German manufacturer Daimler Buses has introduced a new luxury motorcoach in the North American market under the Mercedes-Benz name.
The Mercedes-Benz Tourrider will be sold in 45-foot business and premium models by Daimler Coaches North America and will replace the company’s Setra motorcoaches, which have been sold in the United States and Canada since 2003.
The Tourrider was designed specifically for the North American market, based in part on suggestions from the company’s existing customers, Daimler officials said in a video presentation on Tuesday introducing the new bus.
“This is not a model we are already selling in Europe,” said Till Oberwörder, head of Daimler Buses. “It is completely new.”
Debut at UMA EXPO
Daimler will start taking orders on the new buses later this year and will introduce them live during the American Bus Association’s Marketplace 2022, set for Jan. 8-11 in Grapevine, Texas, and at the United Motorcoach Association’s EXPO 2022, slated for Feb. 23-27 in Long Beach, California. The buses will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Istanbul, Turkey.
Daimler officials declined to reveal a base price for the buses, saying it would be “competitive.”
The company is partnering with Daimler Trucks North America and Detroit Diesel Corp. to handle parts and service for the Tourrider. Both, like Daimler Buses, are divisions of Daimler AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Daimler Coaches North America will handle direct sales of the new motorcoaches.
The Tourrider buses have stainless steel bodies and feature inline 6-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 471 engines and Allison WTB 500R torque converter automatic transmissions. Safety features include a 360-degree camera system, lane assist, optional radar-based Sideguard assist cornering assistant with pedestrian detection, and optional Attention Assist (ATAS), which warns the driver both visually and audibly if it detects the typical signs of fatigue or inattentiveness, and prompts the driver to take a break.
The Tourrider also is equipped with the Active Brake Assist 5 emergency braking system, or ABA 5, which the company describes as the first emergency braking system for buses that is able to initiate an automated emergency stop in reaction not only to stationary and moving obstacles, but also for pedestrians.
“Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with safety,” said Thomas Rohde, CEO and President of Daimler Coaches North America.
The passenger compartment in the Tourrider Premium buses is 2.36 inches higher than in the Tourrider Business model. The premium bus also offers an optional Top Sky Panorama glass roof and luxury seating manufactured by Daimler.
When Daimler Buses entered the U.S. and Canadian markets in 2003, it distributed Setras in-house. But in 2012 the company contracted with Motor Coach Industries (MCI) to be the exclusive North American distributor of the coaches. That agreement lasted until 2018, when REV Group subsidiary REV Coach took over Setra sales in North America.
Then, in January 2020, Daimler formed its own distributorship, Daimler Coaches North America, to sell Setras in the United States and Canada.
“We will continue to service Setra coaches in North America,” Rohde said. “But we are switching over to the new Mercedes-Benz platform” for new buses beginning next year.
Daimler decided to replace Setra coaches with the Tourrider models because they are better tailored to the North American market and because operators prefer the Mercedes-Benz brand, which is known worldwide for its quality and safety features. The company also said that it is committed to the North American motorcoach market and is confident it will recover from setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is our biggest investment in recent years,” Oberwörder said.