Daimler Buses will deliver 460 Mercedes-Benz brand coaches to South Africa for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The vehicles were ordered by Autopax Passenger Service Ltd. based in Pretoria — the company is South Africa's largest operator of regular-service long distance coaches.
Delivery of the Mercedes-Benz travel coaches is set to commence in December 2009, with the last of the 460 vehicles to be delivered in late April 2010.
The Mercedes-Benz O 500 RSD is equipped with a fully electronic management engine with 260kW output of power. The vehicles will be fitted with a fully automatic transmission with integrated retarder, which has recently been introduced to the product range. The automatic transmission has a number of driving and safety benefits, as it allows the driver to concentrate on stress-free driving, with the gearbox shifting automatically on demand, and is ideal for inter-city transportation.
Additionally, both the coaches with seating capacity for 52 and 61 persons are fitted with seat-belts all-round. The coaches are also fully equipped with air-conditioning and entertainment equipment including DVD and MP3 players.
The major order will help to safeguard the future of the production location in London, South Africa. Daimler Buses has invested in the East London plant to increase its bus production capacity. Part of the investment was used to expand the workforce. Daimler Buses has around 50 employees in East London. The 460 Mercedes-Benz coaches will be financed by Daimler Financial Services South Africa.