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Dubai, UAE: One hundred and twenty-five years have passed since Mercedes-Benz unveiled the world’s first motorised truck and yet the company’s commitment to market-defining quality and reliability remains as strong today as it ever was.
In what was quickly recognised as a standout moment for the automotive industry, engineer Gottlieb Daimler, one of the two founders of Daimler-Benz AG (the other being Carl Benz), unveiled his invention in 1896. The three-pointed-star is testament of the brand Mercedes-Benz that is the most famous brand of the former Daimler-Benz AG.
A triumph of engineering, the truck known as the Phoenix had a four horsepower strong, two-cylinder engine which linked to the rear axle by a belt. Protected by helical springs, this engine was somewhat sensitive to vibrations (not least because the vehicle ran on hard iron wheels). The driver meanwhile was positioned up front on a bench seat and used a large wheel mounted on a vertical column to steer.
The truck, that would go on to define the global trucking industry was sold weeks later to the British Motor Syndicate, a London-based automobile company, and the rest is history.
To add to what is already a landmark year, it is a quarter of a century since the company honoured the centenary of the Phoenix by launching the pioneering Mercedes-Benz Actros (the first truck of its kind with components entirely controlled by a CAN-BUS system and electronic brake system).
The vehicle, which was specifically intended for long-distance and haulage, is now in its fifth generation and continues to be considered the premium, first choice truck for long-haul, heavy-duty distribution.
Significantly, each new Actros model has brought with it ground-breaking developments in safety, connectivity, driver comfort, optimisation of fuel consumption and profitability. Not only that, the Actros has become well known for debuting engineering world firsts, such as its automatic braking system Active Brake Assist, Sideguard Assist, Predictive Powertrain Control, the revelatory Stop-and-Go system (responsible for regulating the distance between vehicles, even in traffic jams) and the much-celebrated MirrorCam, which replaces traditional exterior mirrors.
To add to this, 75-years have now passed since the invention of the first Unimog, a vehicle that truly encapsulates the art of Mercedes-Benz engineering. Renowned for its reliability and versatility (thanks in no small part to its vast range of applications), the Unimog is a true all-rounder and remains the vehicle of choice for all manner of terrains and daily operational demands, from agriculture to firefighting, off roading to city-specific work.
Although there is much to celebrate in these historic moments, both globally and in the MENA region Mercedes-Benz remain entirely focused on the future and are determined to lead the automotive industry in delivering unwavering quality, safety and reliability for the next 125 years and beyond.
As Olaf Peterson, General Manager Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA FZE commented:
“While we are extremely proud of our history, as ever, we are looking to the future. Our pioneering spirit is part of our DNA and we are very aware of the diverse and changing requirements in this region.
We will continue to remain fully connected with our customers and are steadfast in our commitment to providing them with the best solutions, support, vehicles and service possible, across the board and around the clock.”
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