Daimler had already granted a glimpse of the new BharatBenz heavy-duty truck at the sneak preview event held in New Delhi in January. Today, Daimler’s Indian subsidiary Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) is being joined by future customers, dealers, and media representatives to celebrate the beginning of a special six-day premiere in India’s fifth-largest city, Hyderabad.
The great attractions are the first light- to heavy-duty BharatBenz trucks weighing 9 to 49 tonnes GVW. Starting already in the third quarter of this year, DICV will offer the first BharatBenz trucks on the Indian market. The complete range of 17 commercial vehicles by the new Daimler brand will be available by 2014. This will enable DICV to meet the growing demand for state-of-the-art vehicles in India’s volume segment. At more than 300,000 units, this segment was one of the world’s top three truck markets in 2011.
Commenting on the product premiere, Andreas Renschler, the Daimler Board of Management Member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, underscores the importance of the modern domestic segment in India. “India’s volume segment promises considerable growth accompanied by a rise in customer expectations,” Renschler said. “Our Global Excellence Strategy is bearing fruit here. Using existing truck platforms as a basis, we developed new products specifically for the Indian market, which are also manufactured and sold here in India. Like all Daimler commercial vehicles, BharatBenz trucks will fulfill customers’ expectations with regard to quality, reliability, and efficiency.”
Marc Llistosella, CEO and Managing Director of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, emphasized the following at the product presentation: “Today’s presentation of BharatBenz products is a significant moment for us. Following a long development phase and over 4.5 million kilometers of testing at our Oragadam proving grounds, we are more than ready to conquer the Indian market. The fact that Daimler is offering a brand for the Indian market shows how important this region is for us. We are investing 44 billion rupees (around €700 million) into highly modern development and production facilities, thus demonstrating our commitment to this fascinating country.”
Global truck platforms tailored to India’s volume segment
The BharatBenz product range includes light-, medium-, and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The BharatBenz heavy-duty truck is built on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform, while the light- and medium-duty trucks are based on the Fuso Canter series. BharatBenz products provide customers with a competitive total cost of ownership, as demonstrated by the vehicles’ great fuel efficiency, long lifespans and service intervals, and great value-for-money.
Trucks “Made in India” at the Oragadam plant
The light-, medium-, and heavy-duty range of BharatBenz commercial vehicles will be manufactured at the new plant in Oragadam near Chennai in Southern India. The 160-hectare facility will be put into operation in a few weeks, and production trials of engines and transmissions have already begun. Although the plant’s production capacity will initially be 36,000 units per year, it can be ramped up to 70,000 units. To manufacture the trucks, DICV is utilizing the capabilities of India’s supplier industry. DICV is currently working together with more than 450 supplier companies, and future BharatBenz trucks will have a localization rate of 85 percent.
Dealership network encompasses all of India
In cooperation with local car and commercial vehicle dealers, DICV has built up a nationwide retail network that will encompass around 70 locations by the end of the year. The dealerships were subject to strict quality and due diligence tests. The retail network will be expanded to more than 100 dealerships by 2014.
Source: Daimler AG