Press Kit: Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches at the FIAA 2006 in Madrid
Stuttgart/Madrid
Nov 14, 2006
Omniplus services for Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus and coach customers
  • Full range of bus and coach-specific services from DaimlerChrysler for operators and drivers of Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches
  • Comprehensive service network across the whole of Europe – EvoBus alone has 42 Service Centres and more than 600 authorised service partners
  • 24-h service available by calling service number 00800 40 20 40 20
  • Omniplus Service Card – a card for every eventuality
  • Service and driver training
  • New: driver training extended in accordance with EU guidelines
  • Omniplus “Service Select” - flexible planning of vehicle operating costs and reduction in vehicle administrative work
  • Omniplus Tire Service – tyre replacement around the clock for Omniplus Service Card holders
  • Replacement bus in the event of a breakdown -- “Omniplus Bus Pool”
  • Quality, expert advice and professional handling of used bus and coach purchases
  • Bus and coach-specific finance and insurance packages
EvoBus GmbH, responsible for the European bus and coach business of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands within the DaimlerChrysler Group, has created a package of bus and coach-specific services under the Omniplus brand to cover all the requirements of bus and coach customers. These services are designed to give customers the freedom to focus more intensively on their core business – taking people reliably, comfortably and safely to their destinations. Omniplus comprises the full range of services for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches in Europe. The services offered by Omniplus apply Europe-wide for operators and drivers of all buses and coaches from the two brands. Constantly up-dated information can be found on the Internet at www.omniplus.com
Comprehensive service network ensures safety and comfort across Europe
Even when they are out on the road, drivers of Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches are never out on their own: one of the key features of the Omniplus range of services is a dedicated bus and coach service network whose extensiveness is unrivalled by any other in Europe. One of the cornerstones of Omniplus, this important support function exists in the form of three different service levels, known respectively as “Omniplus Bus World”, “Omniplus Bus Port” and “Bus Point”, and is available to bus and coach drivers throughout Europe. The Omniplus service network is entirely bus and coach-oriented: the workshops have all the necessary manufacturer expertise and are focused on and certified for carrying out service work on both brands’ buses and coaches with special tools and specially trained staff.
42 EvoBus Service Centres and more than 600 authorised service partners ensure the mobility of Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches. The range of services offered by Omniplus Bus World is particularly extensive: in addition to offering extended opening times, it covers everything from general support services and maintenance work to repairs, the comprehensive provision of genuine parts, and accident repair work including painting.
The extensiveness and quality of the Omniplus service network are growing all the time: October 2006 saw the opening of the 40th EvoBus Service Centre in the Czech capital, Prague. Also in October 2006, the 41st EvoBus Service Centre was opened -- in Bucharest, Romania. Another Service Centre in Bordeaux, France, takes the Omniplus service network to 42 EvoBus Service Centres.
The Omniplus 24-h service is available around the clock by calling the toll-free service number 00800 40 20 40 20. Fast and expert assistance is provided across Europe and in the caller’s native language in the event of an emergency with a Mercedes-Benz or Setra bus or coach. Employees are trained specifically in working with buses and coaches.
The Omniplus Service Centres and all authorised service partners around Europe have country-specific standardised opening times. This allows maintenance and repair work, accident repairs, supply of genuine parts, body and paintwork jobs and the application of decals to be carried out to individual specifications and at times when the vehicle would not be in service. An additional service is the mobility concept, which sees the customer provided with a smart or other vehicle – depending on availability – as an extra “bonus” while their vehicle is in the workshop at the service outlet.
Significant reductions in the prices of numerous genuine parts
As a rule, the combination of online networking of the individual service outlets and electronic parts documentation ensures express parts delivery within 24 hours throughout Europe. This is the key to the reliable and fast provision of parts and accessories in approved Omniplus quality for the buses and coaches of both brands. Some 100,000 parts are kept in stock – generally up to 15 years after going out of production. The parts are ordered online through the Service Centres and service partners.
Omniplus is taking a proactive approach to the provision of genuine parts. Since the beginning of 2006, the prices of a set of six parts families have been cut without any reduction in quality. The prices of another six frequently required parts families were lowered in the middle of the year.
Service directory available in printed or online form
The Omniplus service directory offers an overview of the addresses and route plans for the 600-plus bus and coach service outlets throughout Europe. In addition to the printed directory there is also an online version. The online service directory also features a route planner function, which shows all bus and coach service outlets located along the stated journey route and provides a route map for each one. The online version of the service directory is available at www.omniplus.com 13 different languages.
Omniplus Service Select allows vehicle operating costs to be planned
Established by EvoBus GmbH in 1998, the Omniplus Service Contract and Omniplus Service/Leasing Contract – covering maintenance and repair work for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches – are supplemented by new services which allow flexible planning of bus and coach operating costs, thus minimising downtime, reducing the customer’s administrative overheads and ensuring that genuine parts of proven Omniplus quality are installed. The “Service Select” option offers bus and coach operators a range of services tailored to their specific needs, based on a series of service contract modules which can be combined flexibly.
Service Select is made up of a range of different modules which are selected by bus and coach customers in line with their individual needs. The modules are as follows:
  • The basic “Maintenance” module covers inspection costs and can be combined with any of the other modules listed below.
  • The “Wear Repair” module also covers the repair of the components normally subject to wear.
  • The “Major Assemblies” module includes powertrain repairs (engine, transmission and drive axle).
  • The “Climate” module covers maintenance of the entire heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
  • The “Vehicle Management” module relieves the fleet operator of administrative tasks. In this case, the Omniplus staff will record and check invoices, coordinate scheduled services and statutory inspections and prepare a full cost history.
  • The “Full Service” package comprises all of the modules mentioned above.
The basic maintenance package serves as the foundation. This package provides for regular checks conducted according to manufacturer guidelines. The basic package can be supplemented by individual “Wear Repair”, “Major Assemblies”, “Climate”, and “Vehicle Management” modules. Those who wish to have all the modules can choose the “Full Service” package.
In addition, customers can also order the “Tyres” module as a separate service, irrespective of which other modules are selected. This module includes the replacement of the tyres in the case of normal tyre wear, including valve exchange and wheel balancing, as well as payment of the labour and material costs incurred. When combined with the supplementary “Tyres” module, Service Select makes for perfect all-round service that can help with long-term cost planning.
Autumn 2006 sees a further extension to the Omniplus “Service Select” service-contract model which allows customers to combine services in line with their individual requirements. Service Select, which was previously only available to bus and coach companies in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Italy, the UK, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, is now also being offered to Mercedes-Benz and Setra customers in Spain, Portugal, and Sweden.
Omniplus tyre service expanded
A flat tyre is one of the unwelcome surprises that can occur during a long journey in a touring coach. Omniplus Tire Service can be of great assistance here, as drivers need only call the toll-free hotline to quickly obtain 24-hour service from Continental. This service, offered for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and coaches, will be expanded at the beginning of 2007 to include Sweden and Denmark, thereby extending it to a total of 18 European countries.
As part of the company’s close cooperation with the tyre manufacturer Continental AG throughout Europe, the Omniplus Tire Service provides fast, on-the-spot, expert assistance in the event of tyre failure. The Omniplus Tire Service – fast delivery and fitting of bus and coach tyres at a fixed price – is available to all bus/coach operators and drivers who carry an Omniplus Service Card. They can call the free Tire Service hotline on 00800 40 20 40 20 around the clock from practically anywhere in Europe and on any telephone network.
The procedure is fast and simple: if a bus or coach suffers a puncture or other tyre defect, an emergency call is made to the 24-hour service hotline. Firstly the details on the customer’s Omniplus Service Card and other details concerning the vehicle type, tyre size and location are taken down. These details are then forwarded to Continental’s 24-hour breakdown centre which immediately makes arrangements with the emergency tyre service in the country in question so that assistance can be dispatched to the scene of the breakdown. At the scene, the local emergency tyre service checks its data against the details on the driver’s Omniplus Service Card. Then the professionals get to work, first making the area safe and then fitting and balancing the new wheel correctly so that the vehicle can continue its journey. Finally, the emergency tyre service ensures that the old tyre is disposed of in the correct manner.
Omniplus Bus Pool replacement bus and coach service
Bus drivers and bus operators dread the moment when a bus or coach full of passengers breaks down en route, meaning that a replacement vehicle has to be arranged in double-quick time. Now they can ensure that passengers reach their holiday destination or get home safely without any hassle, even on the rare occasions when a broken-down bus or coach requires extensive repairs – all thanks to the Omniplus Bus Pool service, which is available to all Omniplus Service Card holders. The major benefit of this scheme is continued mobility with a minimum of paperwork at fair and transparent standard prices. Bus and coach companies wishing to provide vehicles for the Omniplus Bus Pool must have a fleet that includes Mercedes-Benz and/or Setra buses or coaches and are contractually bound by the conditions of the Omniplus and UTA replacement bus and coach service.
If the Omniplus 24-hour service team is unable to carry out quick repairs following a breakdown, the bus or coach operator decides whether a replacement vehicle is required. If this is the case, the operator calls the Omniplus 24-hour service hotline on 00800 40 20 40 20 to request a replacement bus or coach. The operator has to provide details of the Omniplus Service Card number, the final destination of the bus or coach and the number of passengers on board. The hotline staff then immediately order a bus and driver from the bus or coach operator in the Omniplus Bus Pool best able to provide a vehicle that fulfils the requirement profile. The driver of the replacement bus or coach ensures that the framework rental contract agreed between the bus or coach company and EvoBus GmbH is signed at the breakdown site. As soon as this formality has been completed, the passengers can be on their way again.
Only companies contractually bound by the Omniplus Bus Pool replacement bus and coach service conditions are used. The cost of the replacement bus or coach, based on standard and fixed daily rates and mileage rates, is simply charged straight to the Omniplus Service Card.
One for all: the Omniplus Service Card
The free-of-charge Omniplus Service Card is available exclusively to Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus and coach customers and represents a cash-free entry ticket into the Omniplus service network. It identifies the holder as a valued customer at all bus and coach service outlets in the Omniplus service network and at more than 21,000 UTA Card acceptance points in 36 countries. The Omniplus Service Card allows card holders to fill up with fuel without the need for cash, pay for motorway and toll charges in the same way as with a credit card, and much more besides. Omniplus Service Card holders also benefit from bus and coach-specific 24-hour service and faster processing thanks to the guaranteed payment facility. All services claimed across Europe on the Omniplus Service Card are billed centrally. This gives the customer a complete overview and control over all transactions.
The Omniplus Service Card is linked to the vehicle and secured with a PIN (Personal Identification Number) code. This PIN code helps prevent misuse, and thus provides greater security if the card is lost.
Omniplus Safety Training: more safety in coaches and school buses
Safety training for Mercedes-Benz and Setra bus and coach drivers and driving instructors has been a fixture of Omniplus driver training since 1993. The courses, which are conducted in close cooperation with experienced bus and coach driving trainers, extend from a one-day intensive course which can be carried out on the customer’s premises (Basic Safety Training, max. 12 participants) or at the Hockenheimring driving safety centre (Basic Plus Safety Training), to a three-day driver training course at the Hockenheimring (Premium Safety Training) using training vehicles or – on request – the customer’s own vehicles. Omniplus safety training courses are both theoretical and practical, following the principle of “recognising conflicts, reducing risk and driving to avoid risks”. A major aspect of the courses is practical familiarity with vehicle’s behaviour in critical situations. Drills include braking and evasive manoeuvres on a road surface resembling sheet ice, vehicle handling with minimal lateral stability, circle tests at various speeds and on different road surfaces, manoeuvring in tight spaces, and braking and steering around corners and during high-speed lane changes. Plus, detailed information on the functioning and safe use of bus and coach safety systems such as the brakes, ABS, ASR, BA and ESP also helps to improve safety in coaches. The Premium Safety Training courses also include fitness exercises for the back and shoulders and tips on diet from an experienced sports instructor. Good practice in both of these areas helps to refresh drivers during breaks between legally stipulated driving times and to improve their overall fitness.
Omniplus offers a specially designed “School-Bus Safety Training” course for school-bus drivers and children of primary-school age who travel in school buses. The course explores questions such as “What is a ‘blind spot’?” and “What happens if you’re standing up when the driver has to brake sharply, even at low speeds?” with the aim of discussing the issues and thus building up understanding for the other person or people involved. Up to four school classes and ten drivers can take part in any single training course. Each course will take up five school lessons for the children or an afternoon for the drivers and places can be booked by schools or bus and coach operators.
Omniplus Eco Training: improving economy
A combination of rising fuel prices and increasing competition and cost pressures in the bus and coach sector have prompted Omniplus to offer customers tailor-made packages aimed at improving the cost-effectiveness of their Mercedes-Benz and Setra coaches and regular-service buses. One option is Omniplus Eco Training, a one-day course in which participants are shown in theory and practice how to reduce fuel consumption by more than 10 % by changing their driving style. The aims of the course are to relieve the burden on the environment by cutting emissions and noise, to increase passenger comfort, enhance road safety by reducing stress on the driver and improve economy by effectively reducing variable costs in areas such as fuel, repairs, maintenance, lubricants and tyres, while at the same time raising the efficiency of passenger transport services through less downtime. The training courses can be tailored to the individual requirements and usage profiles of bus and coach operators and in response to different bus and coach fleets and types of usage. They take place at a time agreed with the customers, using the customers’ own vehicles and on their premises.
Omniplus Technical Training: improving the technical knowledge and communication skills of bus and coach drivers
The Omniplus driver training experts also offer a wide range of other courses and further training events for bus and coach drivers at their service points at the Mannheim and Ulm plants. For example, special bus and coach technical training courses help drivers to gain a better understanding of the technical intricacies of their own buses and coaches and to use them more effectively on a day-to-day basis. The course also offers important tips on economical driving and how to operate, maintain and care for buses and coaches. A key point here is improving understanding of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. And the training also helps drivers and operators to recognise and repair faults themselves, as well as showing them how to respond effectively in a breakdown situation. A special communication training course is also available to show drivers how to behave towards passengers. Participants learn how to speak and deal effectively with different types of passenger and customer, and have the opportunity to put the theory into practice.
Customers can book themselves a place on driver training courses (Omniplus Eco Training, Omniplus Safety Training, Omniplus Technical Training for Drivers and Omniplus Communication Training) tailored specially to the requirements of bus and coach drivers by fax (+49 621 740 24 69) or over the Internet at www.training.omniplus.com
Omniplus Workshop Training: the best way of ensuring that workshop staff have the necessary expertise
In addition to the training for bus and coach drivers, further training courses are available for workshop employees in the Omniplus training centres at the Mannheim and Ulm plants. These practically-based courses, which complement each other and allow participants to learn key skills in small groups or individually, lead to a constantly updated level of knowledge among the participants as far as bus and coach maintenance and repairs are concerned. In addition to introductory courses in the technical aspects of the individual bus and coach model series, the main areas of focus – some of which are subdivided into bus and coach model series and brands (Mercedes-Benz/Setra) – are fields such as electrics (air conditioning, FPS, audio/video system, navigation systems), major assemblies (engine/transmission), chassis and brakes, and these are examined in great depth. Also part of the bus and coach “curriculum” are special training courses on current issues, such as natural gas drive systems, automatic transmissions and legally stipulated safety checks. Some of the courses are supported by preparatory self-study CDs (computer-based training), which should be worked through before the course begins in order to ensure that all the participants start out with a similar level of knowledge.
Customers can register for Omniplus Workshop Training centrally by fax (+49 731 181 28 59) or over the Internet at www.training.omniplus.com
Driver training programmes in accordance with EU training directives
Omniplus practical training courses have been in great demand for some time now. All the modules – safety, school-bus driving, technology, environmental protection, and communication – address issues which are of great professional importance to bus and coach drivers. Increasingly so, in fact, as the European Union plans to improve training for bus and truck drivers and issue qualifications that go beyond just driving licences. The idea is to increase safety, save money, and enhance the status of the driving profession. The new EU Directives affect both newly licensed and already licensed bus and truck drivers, who in future will have to undergo five units of training lasting at least seven hours each within five years. Such training will include instruction in traffic safety/vehicle engineering, economical driving, traffic law, and socially responsible behaviour.
Omniplus has already aligned its training programme with the new requirements, with EU-compliant seminars for bus and coach drivers scheduled to begin as early as 2007. This initiative will enable participants to obtain in good time the qualifications they will need to retain their driving licences in future. In this way, Omniplus is supporting customers and drivers by providing from a single source the services they need to meet the new EU requirements.
Assistance with purchasing used buses and coaches
Omniplus offers expert assistance in both selling and finding used buses and coaches at 25 interlinked used vehicle centres across Europe. After all, buying a used bus or coach is still very much a personal matter of trust. Omniplus guarantees bus and coach customers top-quality expert advice and reliable processing of used vehicle transactions. Customers also benefit from exceptional choice, quality, expertise, service and advice. The European Omniplus used vehicle centres stock a wealth of buses and coaches from all familiar brands and for every type of usage. The selection ranges from minibuses and urban buses to three-axle luxury touring coaches. All the vehicles are put through comprehensive quality checks and undergo a detailed inspection by bus and coach experts in the used vehicle centres before they go on sale. It goes without saying that an extensive warranty package is part of every used bus and coach purchase. Other services enjoyed by used bus and coach customers are a clarification of conditions of registration in virtually every country of the world and expert advice with regard to paintwork, lettering and decals. Conversion work can likewise be carried out according to the customer’s specifications.
Added to which, customers can also find a database with a large selection of used buses and coaches from various brands on the Internet at www.omniplus.com. The vehicle stocks are updated every day and can be accessed around the clock in 14 different languages. The integrated search function on the homepage allows customers around the world to find their desired vehicle quickly and reliably from the large range of used buses and coaches. Then all they have to do is click their mouse button to find a specialist contact person, or e-mail the specifications of the bus or coach they are looking for, and the used vehicle experts will take over the search. Under the heading “Special offer” you can access a range of exceptional used vehicles with special purchase conditions. Customers also have the option of taking out a finance package for their “new/used” vehicle while they are still online.
Finance packages for new and used buses and coaches from DaimlerChrysler Bank, insurance from DaimlerChrysler Insurance Services GmbH
Attractive finance and leasing packages from DaimlerChrysler Bank and bus and coach-specific insurance solutions from DaimlerChrysler Insurance Services GmbH complete an Omniplus range of services which is constantly expanding with new innovative options. The services available from the DaimlerChrysler Group are tailored towards individual countries and range from traditional finance and leasing packages and insurance to comprehensive fleet management. Europe-wide, one in every three Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles comes onto the market through DaimlerChrysler Services’ leasing and finance wings. In 2005 financial services were involved in the purchase agreements for 1250 buses and coaches.
DaimlerChrysler Bank offers leasing contracts based on an agreed mileage and guaranteed residual value. Also included is shortfall insurance, which covers customers in the event of theft or a write-off. Leasing offers a number of benefits: customers conserve liquidity when the vehicle is purchased, freeing up available capital for investment elsewhere, and the leasing payments can be written off as business expenses and thus help to reduce the operator’s tax bill.
The advantage of financing is that borrowers can show the vehicle in their own balance sheets and write off the initial cost themselves. In addition to the standard finance package, DaimlerChrysler Bank also offers concepts tailored specifically to the individual customer’s requirements.
DaimlerChrysler Insurance Services GmbH adds another dimension to the overall Omniplus concept with its insurance services. Bus and coach operators benefit from the service provider’s market strength and thorough knowledge of the business. With its many years of experience, DaimlerChrysler Insurance Services GmbH offers bus and coach operators individual consultation and reliable support in all insurance-related matters in accordance with the “best advice” principle.
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