Daimler India enters bus segment with Rs 425-crore plant

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Chennai | Published: May 28, 2015 1:24:01 AM

Commercial vehicles major Daimler has entered the bus segment in India with the inauguration of a greenfield facility...

Commercial vehicles major Daimler has entered the bus segment in India with the inauguration of a greenfield facility at its existing plant near Chennai for an investment of Rs 425 crore. With the bus plant inauguration on Wednesday, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has become the only plant of Daimler globally to produce trucks, buses, engines under three brands of Mercedes-Benz, BharatBenz and Fuso under one roof, said Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the board of management responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses, Germany.

To capitalise on the opening up of mining in the recent past, the company is also entering the segment with `India Made’ heavy duty trucks in 31 and 49 tonnages, he added.

Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the bus facility, Bernhard said: “We are the only multinational maker in India to be an end-to-end player in the complete CV segment. We see India becomes the largest market for both buses and trucks by 2020 and we started seeing the trend towards this. We want to prove the world that Daimler can make trucks in India for India and rest of the world on the global lines. We also proved the success of `BharatBenz’ brand with 20,000 trucks so far and our dual brand strategy – BharatBenz and Fuso (for exports) gaining momentum further.”

Daimler India will use the same assembly line for buses too as they are technologically similar. Starting with an initial annual capacity of 1,500 buses, the company will ramp up to 4,000 units per annum depending upon the demand for buses in India, he added.

Erich Nesselhauf, managing director and CEO, DICV, “We have started exporting bus chassis to Egypt and nearly 150 numbers been exported so far under Mercedes brand. The buses for India under BharatBenz brand will be launched in Q3 and will be targeted at schools, colleges, staff fetching (corporates) and tourism operators. Come with a gross weightage of 9, 16 and above 16 tonnage, the buses will have seating capacities of 27, 49 and 61 (luxury coach). We are the only multinational company to produce luxury coaches with 61 seating capacity and 15 metres long using Mercedes-Benz’s Brazil technology.”

“We have started marketing buses to prospective customers and we would start supplying from Q3 2015 onwards. Similarly, the India made heavy duty trucks will also be exported to SE Asia, Gulf, Africa and LA countries and has already got 600 bookings. We start supplying mining trucks from Q4 2015 onwards. We also do not rule out looking at public transport segment for buses as we have the capabilities, capacity and technology to meet the Indian states’ requirements,” Nesselhauf said. The mining trucks will have 400 HP and 430 HP engines respectively to enable customers load at least 10% more vis-a-vis competitors, he added.

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