At a sneak preview for selected Indian journalists, Daimler Truck’s subsidiary Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) revealed the new BharatBenz brand heavy-duty truck today.
With its first-ever truck “Made in India”, BharatBenz will enter the promising Indian market for medium heavy-duty and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. India has become the world’s third-largest truck market in recent years, boasting a volume far above 300,000 units in 2011.
To emphasize the importance of this commercial vehicle premiere for his division, Andreas Renschler, the Daimler Board of Management Member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, said: “Our strategy focuses on profitable growth. We want to boost our sales in existing markets as well as new ones. Our strategy for the new growth markets is to operate as globally as possible, on the one hand, and as locally as necessary on the other.”
According to Renschler, this strategy is reflected in the new BharatBenz trucks. “The trucks are based on existing Daimler commercial vehicle platforms. Indian specialists developed the trucks for the local market, where they are also built,” he said. “This is the most effective way for us to participate in the growth of India’s volume segment. Our product range focuses on quality, reliability, and efficiency and particularly targets the modern domestic segment, which shows huge growth potential and reflects the growing demands of Indian customers.”
On March 2, 2012, BharatBenz will unveil its entire truck lineup in the 6 to 49-ton range. The BharatBenz heavy-duty truck will be built on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform, and the future light and medium-duty trucks will be based on the Fuso Canter and Fighter series. The new trucks will meet India’s BS III emissions standard [comparable to Euro III].
Trucks developed especially for the Indian market
Speaking to the press at the preview of the new heavy-duty truck in New Delhi, Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, said: “BharatBenz mirrors our long-term commitment to India. It is a successful synergy of Indian engineering and German DNA. We will offer modern trucks that will redefine the Indian trucking experience. With this preview, we are introducing a completely new truck designed from scratch. We are confident that the introduction of modern trucks with greater fuel efficiency, improved safety features, and competitive pricing will make us the game changer in the Indian trucking industry.”
The quality of the trucks also plays a major role in this strategy. “To ensure maximum reliability of the trucks from the very start, they have been through 4 million kilometers of intensive testing on our test track in Oragadam and have been assessed under the most strenuous driving conditions,” Llistosella added.
Trucks “Made in India”
The light, medium-duty, and heavy-duty range of BharatBenz commercial vehicles will be manufactured at the new plant in Oragadam near Chennai in Southern India. Construction of the plant on an area of 160 hectares is almost completed, and production trial runs for engines and transmissions have already begun. The production facility has a total dedicated investment of over 44 billion Indian rupees (approximately €700 million). The plant’s initial production capacity will be 36,000 units per year and can be ramped up to 70,000 units per year.
Cooperation with local suppliers and expansion of the dealership network
Using comprehensive processes, DICV has worked hard to set up a network of Indian suppliers and dealerships in the past few months. This included stringent quality and due diligence tests for each enterprise.
The Indian subsidiary of Daimler Trucks now cooperates with more than 450 suppliers. Because the future BharatBenz trucks will have a localization rate of 85 percent, DICV will make full use of the Indian supplier industry’s potential from the very first vehicle it produces.
By the end of the year, the company’s dealership network will encompass around 70 locations throughout India, and DICV plans to further extend its sales network all over the country. DICV has some of India’s leading car and commercial vehicle dealerships on board.
In July, Daimler launched a financial services subsidiary for the Indian market, called Daimler Financial Services India, which will offer financing and insurance products for dealers and their customers in order to support sales of BharatBenz vehicles.
About Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, which is based in Stuttgart, Germany. DICV will produce light, medium-duty, and heavy-duty commercial vehicles for the Indian volume market, starting this year. In February 2011, DICV unveiled BharatBenz, an entirely new brand for the Indian market. BharatBenz is the fifth truck brand from Daimler’s commercial vehicle division. The products will be customized to serve all major customer segments, ranging from owner-drivers to large fleet operators. The company, which currently has 1,200 employees, also handles marketing, sales, and aftersales of Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks in India.
Source: Daimler AG