Daimler Buses’ India unit records strong domestic, export growth

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2019 Published on March 12, 2019

Thomas Fricke, Managing Director, Daimler Buses India at a press conference in Chennai on Tuesday   -  BusinessLine

Daimler Buses India, a unit of Daimler Buses under the umbrella of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), has reported strong growth in its domestic and export sales during 2018 on the back of robust orders in different segments and in overseas markets.

The company sold 1,555 buses in 2018, up 72 per cent compared to the volume of 906 units in 2017, while exports (bus chassis) grew 50 per cent at 616 units ( from 450 units in 2017).

“We have achieved not only our sales targets, but also financial targets,” Thomas Fricke, Managing Director, Daimler Buses India, said here, but declined to provide more details on the financial side.

A few weeks ago, DICV said its truck business achieved its first full year of break-even in 2018, six years after the market launch of its BharatBenz trucks.

“Within three years of market introduction, Daimler Buses India has become the fifth largest individual market for Daimler Buses on a global level,” said Fricke.

He said all categories (tonnage) reported strong growth in volumes in 2018, and almost two-thirds of its volumes were accounted by fully-built buses.

The Indian bus market, second largest in the world after China, has been growing at 4 per cent annually in recent years, reporting a marginal growth at about 40,000 units in 2018, said Fricke.

Daimler Buses India exports its Orgadam-built chassis for the 9- and 16-tonne buses to 13 markets in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and South East Asia. It is planning to export made in India buses to more markets in the coming months.

While the company, which sells fully-built buses and chassis across 9-, 16- and 24-tonne segments, sees bright scope to maintain a strong volume growth in the domestic market, the bus industry may see some challenges in volume growth due to general elections and migration to BS VI norms.

Complying with norms

However, Fricke felt that pre-buying of buses would come ahead of the BS VI norms during next fiscal. But he admitted that the market was clueless on the period of pre-buying. “Due to BS VI, prices of buses would definitely increase, but the quantum of increase is still unknown. Prices are likely to go up starting from 5 per cent,” he said. He also said unlike other companies, Daimler Buses would have to invest only in localisation of the BS VI technology, the process of which is on-going.

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Published on March 12, 2019
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