Daimler’s India trucks will be branded BharatBenz

Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on November 14, 2017

( from left) Mr Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles; Mr Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Daimler Trucks; and Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes- Benz Cars, at the unveiling of `BharatBenz', an exclusive brand for its trucks in India, at Oragadam, near Chennai on Thursday ( February 17, 2011) Photo : Bijoy Ghosh To go with Raja Simhan's report   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Trucks manufactured by German automobile major Daimler AG in India will be sold under the brand name BharatBenz – the fifth brand in the Daimler trucks portfolio globally.

The company unveiled the new brand at its upcoming plant in Oragadam located about 45 km from here.

The brand will represent the entire Daimler India Commercial Vehicles' portfolio of trucks from 6 to 49 tonnes. While the construction of the plant will be over by June this year, truck production will commence from mid-2012, said Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Board of Management of Daimler AG & Head of Mercedes Benz Cars.

“Daimler is at home in India. Our BharatBenz trucks are the right combination of Daimler's DNA and India's market know-how. These trucks will be developed and built in India, for India and by specialist employees from India,” he told newspersons after unveiling the new brand. The choice of Bharat (as the brand name) reinforces our commitment to serve the local market, he said.

The company will double its research and development team to nearly 1,000 people in the next two years, he said.

Export plans

The world's largest manufacturer of medium and heavy duty trucks above 6 tonne will also look at the option of exporting trucks manufactured at Oragadam under the same brand to other countries that have similar market dynamics.

According to Mr Andreas Renschler, Head of Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, the company was not looking for a partner in India. “We want a leadership position from day one. We are mature enough today and we do not need to have a local partner,” he said.

In 2008, Daimler had planned to set up the Chennai plant with the Hero Group through a joint venture. This did not materialise as the Indian partner pulled out from the joint venture.

The plant spread over 160 hectares has a test track in which over one million km of testing has been achieved by the company. Daimler India has a total dedicated investment of Rs 4,400 crore in the facility with an initial capacity to manufacture 36,000 units.

On pricing of the trucks, Mr Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, said, “it will be surprisingly competitive”.

All the products will be locally made with nearly 80 per cent localisation and the pricing will be competitive compared to other players in the segment, he said.

The product range in the light-duty segment will be based on the Fuso Canter platform while the heavy-duty range on the Mercedes-Benz trucks platform. With these platforms, the trucks have been ideally tailored to the needs of Indian customers, he said.

Published on February 17, 2011

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