Mercedes-Benz Trucks reveals made-in-Brazil Actros ahead of 2020 launch

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 14 Oct 2019

Mercedes-Benz Trucks' Brazilian arm, Mercedes-Benz do Brasil has revealed the new Actros truck manufactured in Brazil and customised for Brazilian customers.

The heavy-duty truck uses global technologies and platforms such as the MirrorCam, which replaces the main and wide-angle mirrors and ensures a vast improvement in safety, vehicle handling and aerodynamics. Also, the CV makers says the team in Brazil listened very carefully to their customers and developed market-specific solutions that were then integrated into the Actros.

"Our new Actros from Brazil comes with global Mercedes-Benz DNA and was developed especially for customers in Latin America. When it is launched on the market next year, the Actros will raise the segment of heavy-duty trucks to a new level and set new standards of efficiency, safety and connectivity," said Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. "The timing is perfect: the truck market in Brazil is recovering and we anticipate a significant increase in our truck sales this year. We have always believed in Brazil and continued to invest there throughout the years. And we will continue to do so in the future as well."

600 million euros invested in CV business in Brazil to 2022
Mercedes-Benz do Brasil is investing around 600 million euros in the Brazilian commercial vehicle business to 2022. Most of this investment will go into modernising the product range, as seen in the new Actros. The investment money is also going into digital services and into the two largest production sites in São Bernardo do Campo and Juiz de Fora.

Daimler Trucks says it has posted good sales for its Mercedes-Benz truck brand in Brazil and was able to reach a market share of 30.2 percent (compared with 27.2 percent previously) in the medium and heavy duty segment. With 13,400 vehicles sold (up from 8,400), sales were increased significantly by 59 percent in the first six months compared with the previous year.

The new Actros is expected to set the standard for long-distance haulage in Brazil from 2020 onwards. The flagship from Mercedes-Benz Trucks sees many of the innovations developed with a goal to tangibly advancing drivers, customers and society. With new features like the Multimedia Cockpit, more sophisticated safety systems, and the MirrorCam instead of outside mirrors, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros thus provides the appropriate response to issues such as safety, fuel efficiency and availability.

The Brazilian Actros has a modern Euro V engine working with a transmission system in a combination which is only available on the Brazilian market. The components are optimised as regards consumption efficiency, while at the same time providing robustness, just like the extremely stable yet lightweight, comfortable vehicle suspension developed in Brazil, which is also easy to maintain and repair. The components are therefore well tailored to local requirements.

Together with other measures, the new Actros consumes up to 12 percent less fuel compared with its Brazilian predecessor model. The new driver's cab also contributes to these savings: its aerodynamics were optimised, by amongst other things, new wind deflectors used in combination with local semitrailers. In its dimensions, the cab with its low entry and a comfortable width of 2.5 metres fulfils drivers' demands.

Industry 4.0 to revolutionise truck production in Brazil
A few months ago, Mercedes-Benz do Brasil at the São Bernardo do Campo plant – the facility where the new Actros is manufactured – started up a completely new, modern Industry 4.0 assembly line for truck cabs and connected it with other manufacturing segments, including logistics, bodyshell and paint shop: a special smartphone app gives staff and management access to all relevant data whenever they need it. This includes information on the approximately 60 driverless transport systems and the state-of-the-art electronic screwdrivers which operate with pre-programmed torque settings. The data is connected via Big Data Intelligence – smart processing of large quantities of data – in a Cloud, ensuring quicker response times from employees in the production area. In this way, product quality can be monitored even more effectively and errors prevented or discovered well in advance.

Along the assembly line, solutions such as Augmented Reality and so-called exoskeletons (external skeletons providing a supporting structure for production staff) are used in order to create a more ergonomical, intelligent and safe working environment. Using comparative data from the sales department also helps to regulate the production mix more efficiently and flexibly.

Mercedes-Benz do Brasil intends to roll out the innovative concepts of Industry 4.0 successively to all processes in the production lines for major assemblies (engines, transmissions and axles) and to the production of bus chassis in Sao Bernardo do Campo.