Report: Daimler Benz Factory and Museum Tour
The Damlier Benz Factory and Museum Tour has been the one thing on our program that everyone has been looking forward to, and it certainly didn't fail our expectations. For me Mercedes has always been an emblem of success and a representation of German quality, and to have the opportunity to visit the birthplace of this amazing brand was a dream coming true.
First up on our program was a visit to the ultra-high tech new museum in Stuttgart, which is an architectural wonder on its own, resembling a double helix that symbolizes the DNA of the Mercedes-Benz car. What was even more astonishing was the inside of this museum, it had great interior designs and beautiful views on the Mercedes-Benz Arena nearby, but most of all it had the history of the car that the whole day was about in it, and that made all the difference. From the first attempts of Benz and Damlier, to Diana and the Pope's personal Mercedes', we saw it all! We even tried out the new simulator, that gives you the opportunity to sit in the drivers seat of a F1 Mercedes and feel the acceleration and rush!
After our museum tour we met with Andreas and Joanne in the Restaurant of the Museum. These two are the people that made it all possible, from the busdrive to the factory tour! Andreas is from SAFRI which is an organization that promotes German and South African bilateral economic development, and of course the Benz is an excellent example of our two countries' relationship. Joanne is from STEP (Student Experience Program) and she told us about the opportunity we have, as Southern African students, to come and work for Mercedes after our final year of studies. It was great to realize that this massive universal company is willing to open up his doors for us and give us the chance to fulfill our dreams!
We then visited the Factory plant at Sindelfingen. After an inspiring movie that set the atmosphere we were taken right into the heart of the plant and we saw it all happen right before our eyes. We saw a piece of flat iron in the press room, being transformed to an unrecognizable shape by robots in the body shop, and finally we saw the so-called "marriage" of the body and the engine in the assembly room. It is like a miracle happening right before your eyes, a piece of art that suddenly appears, and then you see the artists doing the finishing touches as the car gently moves along to perfection.
We received our own custom key-rings from Mercedes, which was a great inspiration for me to one day have my own Mercedes, and we also stocked up on gifts for our families at the Mercedes gift-shop.
It was such a God given blessing to have had the opportunity to experience this, and I believe that every single one of us was inspired to greatness! I believe that seeing the Mercedes-Benz way of doing things have planted a seed in all of us, that will grow and make us reach our goals.
We are such a talented group of people and what a honor it is to be surrounded by future Presidents, business leaders, famous engineers, tourism manegers, and most of all "world changers". You all have a piece of greatness in you, never stop searching. In the famous words of Steve Jobs I leave you: "Stay hungry, stay foolish."
Now just for fun, I've given each of you your own Mercedes that resembles you!
Sli: Smart (Small and safe)
Snow: ML (Popular among men)
Cosmos: Vito (Its a family car)
Yaseen: GLK (You demanded a GLK)
Matt: SLS (It's sporty)
Wayde: C class (Popular among the ladies)
Tony: Maybach (You'll be famous- future Cyril Rhamaphosa)
Lala: SLR (You've got style)
Lesego: Limousine (Flashy)
Llwelyn: S class (Leader of the pack)
Claud: E class (Still but clever)
Malan: CLS (It's my favourite)
Francois: Prototype (Interesting)
Svelka: B class (Eco friendly)
Simpiwe: G class (Strong, expensive and for men only)
JD Malan du Toit