Daimler brings BharatBenz trucks to India

 IANS   Hyderabad     Last Updated: March 2, 2012  | 17:15 IST

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt Ltd (DICV), the Indian subsidiary of the world's leading truck manufacturer Daimler AG, Germany, on Friday unveiled a range of trucks under its brand BharatBenz.

Marc Llistosella, CEO and managing director of DICV, told reporters that three models would be introduced in the market in the third quarter of the current calender year, followed by the launch of 17 models over the next 20 months.

"It is the first time ever that Daimler has decided a brand entirely for one market," he said promising that BharatBenz offers value for money trucks that deliver the best in class performance, reliability and fuel efficiency.

At the Hyderabad International Trade Exhibition (HITEX), the company began the six-day long showcase of eight models between nine and 49 tonnes, for financiers, dealers and future customers.

The company has set up a state-of-the-art production plant at Orgadam near Chennai with an investment of Rs 4,400 crore, one of the biggest greenfield investments outside Europe that Daimler has ever made. Equipped with a unique test track to simulate Indian conditions, the plant will produce light, medium and heavy duty commercial trucks for the Indian market.

Marc said the plant had an initial capacity of 36,000 trucks, which can be scaled up to any number depending on the requirements. The company, which plans to double the capacity in the near future, is looking at a double digit market share in India in the next six months.

"The numbers are incidental. We want to be the number one choice of customers," V.R.V Sriprasad, vice president, marketing, Daimler India.

The company also plans to start exporting the trucks from its India plant from 2013 onwards. The officials, however, refused to identify the countries or give any numbers.

Marc said the trucks were designed with German engineering but at Indian competitive prices. The cost will be in single digit while giving fuel efficiency in double digits. "The customer will start making money in the first six months," he added.

Daimler will have 70 dealers in the first phase and by 2014 will have a pan-India presence with 104 locations.

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