by
themselves.“
He also sees parallels in the association
between Mercedes-Benz and Edwards
Coaches. „We have spent generations
building up a brand, and every day we
work hard at filling this brand with life,“
he explains. „Quality, service and safety
– these are the important set screws
that make sure our customers are satisfied. With their above-average series
features and the first-class service
3
1 A visit to Cardiff Castle is an
absolute must.
2 Wales Millennium Center - one of the
loveliest concert halls on the island.
2
3 Experiencing bygone days up close - the
St Fagans National History Museum.
network, Mercedes-Benz buses go well
with our claim and our corporate philosophy.“ Over the coming years, Jason
Edwards plans to change his entire fleet
of 30 coaches over to Mercedes-Benz
Tourismo.
Experience: St Fagans National
History Museum
Next, Jason Edwards takes us to a
Welsh jewel less than 30 minutes from
Cardiff: the museum village of St Fagans. Admission is free, and visitors can
experience life as it used to be in Wales
up close and hands-on. „We regularly
bring groups to St Fagans, but I also
often come with my children,“ says the
44-year-old father. Since 1948, and with
the help of numerous volunteers, the
museum has re-erected more than 40
Discoveries
37
Edwards Coaches
buildings and workshops from various
locations in Wales. And it‘s not just for
looking: visitors can also smell, taste,
touch and join in. A farm, blacksmith‘s
forge, baker‘s and other traditional
crafts are open every day; there are
courses that visitors can take, and they
can buy the freshly-baked bread, fruit
and vegetables grown on the grounds.
Drivers‘ Club 3.0
The online platform is being given a complete
renewal in time for the 30th anniversary of the
Mercedes-Benz Drivers‘ Club. The new website is modern and clearly laid out, and offers
drivers greatly extended functionalities for
forum contributions and evaluation options for
images and video. Tried-and-tested functions
such as the download of the current Omnibus
magazine have been retained. Brigitte Hofstätter-Kelchner is responsible for the Drivers‘ Club.
„The aim of the Club is to provide information
and useful tips on travel routes, rest areas and
events. Drivers can also upload images or films,
and exchange ideas and information on various
topics in the forum.“ Other items of interest
include exciting stories involving the bus, and
possibly even descriptions of entire routes.
Brigitte Hofstätter-Kelchner has been looking after the Drivers‘ Club
since 1 April 2015.
Club portrait
Brigitte Hofstätter-Kelchner has been responsible for the Club
since 1 April. The office administrator, has high expectations
of the Club‘s new look. „I want it to be lively, and I need three
things for that to happen: more communication, more activities, and motivated drivers.“
She certainly has the best qualifications for this task. The friendly lady, who was born and raised in Baden in Germany, has
worked in sales for 25 years, 15 of them with Mercedes-Benz.
4
4 Bus company operator Jason Edwards
of Llantwit Fardre near Cardiff.
5
6
5 The Custom House in Penarth
Marina to the south of Cardiff Bay.
6 Meals are chosen from the wellstocked counter.
Tremendous response for
the Citaro in Australia
Mercedes-Benz offers a tremendous solution for
inner-city traffic in the Citaro.
Culinary delights: Custom House
The ingredients that chef Trefor Jones
uses for guests at the Custom House in
Penarth Marina to the south of Cardiff
Bay are also fresh every day. Jason
Edwards recommends the restaurant
run by his friend Nataniel „Tanny“
Martinez not only for its delicious fish
and seafood, but the steaks and poultry
such as duck and grouse also melt in
the mouth. For the uninitiated: meals
are not ordered at the table, but chosen
at the richly-stocked counter. Jason
Edwards recommends one of the more
than 800 wines with your meal. „Tanny
buys most of them from the growers.“
There is a large car park- with parking
for coaches as well - right outside
the door. And he knows from bitter
experience that it is difficult to get a
table without booking.
„or maybe a tour of our rugby stadium,
the Millennium Stadium? Or perhaps
a visit to the BBC recording studios
where the cult series ‚Dr. Who‘ is filmed?
Or perhaps …,“ - well, you get the
picture. Quite obviously, you do need to
allow yourself a little time for a visit to
South Wales.
The Citaro attracted much attention at the BusVic
Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo in Melbourne
in July 2015. Many of the visitors, including some of
the most influential decision-makers and influencers
in the Australian omnibus industry, were seeing the
Citaro for the first time.
Correction to the article “The new Citaro G – an engine makes room for
more passengers”, issue 02/2015.
The surprising media presence and positive response
resulted in a tremendous increase in demand. The
Citaro‘s first test run in Australia by a large fleet operator is planned for the fourth quarter of 2015.
Model
Citaro G, OM 470
Citaro G, OM 936 h
Total capacity
3-door, 150 people
3-door, 163 people
4-door, 152 people
4-door, 163 people
3-door, 106 people
3-door, 117 people
4-door, 115 people
4-door, 121 people
3-door, 44 people
3-door, 46 people
4-door, 37 people
4-door, 42 people
Standing places
Seats
After your meal, he suggests a walk
across the nearby Cardiff Bay Barrage,
Table of capacities of the Citaro G, standard version.
Discoveries
38
Edwards Coaches
Spotlights
39
News
Intouro now even safer
Imprint:
Mercedes-Benz Omnibus –
The magazine for bus operators and
transport companies.
Published by:
EvoBus GmbH
Mercedes-Benz Omnibusse L 22
D-68301 Mannheim, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)6217 404 319
Fax: +49 (0)6217 405 354
www.mercedes-benz.com
The Intouro is quite rightly described as economical, inexpensive and
flexible. Some operators even call it an economic miracle in the fleet. And
now the Intouro has turned to the issue of safety. With the combination
approval 2/3 as a combined overland and travel bus, the safety package
includes the AEBS (Advanced Emergency Braking System) and the track
assistant (SPA) as standard features. SPA warns the driver by vibrations in
the seat if the omnibus unintentionally leaves its lane. AEBS uses a radar
system to record vehicles ahead and stationery vehicles and, in the event
of the risk of a collision, automatically initiates braking. The standard
AEBS is so advanced that it already meets the second-stage requirements
of legislation that will not become mandatory for another three years.
Responsible on behalf of publisher:
Reiner Hörter (legally responsible for content)
Project management:
Hans-Werner Jungmann
Concept, layout, editing and production:
Newport3 GmbH & Co. KG
Neumann-Reichardt-Straße 27 - 33 (Haus 6)
D-22041 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)40 671 0900
E-mail: [email protected]
A „4-star bus“ for the
German Football Museum
On 25 October 2015, the German
Football Museum, an initiation by the
German Football Association and the
city of Dortmund, is to open its doors
to the public. Germany‘s football history
is explained and shared interactively,
in mutilmedia and by more than 1600
exhibits on a total area of 7700 sqm.
One particular highlight has been
provided by the museum‘s premium
partner Mercedes-Benz. The first form
of transportation on German soil for the
German National Football team following
its return from Rio de Janeiro as the world
champions. Fittingly, it was a flagship of
the Mercedes-Benz omnibuses, the
Travego.
Benedikt Höwedes symbolically
presents the key to Manuel Neukirchner.
Former national player Jens Lehmann, museum director Manuel
Neukirchner and Gerd Hewing, Mercedes-Benz Sales Director West,
pulling the world champions’ bus into the German Football Museum.
Spotlights
40
News
Imprint
41
Omnibus
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