Companies

Daimler India working on new range of buses to take on Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on March 09, 2018

Mr Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India, at the unveiling of its first BharatBenz Truck in the Capital on Wednesday. Photo: Kamal Narang

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) plans to take on domestic majors, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, with a new range of buses in the domestic market.

This is apart from the India-focused BharatBenz truck range that it plans to launch by July-September. The new bus range will be positioned below and complement the existing range of high-end Mercedes-Benz luxury buses already sold in India, several company officials said.

“A strategic discussion on launch of buses is going on. India is seen as too huge a market to be overseen,” said Mr Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO of DICV.

Added Mr V.R.V. Sriprasad, Vice-President for Market, Sales and After Sales, “Research on the bus platform is already on in Europe. We already have the platforms, but just need to modify them as per local conditions. Right now though, the focus is on trucks.”

Trucks

DICV will showcase the 17-19 products (6-49 tonne) under the BharatBenz truck range for the first time on March 2. While trial production has started, the final inauguration of its 400-acre plant near Chennai is expected by April. The plant has an initial annual production capacity of 36,000 units, which can be scaled up to 72,000 units.

“We’re targeting a 10 per cent market share (current size is three lakh units) and will offer more value than competition at competitive prices. We have the confidence not because of the Benz name, but because we’ve built every need of the customer into our product and services,” Mr Sriprasad said.

He added that an in-house finance wing for its customers will also be started soon.

By December, exports would also begin to nearby markets such as West Asia and South East Asia. Production of the ‘Actros’ high-end trucks will also shift to the Chennai facility from sister company Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Chakan, near Pune, where it is currently being assembled.

In all, DICV is investing Rs 4,400 crore, of which Rs 1,200 crore is for the R&D centre. It expects to have 110 dealers in the country by March.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 04, 2012

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