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New Motorhome Deal Boosts Local Economy

Media release
27 October 2000


In the biggest vehicle supply deal of its kind in New Zealand, the first one hundred Mercedes motorhomes were completed at C.I.Munro in Otorohunga this week as part of a new fleet for Maui Motorhomes.

The motorhomes, the product of an agreement between Maui and DaimlerChrysler New Zealand, represents the most significant light commercial vehicle supply contract in this country.

This year, 325 motorhome bodies will be built on Mercedes Sprinter cabs and chassis. Of these, 125 will be exported to Maui’s rental operation in Australia for final assembly and use. Another substantial number is under discussion for 2001.

Ernie Ward, managing director of DaimlerChrysler in New Zealand, says that Maui has chosen a vehicle with a good reputation.

“Annually we produce around 120,000 Sprinters at our Dusselldorf plant in Germany. But as demand for these vehicles continues to grow worldwide, we have established two new Sprinter production facilities, one in the United States and one in South America. International courier company Fedex is one of our biggest Sprinter customers globally.

“Obviously the marque has a proven track record for safety and quality, and for a company like Maui, European tourists will immediately know and trust its performance record,” says Mr Ward.

The bodies of both the four-berth home (Sprinter 313) and six-berth home (Sprinter 413) are built to Maui specifications. About half of the product for the bodies, such as bulkheads, floors, squabs, fabrics and some windows, is sourced from local suppliers, the balance imported mostly from the United States

All bodies are constructed at C.I.Munro in Otorohunga, which has boosted staff numbers 30 percent to 72 people to manage the increased demand.

Dean Reid, general manager, C.I.Munro, says that the investment has resulted in benefits for both the company and local community.

“With the business changing from seasonal to year-round production, our staff have much more job security, and with a whole production line dedicated to Maui motorhome construction, we’ve had to employ more people. Next year numbers should increase further. Part of our commitment is also to put staff training programmes in place to help up-skill local people.

“Along with the local suppliers we use, Maui’s investment in the business is having a very positive impact on a small community like ours,” he added.

The new motorhomes will go into circulation immediately. All 200 ordered for the local market will be on the road by this Christmas.

Maui rents out a four-berth motorhome for between $112 – $240/ day, depending on the time of year and length of the hire.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter features the latest in diesel engine technology – as in all diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz passenger cars – with CDI 2.2litre engine producing 95KW or 130 HP, a power ratio that’s ideal for New Zealand’s hilly terrain.

The model of Sprinters’ Maui has ordered - 313 and 413 - are fitted with the new six-speed transmission, which gives drivers the choice of manual or fully automatic driving.

For further information, please contact:
Tracey Burns Penelope Barr
Light Commercial Vehicles Beyond Public Relations
DaimlerChrysler NZ Ltd.
Tel: 09 5730192 Tel: 09 306 1801
Fax: 09 573 5990 Fax: 09 302 7169
Mob: 025 377 616 Mob: 025 835 383

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