The fulfilment of a fifty-three vehicle order is not an every day event, it is exciting, yet demanding. Following receipt of such an order in May 2011, from the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles East Rand, rose to the challenge and pulled out all the stops to get these Sprinter buses ready for their 01 October delivery date.
No stranger to dealing with large Sprinter orders, Morris Maile, Sales Manager of Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles commented; “It was an absolute pleasure sealing this deal. We are a soccer nation and getting fifty-three Sprinter buses ready for our boys, their coaches and the soccer fraternity was the motivating factor”.
“We are confident with the quality of our Sprinter as all safety standards are adhered to with all versions of the extensive model range. The players and SAFA staff who will be utilising these vehicles can rest assured that they are in safe hands,” adds Maile.
All the twenty-two seater Sprinter 518 CDI buses are specified with front electrical windows and mirrors as standard equipment. Convenience features include central locking together with front air conditioning.
As these buses will probably transport luggage a tow-bar is fitted. Drivers and passengers also require their personal storage space, and with the destination board and parcel trays their specific needs are catered for.
Ensuring maximum safety for all vehicle occupants is one of the basic values of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Continuing this tradition, the Sprinter is the safety pacemaker in its class. The Sprinter range consistently passes the stringent SABS regulated rollover tests – SABS 1563 specification – primarily to test the strength of the large passenger vehicle superstructures for roll-over protection.
The Sprinters are also fitted with the latest example of the mandatory roof escape hatch which has to be fitted to all bus conversions. The side-windows include emergency exit points.
“Mercedes-Benz Vans continually shows our commitment towards the importance of active and passive safety, and the importance of safety in people transportation,” said Nicolette Lambrechts, Brand Manager, Mercedes-Benz Vans Division, MBSA.
The Sprinter’s outstanding safety is based partly on measures which reduce the risk of accidents through safe handling, effective braking and intelligent driver assistance systems like ADAPTIVE ESP, and partly on a high-strength passenger safety cell. The Sprinter has a very stiff body structure, to preserve the occupant survival space in the event of accident. The passenger cell is made up of the frame side members, the window pillars and sidewalls, the roof perimeter frame and the roof itself.
The strength of the Sprinter is exemplified by the A and B-pillars, whose internal structure is made of high-tensile steel, in line with internal Mercedes-Benz accident safety requirements. This goes far beyond the statutory safety requirements.
The Sprinter’s many extended and improved restraint systems provide excellent occupant protection. The driver’s seat is fitted with an airbag as standard. The driver’s and co-driver’s seats have pyrotechnic belt tensioners and the rear seats in the passenger compartment are fitted with lapbelts as standard to reduce occupant loads in an impact.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa established a very close working relationship to it’s recommended body-builders during the last number of years.
The highly qualified and recommended partners supply bodies and conversions.
These companies are evaluated by specialists from Daimler AG using a standardised and transparent process, looking closely at aspects such as quality management, development, sales and service.
Companies who successfully come through this evaluation process have their products and production descriptions included on a recommended body-building list, which is made available to every Mercedes-Benz dealer and salesperson, enabling customers to receive the very best advice.
The Sprinter comes standard with a two-year/unlimited km full vehicle warranty. Service intervals are up to 30 000 km on thanks to the ASSYST service system.