The Transsantiago network of bus and subway lines is operated by eleven private companies, six of which are ordering the new buses to modernize their fleets. A total of 653 Mercedes-Benz O 500 U low-floor buses were ordered by the following five customers: Buses Gran Santiago, Buses Metropolitana, Las Araucarias, Nuevo Milenio, and STP. The remaining 392 vehicles will be delivered to Buses Vule. This large order is the first one whereas all of the vehicles will be equipped with particulate filters, therefore matching the Euro 3 standard. Having these filters build in there is a lot smaller overall particulate emission. The 1,045 chassis will be produced at the Daimler Buses plant in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, while the bodies will be manufactured in Botucatu, Sao Paulo State, by the large auto body builder, Caio. The entire order is being financed by Brazil’s development bank BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social).
“The fact that we received South America’s biggest bus order this year shows how dedicated the colleagues at Daimler Buses are to serving our customers and winning them over to our products. It’s something we’re all very proud of,” says Joachim Maier, Head of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil, who is responsible for the bus business in Latin America. “Following the economically challenging first half of the year, this major contract is an important step in our efforts to further expand our position in an increasingly stable Latin American market.”