The motto of the Mercedes-Benz presentation at this year's IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover is Your Way. And Your Way begins from the very moment visitors set foot in Hall 14/15 and enter the so-called Intro Area, which is divided into three zones, each with a different colour scheme and sound collage. On their way to the stand, visitors are accompanied by noises from the world of nature that progressively give way to clearly identifiable vehicle noises and then, finally, to sounds from the everyday world of commercial vehicles the ideal transition into the Mercedes-Benz hall area.

Your Way also stands for the route that visitors take to their particular product of interest. This progresses through Hall 14/15 in an impressive way. After leaving the Intro Area, visitors arrive at a platform from where they first have a view across the entire hall with the full range of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles on show. The architecture of the platform with a spacious open flight of stairs leading down reinforces the visitors' sense of descending into the world of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles, which is clearly arranged according to product group, and in which the most important world premieres alongside many others and the flagships of the individual units take pride of place.

The Your Way motto is also reflected in the presentation of the vehicles, which are arranged in a circle around the central platform, as though in many lanes. Trucks, vans, special-purpose vehicles and buses and coaches are positioned here according to their areas of use. On display at the heart of each product group are the major world premieres from that unit. For the vans, this is the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter; for the buses and coaches, the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo high-deck touring coach (next to which the 10.5-metre-long Citaro K city bus and the new minibus variants on the basis of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, likewise world premieres, are also on display). In the area devoted to trucks and municipal vehicles, the all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 20 special-purpose vehicle is celebrating its world premiere. Based on the shortened chassis of the Unimog U 300, this new vehicle expands the current Unimog range by a third production series with a gross vehicle weight rating of 7.5 to 8.5 tonnes. All three world premieres are staged in a manner worthy of their special importance within the presentation as a whole. All three vehicles are uniformly painted in brilliant silver.

The world premiere of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter focuses on two exhibits in particular. These are presented in a spectacular show at regular intervals throughout the IAA. For this purpose, platforms are additionally raised. Here, a group of performing artists presents the many uses and qualities of the Sprinter in a symbolic and humorous way, supported by a singer on a boom projecting from the wall of the exhibition centre.

The presentation of the flagships forms another highlight in the various product areas. These are the Mercedes-Benz Actros the ultimate truck for long-distance road haulage the Mercedes-Benz Atego the embodiment of the ideal vehicle for local and distribution transport and the Mercedes-Benz Travego high-deck touring coach an exceptional luxury touring coach. These flagships are presented on platforms complete with stands, from where the visitors sit and can view the vehicle at leisure and also obtain additional, more detailed information via onscreen presentations.

Positioned between the two lanes running around the hall is a lane free of vehicles. This Innovation Lane contains three thematic islands featuring Mercedes-Benz' competence in innovation and technology in the product areas of trucks, vans and buses and coaches.

By means of a rich mixture of clear models, many of them interactive, real exhibits, multimedia presentations and multimedia explanations, often supported by many explainers, visitors are provided a host of detailed information on the function, purpose and utility of the innovative technologies and technical innovations from Mercedes-Benz. This form of presentation renders the exceptional technology both tangible and understandable.

A third focus within the trucks area is the topic of safety. Following numerous innovations over the past years and decades, Mercedes-Benz is now unveiling a new braking system at this year's IAA Commercial Vehicle Show. Like many other Mercedes-Benz developments before it, Active Brake Assist is set to revolutionise safety in heavy-duty trucks.

The second area of interest on the technology thematic island is alternative drive systems. Showcasing the whole variety of drive concepts tailored to different customer requirements, Mercedes-Benz presents a field in which it carries out intensive research and development with a view to protecting the environment and conserving resources. At the heart of such activities is the vision of zero-emission mobility on the basis of fuel cell technology, which has already undergone substantial testing not only in cars and buses but also in vans.

Likewise on display from the vans unit at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show 2006 is the Sprinter 316 NGT, a natural gas-powered vehicle study which is close to the series-production stage. The Sprinter NGT is now undergoing trials, as is a Sprinter featuring a hybrid drive in three conceivable variants. At the heart of the Micro Hybrid is a special starter system that cuts the engine when the vehicle is stationary and immediately and silently restarts it as soon as it is required. The Mild Hybrid features auxiliary electric motors that support a conventional internal-combustion engine when the vehicle is pulling away or rapidly accelerating. Finally, the Full Hybrid can be operated in pure electrical mode. This variant features two full-strength drive systems an internal-combustion engine and an electric motor that are harnessed to one another, as well as batteries to store power. The advantage of this set-up is that the vehicle can undertake short and medium-range journeys solely under electrical power and therefore at very low noise levels and without producing any emissions during operation.

The Sprinter NGT is likely to be available from 2008 onwards. Mass production of such a hybrid drive will depend on whether it can be manufactured at a price acceptable to customers and whether it has a proven reliability comparable to that of internal-combustion engines. Meanwhile, advances have also been made in the area of conventional drive technologies. In parallel to the continuous enhancement of CDI and petrol engines, progress is also being made in the development of the necessary fuels. At this year's IAA Commercial Vehicle Show, Mercedes-Benz is also presenting new methods of improving traditional fuels as well as the potential opportunities for biogenic and synthetic fuels.

Safety and environmental compatibility are also the issues highlighted by the Mercedes-Benz Buses and Coach unit in the Innovation Lane. In line with the introduction of Euro 4, all diesel engines in large Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches are now equipped with BlueTec technology, which has already demonstrated its outstanding economy in thousands of heavy-duty trucks. Underlining that the process also meets future limits, Mercedes-Benz is now supplying its Citaro city bus with BlueTec 5 as an option. Another real-world exhibit goes one step further in the form of a model showcasing a combination of BlueTec 5 diesel engine and sintered-metal particulate filter that fulfils the emissions standards for so-called EEVs (Enhanced Environmentally-Friendly Vehicles) which the Mercedes-Benz Citaro with CNG natural gas-powered engine has already been doing for years.

The comprehensive safety expertise embodied in Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches documents the high level of standard equipment. For years now, Mercedes-Benz has fitted all new-generation touring coaches with the Electronic Braking System (EBS), Brake Assist (BA), Acceleration Skid Control (ASR), retarders and, most importantly, the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). These have now been joined by the Continuous Braking Limiter (DBL), which prevents unwanted acceleration when travelling downhill. With the Proximity Control (ART) and the Lane Assistant (SPA), the new Mercedes-Benz Travego now has two further features to make it a real safety coach.

Each of the areas devoted to trucks, vans and buses and coaches also features a central information point for visitors to find out about vehicle-related services. Providing quality services has always been a top priority at Mercedes-Benz. Visitors can obtain information about a host of services, including telematics from FleetBoard, used vehicles from the Truck Store and the Used-Van Centre, industry information from BIC, configuration terminals, driver training courses, general services, DaimlerChrysler Bank or CharterWay, the Bus Design Studio, genuine technical accessories from the Mercedes-Benz Shop, model vehicles, clothing and accessories from the DriversLine Collection, contact details for body manufacturers, and Unimog implement partners.

For those in need of a break, there is a quiet zone at the foot of the main platform, and the DaimlerChrysler Café is open for guests. Bus and coach customers are catered for in a separate lounge. Meanwhile, located beneath the platform is an additional, and new attraction the Drivers Inn which has been set up as a meeting place for drivers and features a review of the rich truck history of Mercedes-Benz.

There are also many other noteworthy facts and figures regarding the Mercedes-Benz stand in Hall 14/15 of this year's IAA Commercial Vehicle Show. For example, the construction of this year's stand involved 320 tonnes of steel, 95 tonnes of wood, 22,000 m2 of chipboard flooring panels and 2500 m2 of laminated chipboard panels, 7500 m2 of coloured quartz chippings, 5000 m2 of carpet and linoleum, 8000 m2 of fabric ceilings, and 6700 m2 of fabric facades. On the stand, there are 12,000 m2 of platform area, 2500 metres of wall, 160 metres of glass facade, 240 doors and 752 chairs.

For those who want to see how commercial vehicles from Mercedes-Benz cope with extreme situations, a Mini safety course for trucks, vans, and buses and coaches is on offer not far away from the exhibition centre. At the nearby training ground of the motoring organisation ADAC, interested visitors and customers can witness impressive safety demonstrations and excerpts from the safety courses specially created by DaimlerChrysler for the specific needs of truck, van and bus drivers. Participants should register at one of the safety stations in the hall or at the driver training stand. Shuttle buses to the ADAC test ground depart at regular intervals from outside Hall 14/15.

Beyond Hall 14/15, there are also additional presentations staged by Mercedes-Benz and other areas of the Daimler Chrysler Group. Service providers CharterWay and FleetBoard, for example, have stands in the adjacent grounds of the exhibition centre, where a demonstration truck from FleetBoard is also on show, along with the imposing 19.54-metre-long CapaCity, a high-capacity bus from Mercedes-Benz. As usual, DaimlerChrysler Bank is at home in a pavilion not far from Hall 14/15 with information on a host of individually tailored insurance, leasing and sales-financing packages for commercial vehicles from all the Group brands. And DaimlerChrysler Trailer Axle Systems is showcasing its innovations close to its customers in Hall 26 (Stand D 28).

As an organisational unit, Truck Group ensures that all its customers find their own made-to-measure transport solution from a global product portfolio within which each of the five renowned commercial vehicle brands of the DaimlerChrysler Group complement one another. With their regionally focused and highly differentiated product lines, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Fuso, Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star are able to profit from global know-how and exploit a variety of synergies.

In addition to walk-in displays with a wide range of information on the Truck Group, the stand also features three tractor units as tangible examples of the Truck Group's global expertise. The Mercedes-Benz Actros 1860 with a 440 kW (598 hp) V8 engine and Mercedes PowerShift transmission embodies the fascination of the high-tech world of European heavy-duty trucks. The Freightliner Coronado a mighty three-axle, cab-behind-engine unit underscores the attraction of the American trucking scene. Its six-cylinder in-line engine delivers 368 kW (500 hp), which is transmitted to the wheels via an Eaton-Fuller transmission. And, last but not least, the Mitsubishi Fuso Super Great 338 kW (460 hp) from Japan is equipped with a six-cylinder engine and automated sixteen-speed transmission from the Inomat production series.

The Setra brand from DaimlerChrysler Buses & Coaches is on show in Hall 16 of the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show 2006 with total of 10 vehicles from its current product line. The highlight of the presentation is the S 400 NF, which marks the world premiere of the new Multi-Class 400 line of low-floor rural buses. Likewise on show for the first time is the compact Setra S 412 UL. Meanwhile, the Setra S 416 HDH in the Luxury Edition variant from the Top-Class production series conveys an impression of pure luxury. All Setra buses and coaches at the 2006 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show 2006 are fitted with BlueTec diesel technology based on SCR and conform to the Euro 4 emissions standard.

A total of 10 Mitsubishi Canter models with different bodies and three engine models, including a cutaway model of the Canter Eco hybrid are on show at the Mitsubishi Fuso stand in Hall 16. Available in a total of nine series models with new common-rail diesel engines and bodies from renowned bodywork manufacturers such as Junge, Maytec, Jotha, Henschel, Meiller and Brock, the Canter is a highly versatile vehicle for use in a wide range of areas, including municipal services, the construction industry and related sectors, delivery and transport.

Also on show is the Mitsubishi Canter Eco Hybrid, the world's most environmentally friendly light truck, which was unveiled this July in Japan. Depending on the driving situation, the Eco Hybrid is driven by either a diesel engine or an electric motor, or both in parallel. This reduces emissions of particulates by 46 % and of nitrogen oxides by 41 %.

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