Because the Cape to Cape expedition so successfully completed its journey from North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope. Because Renault Trucks is proud of all those who took part and made this adventure possible. Because Cape to Cape so proudly proclaimed the merits of the company and its vehicles. And because the intense emotions experienced throughout those four months should be shared with everybody, the book "Cape to Cape, from North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope" retraces the entire adventure. It is available in bookshops since 21 January 2010.
An expedition pushing all the limits
Following on from the Silk Road and the Sand Cruise, the Cape to Cape expedition is an outstanding technical, human and commercial challenge, launched by Renault Trucks.
The aim was to travel from North Cape in Norway to Cape Town in South Africa, in 16 weeks. This involved covering 30,000 km and travelling through 21 countries with 60 adventurers ready to brave the 4 elements thanks to the technology developed by Renault Trucks. A goal to be achieved on board 12 vehicles, including 6 Renault Kerax and 6 Cape to Cape Sherpas.
Those 30,000 km from North to South were completed under the most extreme weather conditions - from the bitterest cold to vast expanses of desert and the most oppressive heat.
This illustrated "Logbook" gives readers an opportunity to share, for the first time, in the discovery of inspiring landscapes, local populations offering a warm and enthusiastic welcome, as well as obstacles that sometimes seemed insurmountable. Accompanied by amazing images from this real-life adventure.
From North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope
Published by Le Cherche Midi
"Fine Books" collection
144 pages (25x25) – 32 €
Available since 21 January 2010
An English version is also available
Here are a few extracts from the book, to give you a foretaste of the adventure….
Editorial by Stefano Chmielewski, CEO of Renault Trucks SAS
“Going far, far away for a long, long time - maybe to the other side of the world - is something everyone dreams about, sometimes... often... obsessively... occasionally...
Dreams do not always become reality, but some will set off on that adventure, sometimes even with no guarantee they will come back. They are always the better for it.
Trucks transport the world and its adventurers. A matter of a few decades ago, those taking part in the Mission Ténéré and Croisière des Sables were pioneers in foreign lands and it is they who have made such adventures part of the company’s tradition.
More recently, the Silk Road expedition took eight of our trucks from Lyon to Beijing through Central Asia, a string of deserts and over mountain passes upwards of 4,000 metres in altitude.
This taste for adventure pushed us to set off on another quest.
On a planet that has become a global village, finding untrodden paths was some challenge. Having driven from west to east, why not try north to south? But the right route had to be found.
The Cape to Cape route took account of the brand’s presence in the different countries visited, commercial development opportunities and last, but not least, safety.
Some 30,000 kilometres were covered without any major technical incidents, from the North Cape to the Cape of Good Hope with twelve trucks using the best environmental technology available.
In the towns and countries visited, Cape to Cape met existing customers and potential ones too. Almost two hundred journalists from across the world also joined the trip.
First and foremost, Cape to Cape was a fantastic human adventure. All the drivers were Renault Trucks employees - both men and women - divided into five teams relaying from north to south. Supported by the whole of the company, they were true ambassadors of a brand, its expertise and its commitment. They flew the flag of the road haulage industry with pride, showing the profession as a vector of development and prosperity.
The Cape to Cape adventure has left some fabulous memories etched in our minds. For everybody involved, the dream came true.”
A trek on this scale between the North Cape and the Cape of Good Hope was a real challenge for 2009.
Whilst the whole of the world economy was bottoming out and most companies were hiding their heads in the sand, Renault Trucks stuck to its guns and met the challenge head on.
Some said it was folly, others a waste... everybody had something to say about the adventure. And yet, during a crisis, is it not better to come out of the woodwork and show your mettle when all around you are hiding?
Renault Trucks took on the world and won.
30,000 kilometres covered by 6 Kerax and 6 Sherpas, 60 drivers, 150 invited customers along the route, over 3,000 direct contacts through sales events held in the countries visited and 200 journalists.
Cape to Cape was a multidimensional adventure: technical, human, commercial and media.
A technical adventure: first of all because for the first time Euro 4 vehicles were to be tested under extreme driving conditions: from the biting cold to baking heat (-25°C to + 58°C), altitudes ranging from 420m below sea level to 4,200m, desert crossings, unpredictable tracks, sand, rain and more.
Whilst the Kerax* seemed, on the face of it, not to be worried by the challenge, the Sherpa* had a lot more to prove. As true prototypes, they bore bodywork developed by the Renault Trucks design office specifically for the expedition. Based on a military vehicle chassis, these 4x4s proved their sturdiness under the most arduous conditions. Cape to Cape was also an opportunity to fine-tune some aspects of the vehicle such as electrical connections, helping to make them more reliable and more robust.
As for the Kerax, construction vehicles which have been on the market for several years, they had already proved their worth during numerous rallies like the Dakar, and we did not hear a squeak from them from start to finish. Sturdiness, reliability and resistance were the watchwords.
A human adventure: here again, Cape to Cape kept its promises. 60 drivers, men and women, all Renault Trucks employees, relayed each other in five teams to cover the distance between the North Cape and the Cape of Good Hope.
This was an exceptional adventure because few companies today can pride themselves in giving such opportunities to their employees. Shop floor workers and supervisors, some of whom were taking the plane for the first time, applying for their first passport... There were some difficult times, many short nights, but a thousand images and memories set in their minds forever.
A commercial adventure: with Cape to Cape making stops in many towns along its route: Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Bucharest, Sofia, Istanbul, to name but a few. And each time there was a warm welcome and the opportunity to meet customers, surprised and dazzled by this 21st century caravan. A commercial adventure too because dozens of customers joined up with the Cape to Cape convoy in the most prestigious places along the way: Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, etc.
And the commercial results were seen as more than positive in the current climate and the expedition was often referred to as “The only real transport event of 2009”. The initiative made a real impact and will continue to do so for a long time.
A media adventure: with 200 journalists invited along the route from all corners of the world, they got a taste of the expedition for a few days. In turn, they were able to sit up front and enjoy the vehicles’ comfort and mobility whilst having plenty of opportunity to build up their stock of texts, photos and videos to share their experiences with those back home.
This contributed to what was an already informative internal communications platform, with the intranet permanently broadcasting the exploits of the Cape to Cape adventure to all the Group’s employees.
With such tools at its disposal, the Cape to Cape curried favour with all.
Renault Trucks had an idea and followed through on its promise… and made everybody happy in the process.”