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Multi-Million Dollar Maui Motor Home Deal

MEDIA INFORMATION
NOVEMBER 12, 2007

Multi-Million Dollar Maui Motor Home Deal Signed with Mercedes-Benz In New Zealand & Australia


A new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter campervan in Maui colours.

Mercedes-Benz has signed a multi-million dollar deal to supply a mix of Sprinter models for upmarket motor homes to Tourism Holdings Limited (THL) that will become the flagships for its Maui rental fleets in New Zealand and Australia, as well as showcasing the company’s environmental drive.

One of the largest single motor home contracts in recent times, 370 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cab & chassis models and vans will be supplied to THL over the next year in New Zealand and Australia that will see Maui become a leader in providing more environmentally friendlier rental vehicles to discerning holidaymakers. All Sprinters are being supplied with fuel-efficient diesel engines equipped with Diesel Particulate Filters to ensure they not only use less fuel but are also among the cleanest engines available.

And among those celebrating will be the city of Hamilton, where THL subsidiary CI Munro has relocated its production to new, purpose-built facilities and will be manufacturing and fitting out all the bodies for the motor homes for both the New Zealand and Australian markets.

Total investment made by THL in the new Mercedes-Benz vehicles along with the production of the bodies and new plant at the factory comes to around $60million.

“We believe this deal is a win for everyone, especially our customers, many of whom arrive from Europe with very high expectations when it comes to quality and also environmental aspects, says Trevor Hall, Chief Executive Officer of THL.

“In selecting Mercedes-Benz products as the basis for our motor homes, we are providing premium vehicles that deliver proven performance, ease of use, comfort and help us with our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint through lower fuel consumption and minimal exhaust emissions.

“Furthermore, the standard of design, quality of workmanship, fitment and amenities in the motor home bodies built by our CI Munro subsidiary will be second-to-none in the marketplace – they will be truly 21st century homes on wheels.”

Mr Hall says that as the largest leisure motor home and car rental provider in Australasia, THL is committed to taking a leadership position across all facets of the tourism industry. To succeed, he believes tourism companies need to be focused on providing sustainable choice for travellers, both in the short and long terms. As contributors of 9% of the national GDP, tourism providers have to recognise their role at the heart of ensuring sustainability.

For THL, this extends to ensuring that its Maui motor homes are designed to be technologically leading edge, with “an absolute focus” on minimising carbon emissions with no sacrifice in style or functionality. Mr Hall adds that THL is determined to not simply off-set carbons, but to take an active role in reducing carbon emissions at source.

This philosophy has been central to the selection process for the motor home tender, where Mercedes-Benz was able to deliver on all environmental aspects, in addition to the traditional strengths of its products.

According to Ian Walker, General Manager of DaimlerChrysler NZ Commercial Vehicles, Mercedes-Benz also views itself as a broad-based environmental leader, with energy savings made at the factories, minimising or eliminating harmful emissions and chemical use, such as use of low solvent paints, plus, up to 95% of body parts of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinters supplied to Maui being recyclable.

“Mercedes-Benz has led the transport industry in developing sustainable production, in tandem with developing vehicles that, in themselves, minimise impact on the environment and we are delighted customers such as THL place increasing importance on this aspect,” adds Mr Walker.

Maui will be supplied with three Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models, two powered by next-generation 109bhp common rail diesel engines and the other model powered by a higher performance 150bhp engine, featuring Bosch high-pressure fuel injection (1600+ bar), a variable geometry turbocharger, four-valves-per-cylinder with dual overhead camshafts and Piezo injectors with a 0.1 millisecond response time. Each engine is rated among the most fuel efficient in their class and they are designed to meet the strict Euro 4 low emission standards. Diesel Particulate Filters capture most of the sooty particles within the exhaust system.

Underlining the THL commitment, the company is the first motor home provider to voluntarily test its fleet for vehicle emissions. The test is conducted by the most trusted and recognised independent vehicle testing group, Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ). The entire Maui fleet meets VTNZ’s five star in-service rating, which far exceeds all European benchmarks for low emissions.

Safety was also a major component of the successful tender, with each Mercedes-Benz Sprinter featuring Electronic Stability Control to improve the stability of the motor home in braking and cornering, reducing the likelihood of a crash. Air-bags and best-in-class ABS-equipped braking systems are further safety factors, whilst rear-wheel-drive and traction control enhances the traction of the Sprinter on steep and slippery surfaces.

Comfort and relaxation are other key areas where the new Maui Mercedes-Benz Sprinter motor homes will lead by example.

A fully automatic transmission is standard on every Sprinter supplied to Maui, with the aim of improving driver convenience, and ergonomically-designed seating reduces fatigue behind the wheel. The cabs themselves are European-sized, built for even the tallest travellers and come with all the usual Mercedes-Benz comfort features.

CI Munro is to build three different motor home bodies styles on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, including a super-luxury two-berth with shower, toilet and fully appointed kitchen and dining area, as well as more traditional 4 & 6-berth layouts.

THL says the aim is to create motor homes that will be in demand by private purchasers for their luxury, features and longevity, once they have been retired from tourist duties.

The first of the new Maui Mercedes-Benz Sprinter motor homes have been ordered for delivery to CI Munro’s factory in Hamilton for the transformation into a motor home and will be on the road mid 2008.

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