By THEODORE OPARA
WESTSTAR Associates, authorized general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria is still basking in the euphoria of winning two prestigious awards by the Mercedes-Benz flagship truck, the Actros.
The Actros, which was named truck of the year 2012, added two new awards to its swelling award portfolio recently. Following the “Truck of the Year Award and “red dot design awards, the Mercedes-Benz flagship truck recent picked the “German Design Award 2013” in the “Transport and Public Space” category as well as the Focus Gold 2012 award from the Design Centre Stuttgart.
According to Weststar Associates Managing Director, Mr. Mirko Plath, the Actros is a product of Mercedes-Benz engineer’s hard work and research.
“Never before has a truck been developed and tested extensively in a wind tunnel for 2600 hours like the Actros,” he said. He pointed out that much of the development work focussed on aerodynamics, which resulted in fuel reduction of the Actros.
Among other things, this means that the Actros has undergone 2600 hours of fine-tuning in the wind tunnel, 50 million kilometres of engine testing on test rigs and in real-life operation, and 20 million kilometres on the road. It is the first and, to date, only truck which has been developed rigorously to comply with the Euro VI emissions standard.
He further explained that here in Nigeria, the Actros has remained a winner on the road and a favourite for Haulage and Construction. The unmistakable design of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros is as exceptional as the truck as a whole. Unarguably the safest truck in its class the Actros is powerful, masculine and dynamic.
The Actros won over the jury with the high quality and ergonomics of its interior and the consistent exterior design of the various vehicle variants. Following the “red dot” design award from the Design Zentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen the Actros has now received three important awards for its design.
Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle design director Kai Sieber said: “We are incredibly proud of how perfectly form follows function in the Actros. That is why we naturally are very pleased about this special recognition in the form of these coveted international design awards”.
The German Design Award is conferred by a 30-member jury from the Design Council. This year the panel of judges evaluated some 1500 submissions in ten categories and declared the Actros the winner in the “Transportation and Public Space” category.
Evaluation criteria were design quality, level of innovation, brand value, functionality, ergonomics and environmental compatibility. The official award ceremony of the German Design Award will be held at the “Ambiente” trade fair in Frankfurt in February 2013.
The Actros was honoured by the Design Center Stuttgart with the “Focus in Gold 2012” award in the “Vehicles” category. A wide variety of products in 17 categories contended for the International Design Award Baden-Württemberg.”