First locally built Mercedes-Benz Buses for East Africa

Ulrich Bastert (right), Daimler Buses Head of Marketing, Sales and Customer Services and Ian Middleton ( left), the Managing Director of DT Dobie, unveiled Mercedes Benz 1730 and 917 buses at the Carnivore in Nairobi
  • Short haul bus MB 917 and long distance bus MB 1730 set regional standards for safety, comfort and reliability
  • Proven bus chassis from Daimler plants in India and Brazil provide basis for local buildup
  • Daimler Buses is the only manufacturer in the region to build in ABS braking system and precision steering

Daimler Buses and its regional sales partner DT Dobie presented the first bus models built in Nairobi, Kenya. The buses are purpose built in Nairobi for the roads of East Africa.

Speaking during a press event Ulrich Bastert, Head of Marketing, Sales and Customer Services Daimler Buses observed: “I am very proud to be in Nairobi today together with our longstanding partner DT Dobie to launch the first Mercedes-Benz buses built in Kenya,” adding that “With the new buses we will provide Kenya’s growing population with reliable and safe public transportation.”

Kenya is one of Daimler’s biggest commercial vehicle markets in the African region with promising potential for the future. In the future up to 2,500 new buses will be needed in Kenya each year to meet the growing population’s demand for public transportation. Daimler has been active in Kenya since 1949 as Kenya is a commercial hub not only for Eastern Africa but also the ideal launching pad for Sub-Saharan Africa.


The majority of buses currently on Kenyan roads are built on truck chassis that are not ideal for passenger carrying vehicles as hard suspensions and high entry steps limit passenger comfort. The new buses use purpose built bus chassis from India and Brazil – countries with similar road conditions. The MB 917 Bus is ideal for commuter and short haul journeys and offers room for up to 37 passengers, the other bus, MB 1730, is made for long distance travel and seats up to 60 persons. To cope with Kenya’s high altitudes the commuter buses have a 170 horsepower engine and the engines fitted to the long distance buses have an output of 300 horsepower.

The new models meet Daimler’s strict quality requirements laid down by the company’s three pillars safety, reliability and passenger comfort. Active safety features of the bus chassis include braking systems with ABS, precision steering and good road handling resulting from chassis and suspension systems specifically designed for buses.

Ian Middleton, the Managing Director of DT Dobie, said: “It is a matter of pride and satisfaction that the buses you see here today set new standards for the safety of passengers in East Africa. They exceed the specifications laid down by local regulations and meet the safety requirements of Daimler.”