Trucks and Buses for the World: the fascinating global variety of trucks and buses from Daimler
- Heavy-duty engines: more than a million in service worldwide
- E-mobility and automated driving: global cooperation
- Trucks and Buses for the World: six vehicles from three continents
It is an established tradition at the IAA for Daimler to present the diverse global spectrum of its commercial vehicles in its "Trucks and Buses for the World" display at the entrance area to its stand. The group has established a global network with subsidiaries and plants, and in close cooperation with partners. This gives rise to a fascinating kaleidoscope of diverse vehicles, each tailored precisely to the respective markets in their segment.
Heavy-duty engines: more than a million in service worldwide
The heavy-duty engines from Daimler Trucks provide an outstanding example of the global networking of components. These six-cylinder in-line engines cover the full spectrum of customer requirements, spanning a displacement range from 10.7 l to 15.6 l and output levels from 240 kW (326 hp) to 480 kW (652 hp). Production and key components are standardised within the engine generation. At the same time, the engines can be flexibly adapted to the respective customer and market requirements in North America, Europe and Japan.
Detroit Diesel began the series production of the heavy-duty engine in 2007. Shortly before the launch of the new Actros in 2011, production duly started up at the engine plant in Mannheim. This June, the workforce celebrated the millionth six-cylinder in-line engine of this generation to roll off the production line. It is deployed in a whole array of vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz Actros, the Freightliner Cascadia, the FUSO Super Great and in touring coaches from Mercedes-Benz and Setra, making it a true global player - a status that applies to the "global powertrain" from Daimler Trucks as a whole. This term stands both for the integrated powertrain involving the deployment of engines, transmissions and axles worldwide and for the integration of all global plants and relevant functions along the value-added chain.
E-mobility and automated driving: global cooperation
Intercontinental cooperation is also being stepped up in other areas. One example here is the new E-Mobility Group at Daimler Trucks and Buses, which in future will define the cross-brand, cross-divisional strategy for electrical components and complete electric vehicles. It is also evolving a standardised global vehicle architecture. The E-Mobility Group has a global set-up, its employees working within a cross-functional structure at numerous locations in the company's worldwide network, including Portland/USA, Stuttgart/Germany and Kawasaki/Japan. In this way, Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses are consolidating their leading position in this segment: the FUSO eCanter is in series production, the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro will be launched in the course of this year. The Mercedes-Benz eActros is currently beginning a large-scale customer driving trial, and Daimler Trucks North America will be delivering 30 all-electric Freightliner trucks before the year is out. The E-FUSO Vision One offers an insight into the future.
Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses are also expanding their activities in the field of automated trucks and buses. In this connection an innovation centre is under development in Portland/USA which will collaborate closely with the existing development centres for automated driving in Germany and India. Systems for automated driving are developed here in accordance with an overarching technology strategy. To this end, the centres focus on aspects of the development, testing and validation of automated vehicles. The engineers in North America, Europe and Asia work together within a global network.
Trucks and Buses for the World: six vehicles from three continents
Rigid trucks from Japan and India, a semitrailer tractor from China, a special-purpose vehicle and a school bus from the USA, a public service vehicle of German origin from the USA: six vehicles from three continents highlight Daimler Trucks' global set-up.
Auman EST: semitrailer tractor and truck of the year in China
The Chinese Auman brand is based on a joint venture between Daimler AG and the Chinese truck manufacturer Foton. The two companies jointly established the Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive company in 2012. The Foton partner company itself was only founded in the mid-1990s, since when it has evolved into one of the leading automotive manufacturers in China.
The vehicle on show is an EST (Energy Super Truck) heavy-duty semitrailer tractor. It was unveiled as a premium truck in China in the autumn of 2016 and was duly voted Chinese Truck of the Year in 2017. The Auman EST is aimed at logistics companies seeking a reliable and highly efficient long-distance truck. The Auman EST is equipped with intelligent assistance systems, meets high quality standards and covered more than ten million kilometres in tests extending over four years – including research and development driving in Europe. The truck is powered by the Mercedes-Benz OM 457 12.0-litre six-cylinder in-line engine which is well-known in Europe, too.
BharatBenz 1617R: robust rigid truck for the e-commerce segment
BharatBenz is a young member of the Daimler commercial vehicles family which operates as a truck and bus brand for India. Apart from state-of-the-art trucks in the weight categories from nine to 49 tonnes, the comprehensive product range from BharatBenz also includes school buses, crewbuses and tourist buses in the 9-tonne segment and 9- and 16-tonne bus chassis. All vehicles are ideally tailored to the demanding local market conditions and are produced at Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) in Chennai, employing a high proportion of components from Indian suppliers. Vehicles produced at DICV are also available under the FUSO, Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner brands on more than 40 export markets with comparable requirements in Asia, the Near East, Africa and Latin America.
The exhibited BharatBenz 1617R is a two-axle cab-over-engine truck with right-hand drive and a permissible gross weight of 16.2 t. The 12 m long rigid truck with 6700 mm wheelbase is painted in Prussian blue and fitted with a box body. This truck is predestined for distribution haulage involving large-volume and light goods in the booming e-commerce segment. Its 3.9-litre four-cylinder in-line engine is based on a FUSO engine and delivers an output of 125 kW (170 hp). The engine is combined with a six-speed manual transmission based on the Mercedes-Benz G 85-6 which is also well-known in Europe.
Freightliner 114SD: spectacular five-axle truck with concrete pump
The US truck manufacturer has been part of the Daimler group since 1981. The company is based in Portland, Oregon and has production locations in the United States and Mexico. Freightliner is the top-selling truck brand in North America in the heavy weight class 8 from 15 tonnes. Fleet managers and independent companies associate Freightliner with efficient, reliable vehicles, which are used day-in, day-out even in the most gruelling conditions.
The spectacular Freightliner 114SD is a major attraction at the 2018 International Commercial Vehicle Show (IAA): it has five axles, a length of 14 m and weighs a maximum of 39 t. Behind the aluminium "Day Cab" the truck carries an impressive concrete pump with a range of 47 m for operations on large construction sites. Four supports on cantilevers measuring several metres keep the monster truck level when in operation. It is powered by one of the global engines of Daimler Trucks in its North American specification, a Detroit DD13. Depending on version, its output in the Freightliner 114 SD is between 257 kW (350 hp) and 371 kW (505 hp). The truck is available with a variety of transmissions, in this case an Allison automatic torque converter transmission.
Freightliner EconicSD: low entry goes America
In Europe, the Mercedes-Benz Econic with its low-mounted cab is the absolute specialist for inner-city waste disposal and distribution operations. Now the Econic as a Freightliner is embarking on a career overseas, as its attributes such as a convenient low-entry cab, generous window areas with correspondingly good visibility, a bodybuilder-friendly frame and economical operation with a comfortable automatic transmission are also welcome in the metropolitan areas of other continents. The Econic is produced at the Wörth truck plant in Germany, with final assembly including the powertrain carried out by Freightliner in the USA.
The EconicSD on display is a three-axle chassis with a 4200 mm wheelbase, a permissible gross vehicle weight of 28 t and a high cab roof. It is configured for a waste disposal body with rear loading. The Detroit DD8 six-cylinder in-line diesel engine with a displacement of 7.7 litres is derived from the European Mercedes-Benz OM 936, and meets the American EPA 10 emission standard. In this case it has an output of 257 kW (350 hp). Power is transferred by an Allison six-speed automatic torque converter transmission.
FUSO Super Great FU 6x2: heavy-duty rigid truck with global powertrain
As one of the leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles in Asia, Mitsubishi FUSO Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) produces light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses for a diverse range of operating conditions. FUSO trucks are true professionals when it comes to fuel efficiency and robustness. The models also boast outstanding payload and ride comfort. MFTBC also plays an important role at Daimler Trucks as the competence centre for light-duty trucks and state-of-the-art hybrid technology. Daimler AG acquired a 43 percent shareholding in Mitsubishi spin-off Mitsubishi FUSO in 2003. Since 2011, Daimler has held a stake of just under 90 percent. FUSO trucks are manufactured in Japan, and since 2013 they have also been produced in Chennai, India for growth markets.
The FUSO Super Great was unveiled last spring as the brand's flagship. It is on show at IAA Commercial Vehicles as a three-axle, 12.0 m long rigid vehicle with 7220 mm wheelbase, a permissible gross weight of just under 25 t and a long cab. The 6R20 T3 six-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of 10.7 l is based on one of the global engines from Daimler Trucks - the Mercedes-Benz OM 470. It is produced in Mannheim. The variant in the exhibited vehicle delivers an output of 315 kW (428 hp). The G211-12 transmission will also be familiar to experts. It comes from the German transmission factory in Gaggenau. The drive axle is produced in Japan, while depending on the variant concerned the differential originates either from Kassel in Germany or from Daimler's American subsidiary for major assemblies, the Detroit company, based in Redford/Michigan. The FUSO Super Great features cutting-edge assistance systems such as Active Brake Assist 4 and Sideguard Assist for the first time in Japan. Among the other assistance systems on board is the anticipatory cruise control system Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC). A further facility which comes as standard is Truckconnect, the connectivity solution from FUSO, which enables the continuous retrieval of all key vehicle data. This technology centres on the Truck Data Center, which is on board the heavy-duty trucks of the FUSO, Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner brands.
Thomas Built Buses Jouley: school bus with all-electric drive
The yellow buses that take children safely to school in the United States are instantly recognisable. They are a key feature of the extensive product range of light- to medium-duty buses from Thomas Built Buses. This company, founded in 1916, is based in High Point (North Carolina) and is the oldest American bus manufacturer still in operation. Key customers include schools, childcare centres, leisure centres and transport operators. Every bus is custom built. The focus is on vehicles that meet the discerning requirements for safety, reliability and sustainability. Thomas Built Buses sells the innovative vehicles through independent dealers all across North America.
Thomas Built Buses is appearing at the IAA with its first all-electric school bus for small series production. From the beginning of 2019, the "Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus", also known in short as "Jouley", will transport up to 81 children to school in the USA – safely, quietly and with zero local emissions. With a capacity of 160 kWh, its battery allows a range of up to 160 kilometres. Additional battery modules provide for even more range when necessary. In developing the Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus, Thomas Built Buses benefited significantly from Daimler AG's know-how in the field of electric drives.