Locally-assembled Mercedes passenger bus models launched

Daimler has launched two locally assembled bus models, boosting Nairobi’s growing clout as a vehicle assembly hub.

The models, Mercedes-Benz 917 and Mercedes-Benz 1730, are made in India with Brazilian built chassis.

“We have so far assembled 10 chassis locally and we intend to assemble 150 more towards the end of the year,” said Daimler Buses head of marketing, sales and customer services Ulrich Bastert in Nairobi yesterday.

Mr Bastert said the compact Mercedes-Benz 917 city bus is tailored for short-distances and has capacity of up to 37 passengers while the more spacious Mercedes-Benz 1730 model is designed for long distance travel and can carry 60 seated passengers.

The short distance buses have a 170 horsepower engine that is designed to cope with Kenya’s high altitude, while the long-haul buses have an output of 300 horsepower.

Daimler has described the models as being safe, reliable and comfortable.

Safety features of the bus chassis include braking systems with ABS, precision steering and good road handling resulting from chassis and suspension systems specifically designed for passenger buses.

“It’s a matter of pride and satisfaction that the buses you see here today set new standards for the safety of passengers not only in Kenya, but across East Africa.

They exceed the specification, laid down by local regulations and meet the safety requirements of Daimler,” said Ian Middleton, DT Dobie managing director.

Majority of buses on Kenyan roads are built on truck chassis, which Daimler says is not ideal for passengers carrying vehicles as hard suspensions and high entry steps limit passenger comfort.

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