- “Wings on Wheels – Combating the Cold” — second humanitarian aid convoy sets out to area along the Turkish-Syrian border
- Urgently needed supplies worth a total of about €2 million: winter clothing, food, tents, and three ambulances
- Daimler and its employees donate a total of €100,000
- Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management, Head of Daimler Trucks and Buses: “The refugees are suffering greatly, especially at this time of year. That’s why we want to provide concrete help with our convoy and give the people hope.”
- Michael Brecht, Deputy Chairman of the General Works Council: “Such expressions of humanity and solidarity are desperately needed in view of the refugees’ difficult situation.”
Stuttgart/Untertürkheim – With the help of donations from Daimler employees, the second humanitarian aid convoy left the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim today to carry supplies to Syrian refugees in Gaziantep in southern Turkey. Daimler Trucks and Wings of Help teamed up to send six Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks full of urgently needed relief supplies, including medicines and winter clothing, from Stuttgart to the refugees. In Adana, Turkey, the convoy will be joined by two more trucks carrying food and tents. The supplies are worth around €2 million in total. Gaziantep, which is located near the Syrian border, houses the logistics center from which the humanitarian aid will be distributed to the refugee camps. At the center, the relief supplies will be handed over to the Turkish Red Crescent (Kizilay) and the International Medical Corps, which will then distribute them to the refugees.
The Daimler employees’ response to the first convoy in September was outstanding. The company gladly acceded to the employees’ request for a second convoy and their wish to do something themselves. In a campaign titled “Wings on Wheels — Combating the Cold,” Daimler asked its employees to donate money for the relief convoy until December 6. The employees donated more than €50,000. Daimler then doubled this sum to over €100,000. In the first convoy, 11 Mercedes-Benz trucks transported relief supplies worth €4 million along the nearly 4,000-km-long land route to the Turkish-Syrian border.
The second convoy was sent on its six-day journey today by Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management, Head of Daimler Trucks and Buses; Frank Franke, President of Wings of Help; and Michael Brecht, Deputy Chairman of the General Works Council and member of the Daimler Supervisory Board.
“The refugees are suffering greatly, especially at this time of year,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard at the sendoff of the “Wings on Wheels — Combating the Cold” convoy. “Millions of Syrians have fled their homes and hundreds of thousands of them have found refuge in Turkey. Half of the refugees are minors, most of them under the age of 12. Many children are traumatized or in bad health as a result of the war. That’s why we want to provide concrete help with our convoy and give the people hope. We have a strong public presence in Turkey through Mercedes-Benz Türk and our production locations in Istanbul and Aksaray. We consider it our duty to help our Turkish friends in this difficult situation.”
Michael Brecht added, “Two of the six Actros trucks are carrying three Sprinter ambulances, while the four other trucks are transporting winter clothing and urgently needed medicines. The convoy will be joined in Turkey by two trucks carrying food and winter-proof tents for families. The relief supplies were largely funded by donations from Daimler employees. I would like to thank all of the colleagues whose donations or practical assistance are helping to reduce the suffering and distress in the Syrian refugee camps. Such expressions of humanity and solidarity are desperately needed in view of the refugees’ difficult situation.”
“The civil war in Syria is becoming more and more horrifying. Around 2.2 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries to date. That’s why we’re glad that we were able to cooperate with Daimler AG and its employees to put together another convoy at this harsh time of the year,” says Frank Franke, President of Wings of Help, about the situation that the Syrian refugees are facing.
A total of 200 tons of relief supplies, tents for about 1,600 refugees, and winter clothing and medicines that will help more than 50,000 needy people were sent on their way today. The beginning of winter was an important factor in all of the planning activities. One of the refugee camps along the Turkish-Syrian border is located at an altitude of 700 meters, where temperatures often drop below freezing at night and snow can be expected to fall.
Wings of Help, which is based at Frankfurt Airport, has been providing immediate disaster relief worldwide for the past ten years. The organization uses aircraft to transport urgently needed relief supplies to people in greatest need. Wings of Help receives support from the airport’s operator and airlines.
The vehicles that were sent off today are new, Euro VI-compliant Mercedes-Benz Actros semitrailer trucks. The 18-ton trucks have 2.5-meter-wide StreamSpace cabs. They are equipped with the automated Mercedes PowerShift 3 transmission as standard, as well as with the assistance and safety systems Active Brake Assist and Attention Assist. In addition, the trucks feature Predictive Powertrain Control, which is integrated into the automated transmission so that driving can be adapted to the topography. The Mercedes-Benz Actros is powered by the current OM 471 BlueEfficiency Power engine, which has an output of 310 kW (421 hp). The truck consumes up to five percent less fuel than its predecessor, which had a Euro V-compliant engine. The new Actros’ extremely low total cost of ownership is also the result of specially coordinated and closely interlinked services such as the standard-fitted telematics system FleetBoard. With sales of around 800,000 vehicles since its launch in 1996, the Mercedes-Benz Actros is the world’s most successful heavy-duty truck.
The convoy is also accompanied by two Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo vehicles.