The Mercedes-Benz Actros for long-haulage has now gone on sale in Brazil. With the introduction of on-road models in August, Mercedes-Benz is ramping up its activities in Brazil. Back in March, Mercedes-Benz do Brasil announced that it would be increasing the production capacity of its plant in São Bernardo do Campo by 2012 in order to meet the growing demand for commercial vehicles in Brazil.

In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Actros will be manufactured at the Juiz de Fora plant starting next year. As a result, Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ flagship vehicle will be manufactured in the plants at Wörth in Germany and Aksaray in Turkey, as well as in Brazil. The move will enable Mercedes-Benz do Brasil to respond more quickly and flexibly to the growing demand for trucks in Latin America, particularly in the rapidly expanding heavy-duty segment.

“The decision to incorporate the Juiz de Fora plant into our production network for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles ensures that the location will be part of the Daimler family for the long-term and offers the employees good prospects,” says Jürgen Ziegler, President of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. The traditional manufacturing location in São Bernardo do Campo will continue to serve as the center of the production network in the future.

Trucks sales have been booming again in Brazil since the second half of 2009. This development is strengthening Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ position in Brazil, which is the brand’s most important truck market worldwide. In the first six months of the year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks sold 56,300 units worldwide. Of these, 21,700 units were sold by Mercedes-Benz in Brazil, putting it ahead of Germany, Turkey, and France.

According to Ziegler, the development of truck sales is a clear indication of the sustained growth of the Brazilian economy. “The economy has noticeably improved in various areas since the beginning of the year. Examples include the high investment in infrastructure and construction projects, the increased transport volume among wholesalers as a result of the rise in private consumption, and the growth in demand for freight capacity in various segments of the commercial vehicle business,” says Ziegler.

To allow it to respond flexibly and quickly to this sales growth, Mercedes-Benz do Brasil decided in March to increase truck and bus production capacity at its plant in São Bernardo do Campo. The facility is the largest Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle plant outside of Europe, and it manufactures trucks, bus chassis, engines, transmissions, and axles. Brazil’s Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (BNDES) provided a loan of 1.2 billion Brazilian reals (approximately €460 million) for the expansion. The loan enables Mercedes-Benz do Brasil to invest in Brazil’s largest and most modern production facility, which will increase its annual production capacity from 65,000 units today to 75,000 units in 2012. This corresponds to an increase of around 15 percent.

In view of the developments in the company’s core markets in Latin America, and in particular in Brazil as the host country for the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016, medium and long-term growth forecasts for the commercial vehicle business surpass the maximum production capacity of the plant in São Bernardo do Campo. As a result, production of the Actros, and from next year also of the Accelo, will be expanded to in include the facility in Juiz de Fora.

The introduction of the Actros 2546 LS 6×2 and 2646 LS 6×4 has increased Mercedes-Benz do Brasil’s lineup of heavy-duty trucks to 21 models, making the company superbly suited for equipping customers involved in long-haulage shipping, construction, and mining. The Mercedes-Benz Actros, which has been named “Truck of the Year” on many occasions by journalists from more than 20 countries, has been successful on the European market since 1996. The truck, which is now in its third generation, has continuously set new standards with regard to technology, safety, and comfort. In addition, it has been entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most fuel-efficient 40-ton truck. The launch of the Actros in Brazil rounds out the Mercedes-Benz do Brasil product range, which has included the Mercedes-Benz Axor since 2005. Mercedes-Benz do Brasil has sold more than 30,000 Axors to date.

Mercedes-Benz do Brasil is the largest manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz trucks over six tons GVW outside Germany. Since 1956, when the plant in São Bernardo do Campo was founded, the company has produced more than 1.2 million trucks and around 540,000 buses.

Source: Daimler AG