- Classic commercial vehicles of tomorrow, built in Wörth
It all started in the truck centenary year 1996 and the tradition quickly caught on. That year and every other year since, Mercedes-Benz and the “Nutzfahrzeug-Veteranen-Gemeinschaft” (Classic Commercial Vehicles Association) have hosted a big event for historic commercial vehicles at one of the DaimlerChrysler plants. At the tenth-anniversary event, DaimlerChrysler expects to welcome more than 300 historic commercial vehicles from all major brands that have played a part in commercial vehicle history. This year things have come full circle. Following previous events in Wörth (1996), Gaggenau (1998), Kassel (2000), Berlin (2002) and Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (2004), the meeting to be held on July 15 returns once again to Wörth.
More than 300 historic vehicles registered to attend
As the world's largest truck assembly plant, this year's host plant makes a fitting setting in which to celebrate 110 years of truck history – and of course, the trucks will also be accompanied by a large turnout of fire-fighting vehicles, buses, coaches and vans. The classic vehicles will be presented on the exhibition area in front of the main plant entrance and are expected to draw many visitors. Some will have travelled long distances to be there. As well as classic fans from Germany, owners of historic commercial vehicles from all over the world will be attending.
An attractive adult and child-friendly programme awaits them. The exhibits, most of them lovingly and authentically restored, are just one attraction at an event which is sure to spark plenty of tech talk among both participants and visitors. As usual the event is organised jointly by Mercedes-Benz Classic and the Nutzfahrzeug-Veteranen-Gemeinschaft (NVG), and is open to all brands. The inventors of the truck look forward to welcoming commercial vehicles of all makes at an event which will document the colourful and lively history of European commercial vehicles.
The co-hosting organisation, Nutzfahrzeug-Veteranen-Gemeinschaft (NVG), is a vibrant association of classic commercial vehicle enthusiasts which was formed ten years ago on the occasion of the first meeting in Wörth. Events organised every year by NVG, which now has over 400 members, include an NVG parts fair, a meeting for historic tipper and construction vehicles and a holiday-season rally, the "NVG-Ferienfahrt".
With its attractive and varied programme, the Wörth commercial vehicle meeting will be not only an event for commercial vehicle fans but also a colourful carnival-type occasion bringing commercial vehicles closer to the whole family. One of the highlights will be auction of a classic Unimog U411 model, restored by managers at the Wörth plant. The proceeds will be donated to Star Care Rheinland-Pfalz e.V.
40 commercial vehicles at the spectacular Mercedes-Benz Museum
The clearest indication however of the importance the Mercedes-Benz brand attaches to commercial vehicle history is provided by the new Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, which opened its doors two months ago. Here an impressive 40 classic models provides a window on 110 years of truck, van, bus and coach history. The motto of this spectacular museum is: a heritage for the future. The inventor of the automobile has reinvented the whole concept of the automotive museum with an architectural and conceptual tour de force.
Germersheim: the automotive industry's biggest parts warehouse
The Global Logistics Center (GLC) in Germersheim, just a few miles down the road from the Wörth truck assembly plant, is the world's largest automotive parts warehouse. Some 432,000 different parts, around 170,000 of them for
Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans, are currently stocked here, ready for shipment to destinations all over the world. Every day, an average of 283 truckloads of parts leave the GLC, which acts as supplier to the DaimlerChrysler group's commercial vehicle and car parts warehouses all over the world. These warehouses supply parts for the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, Smart and (outside North America) Chrysler/Jeep brands. An ingenious logistical system results in 17 - 36-hour parts availability of 98 percent. The Germersheim warehouse and its satellite stores cover a total area of about one million square metres. Excellent replacement parts availability is still achieved even when models are heading towards contemporary classic status, with all parts still stocked for at least 15 years after a model is discontinued. The more commonly required parts are available for even longer.
The new Unimog museum in Gaggenau
Among the participants at the event in Wörth will be the Unimog Club Gaggenau, whose members will be fielding around 40 vehicles. The dynamic club, which has more than 5,000 members, is on home ground here in more ways than one: Wörth is the site of the new Unimog production facility and is also not far from the former Unimog factory in Gaggenau, while next door to the former factory, another showcase for commercial vehicle history, the new Unimog museum, was officially inaugurated just six weeks ago. The Unimog was built at the Gaggenau factory for 50 years before production moved to Wörth.
Classic commercial vehicles of tomorrow, built in Wörth
A strong classic tradition is good news for new-truck owners too. Every vehicle can tap into a gene pool enriched by more than a century of experience in truck design and production. Every new Mercedes-Benz truck is also a potential classic of tomorrow, thanks to the prestige of the Mercedes-Benz brand name and the high standard of production quality in Wörth. Produced to customers' individual requirements, these vehicles are designed to grow old gracefully, along with their owners.
Wörth truck plant: more than 400 trucks built every day
DaimlerChrysler’s Wörth factory has for decades been the world's largest truck assembly plant. Every second truck registered in Germany is a Mercedes-Benz from Wörth. The plant exports its products to more than 150 countries around the world.
The Wörth plant has a current workforce of approximately 10,000. Last year average production, including production of CKD parts kits for assembly plants in nine countries in Africa and Asia, was more than 400 trucks per working day, with over 100,000 vehicles built over the year as a whole.