DaimlerChrysler stand at Auto Africa occupied by bevy of beauties

Phuti Mpyane

Phuti Mpyane

Visitors to this year's Auto Africa show are in for a treat.

The concepts and models unveiled at the show will be difficult to forget.

Visitors can catch the latest creations from many manufacturers, including BMW, Toyota and Honda.

But a turn at the extravagant DaimlerChrysler South Africa (DCSA) stand is a must. Debuting there are new and soon to be released products.

The DCSA stand, with a majestic pavilion design and plenty of walking area, is the most engaging and sophisticated at the show. The entire design is put together to portray the target markets for the hardware the company sells.

One section of the stand exhibits Mitsubishi. This Japanese brand, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, is synonymous with the famed Dakar rally. The decor is mud, sand and a flying Pajero, simulating the rally.

Many of the currently available models, such as the Lancer Evolution 9, complement exciting but not yet available ranges that include the all-new Pajero.

Much improvement has gone into this iconic and best-selling SUV lineup. But the main attraction at the stand is the Triton bakkie range, which will be sold alongside the existing Colt lineup

Right next to the off-road rally specialists is the Mercedes-Benz stand, where visitors can catch a glimpse of some spectacular machinery in the form of the new seven-seat GL class. Billed to compete in the large SUV segment contested by the likes of Land Rover Discovery and Nissan Pathfinder, the GL promises to attract punters looking to move up from the ML.

The passenger car segment is represented by a small number of cars that includes the C-Class and the heavenly S-Class. The new CLS63 and ML63 will have fanatics salivating.

The limited-offer CLK DTM Cabriolet is a performance icon and a DCSA show-stopper. Mercedes-Benz claims it is the fastest open-top car in the world and it borrows heavily from race track technology.

The machine costs a cool R4,5million and only 100 of these brutes were manufactured worldwide.

Chrysler Jeep is also out in full force with visitors being offered a look at two interesting variants of the likeable 300C. A wagon derivative and a 6,1litre, 313kW SRT-8 version are also on display. Various Jeep cars are on display, like the Jeep Compass, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, and some of the locally available stock like the Jeep Renegade.

Subsidiary Dodge is represented in the form of the recently launched Caliber range and the intimidating truck concept.

Whether you prefer trucks, motorcycles, sports cars or even talking robots, it is all there at Auto Africa.

Also on show is Smart, a car range that went through bad sales, even prompting Daimler- Chrysler to consider taking it off the market. The Smart range is aimed at a niche market of individuals who want to express their inner selves with unique motoring.

It is no wonder that many South African establishments have snapped them up, especially the For-two, which is single handedly representing the brand that includes the quirky but charismatic Smart roadster and the For-Four at the DCSA stand.

The DCSA stand is a marvelous show of design for one to wonder around easily, without bumping into other visitors. The stand has a fully functional bar supported by a full complement of kitchen staff.

Out on the stand is where you will find a bevy of beauties, all dressed differently yet saucily for the various themes of the brands.