Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has just celebrated a new milestone at its local production plant in Pekan, but this time the model in question has more than just four wheels, and it’s not a vehicle for the masses.
The highlight of the event was to commemorate the company’s 25,000th locally assembled commercial vehicle, the Actros 2644LS – their largest commercial vehicle. It costs about RM360k per unit and takes about six working days to assemble from frame to finish.
Six days is a long time to build just one big truck, isn’t it? Well, for starters, assembling a vehicle of this size takes up a lot of space and time. The commercial vehicle (CV) production line differs greatly from that of a regular passenger vehicle line. Instead of having a line or two, the production of CVs is split into five key stations; Frame Assembly, Cab Painting, Assembly Line, Testing Line and Buy-off Line.
- Frame Assembly – As self explanatory as this is, this station sees over 200 rivets fitted to the industry-proof solid steel frame.
- Cab Painting – This paint shop is a separate unit from the passenger vehicle line simply due to the cab’s sheer size. However, the painting process varies minimally and covers a wide range of hues to meet various customer demands.
- Assembly Line – Over 1,850 individual parts are put together, forming the interior, chassis and all of its safety features.
- Testing Line – There are seven quality gates to test the brand new prime mover; brake test, side slip, turning angle, shower test and meticulous visual inspections through a light tunnel.
- Buy-off Line – This section of the plant is where customers are usually handed the keys to their brand new trucks. The entire process from frame assembly to this checkpoint takes six days.
This production plant in Pekan (manned by 1,300 local employees) is one of Daimler CKD’s nine commercial vehicle production facilities in the world – one which saw MBM invest an amount totalling to RM28 million (only for CV line) since operations began in 2004. Their commercial vehicle portfolio is suited for use in various industries. MBM has even supplied some to MNCs (multinational corporations) and other organisations such as fire stations, hospitals and rescue services.
At the event, MBM’s Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, Albert Yee said, “Marking the 25,000th Commercial Vehicle is certainly a landmark moment for us at Pekan. To us, it demonstrates how Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles and our production facilities have continue to be a hallmark of premium quality. As a first-class product, Mercedes-Benz trucks represent reliability and cost-efficiency that comes with a service quality of comprehensive expertise. Ultimately, Mercedes-Benz delivers trucks you can trust.”
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s commercial vehicle market share is about 16.4 percent to date. Interested parties can get their hands on these vehicles via key partners, namely Swift Haulage Sdn Bhd, Interway Transport Sdn Bhd and Landbridge Haulage Sdn Bhd. Every purchase of a commercial vehicle comes with a 2-year factory warranty programme. The first year covers unlimited mileage, whereas warranty for the subsequent year will cover the powertrain up till 200,000km. There are 14 commercial vehicle service centres nationwide as of press time.