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Mercedes-Benz South Africa celebrates 125 000th truck

125 000th truck for Aqua Transport

  • First truck rolled off the Mercedes-Benz East London assembly line in 1962
  • Success of Mercedes-Benz Trucks attributed to robust relationships and quality products

East London – On December 2, 2015, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) added yet another milestone to its long and committed journey to the country  when the 125 000th truck rolled off the assembly line at its plant in East London.

The first truck was assembled at the then Car Distributors Assembly (CDA) in East London in 1962. CDA, the company that would evolve into MBSA, opened its doors in 1948 and was contracted in 1958 by Daimler-Benz to assemble Mercedes-Benz products. Since then, the commercial vehicles division of MBSA has assembled the Unimog, Mercedes-Benz buses, FUSO trucks, Mercedes-Benz trucks and Freightliner trucks.

Goodhope Ncapo, MBSA Divisional Manager for Commercial Vehicles:

“As the assembly team, we have clear and stringent processes that we never deviate from. This has meant that our plant is rated as one of the best in the world.

“We pride ourselves on world-class quality and unmatched reliability.  As we all witnessed today on the production line, we only produce trucks that our customers will be more than satisfied with,” adds Ncapo.

The 125 000th truck from the assembly line, a  Mercedes-Benz Axor 3335, was handed over to one of Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ most valued customers – Aqua Transport and Plant Hire. The Euro III Axor will soon be part of Aqua’s increasing and exclusively Mercedes-Benz fleet, operating as a water tanker.

Low fuel consumption, exemplary reliability, safety and driver-oriented comfort are just some of the qualities that have resulted in the Axor being the vehicle of choice for companies such as Aqua Transport and Plant Hire. The truck delivers a convincing performance in various applications.  It is robust, powerful and yet still manages to reduce its Total Cost of Ownership. The Axor is a master of all trades and has proven on-site that it is the perfect all-rounder.


“As Mercedes-Benz Trucks, we are proud that the 125 000th truck to be assembled by our plant in East London…”

“As Mercedes-Benz Trucks, we are proud that the 125 000th truck to be assembled by our plant in East London is being handed over to Aqua Transport and Plant Hire. It gives us great joy to know that our exceptional quality Mercedes-Benz vehicles, such as the reliable Axor, are contributing towards the growth and success of Aqua and that our vehicles offer our customers a competitive advantage,” says Clinton Savage, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

“It is fitting for us to do this handover here at our plant, an impressive facility that reinforces our legacy of reliability, safety and outstanding workmanship. We are not only here to celebrate this truck, but also the longstanding relationship we have developed with Aqua. The 125 000th truck forms part of a bigger order of 165 Mercedes-Benz trucks, which makes this one of the largest single orders for our trucks. This is only possible because the quality measures and processes from our plant are remarkable,” adds Savage.

Donovan Naicker, Director of Aqua Transport and Plant Hire:

“Aqua started off with water tankers, but by closely collaborating with Mercedes-Benz Trucks, we are now also a major player in the construction and plant hire industries. We have built such a solid relationship with MBSA and this has resulted in tremendous growth for us. We only operate Mercedes-Benz trucks and this has given us a competitive advantage, thanks to trucks such as the Axor. We treasure these trucks’ reliability and how readily available their parts are. We know that equipment is as good as the people behind it. This then means the MBSA team – right from the plant, head office and the dealers – is just as good as their trucks.”

“There is such great synergy between Aqua and the MBSA team and that is what has sustained this relationship. As a company that operates in the essential services sphere, we need equipment that is extremely reliable and we receive more than this,” concludes Naicker

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa