Daimler Buses is expanding its bus business in South-East Asia and will start selling Mercedes-Benz chassis in Vietnam. For this purpose, Daimler Buses is teaming up with the local automobile corporation Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO). Since June 1, 2020, THACO is the general distributor for Daimler’s bus division in the Vietnamese market. The collaboration contract was signed a few days ago.

The buses sold there will be specially adapted to suit local conditions and will use chassis from the Mercedes-Benz São Bernardo do Campo plant in Brazil. The Brazilian Mercedes-Benz plant will supply Vietnam with components kits for chassis from the second half of 2020. In Vietnam, THACO will assemble the chassis, before equipping them with their bodywork at their Chu Lai Truong Hai Automobile Mechanical Industrial Zone, and subsequently selling them via their sales network in the Vietnamese market. To ensure that customers in Vietnam can select the optimum vehicle for their requirements, the chassis will be equipped with the Mercedes-Benz OM 457 engine in different power outputs (260 kW and 315 kW).

Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses and Managing Director of EvoBus GmbH says: “In the South-East Asian bus markets, we’re still seeing great potential for Daimler Buses. The market entry with our Mercedes-Benz buses in Vietnam is an important step for us in terms of further expanding our global market presence and using as best as possible the growth opportunities which the Asian bus markets offer. We are pleased that we were able to join forces with THACO – a company which is already well established on the market and which will be a highly competent partner for us. We are sure that our Mercedes-Benz products will serve the increasing demand for vehicles in Vietnam particularly well.”

The market entry will allow growth opportunities in the Vietnamese market to be used

The entry into the Vietnamese market is an important step for Daimler Buses in terms of further expanding its global market presence and thus continuing its growth course in the South-East Asia region. Back in 2018, Daimler Buses already successfully entered the Taiwanese market with heavy touring coach chassis from Mercedes-Benz in Brazil. In Indonesia over the past years, Daimler Buses has sustainably secured its market position thanks to a successful expansion of its product portfolio. The world’s biggest fleet of Citaro urban buses is in operation in the city state of Singapore.

Daimler Buses sees great opportunities in the Vietnamese touring coach market. In Vietnam, buses are an important means of transport. With approximately 3,500 units, the Vietnamese bus market is, for example, bigger than those of Spain or Italy. Besides regular-service routes, buses also play an important role for the increasing numbers of tourists in the country. Potential customers are private companies operating regular-service and charter routes across Vietnam.

Regional Center ensures close proximity to customers for sales and servicing

The entry of Mercedes-Benz buses on the Vietnamese market will be driven by the Regional Center for South-East Asia (RC SEA), one of six internationally operative regional sales centers for Daimler Trucks and Buses. With the aid of the regional centers, Daimler is able to focus even more precisely on the regional customer requirements in the commercial vehicle segment and thus enables sales and servicing which is as close to the customer as possible. The business of the Daimler commercial vehicle division in the South-East Asia region comprises 18 markets which, besides Vietnam, includes Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines and Taiwan. With 622 million inhabitants, the region is more populous than the USA (> 300 million) or Europe (> 500 million) and, in the long term, offers a great amount of dynamism: more than 50 percent of the population is younger than 30 years of age. In the South-East Asia region, Daimler Trucks and Buses operates a total of five CKD assembly locations (Completely Knocked Down) for commercial vehicles: in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. With the supply of parts kits for Mercedes-Benz bus chassis from Brazil, Daimler Buses is also making use of the advantages which its well-positioned international production network offers.

A strong partnership with THACO in Vietnam

Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) was founded in 1997 with its headquarter located in Ho Chi Minh City. THACO employs over 20,000 people. Among the main business areas of THACO are the fields of mechanical and automotive engineering. THACO is the biggest automotive manufacturer in Vietnam, it covers the entire automobile value chain: ranging from product development to the manufacture of vehicle components, assembly, logistics, sales and aftersales of their products. The product range includes various types of trucks, buses, special purpose vehicles, and passenger cars from the executive class right up to the luxury segment. With THACO assuming the role as strategic partner for Daimler Buses in Vietnam, Daimler Trucks and Buses is further expanding its collaboration with the company. THACO is already a partner for the FUSO brand from Daimler Trucks. With the large sales and servicing network which is already in place, THACO can offer its customers optimum support with their vehicles.

Source: Daimler Buses