Touting its “Made in India” profile, Daimler Truck’s subsidiary Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) revealed its new BharatBenz heavy-duty truck brand at a special preview event in New Delhi, India.
The truck brand, which is entirely manufactured in India, marks Daimler’s entrance into the Indian market, where more than 300,000 units were sold in 2011, making it the third-largest truck market.
“Our strategy focuses on profitable growth. We want to boost our sales in existing markets as well as new ones. Our strategy for the new growth markets is to operate as globally as possible, on the one hand, and as locally as necessary on the other,” said Andreas Renschler, Daimler Truck CEO.
On March 2, BharatBenz will unveil its entire truck lineup in the 6 to 49-ton range. The BharatBenz heavy-duty trucks will be built on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform, and future light and medium-duty trucks will be based on the Fuso Canter and Fighter series. The new trucks will meet India’s BS III emissions standard [comparable to Euro III].
“The trucks are based on existing Daimler commercial vehicle platforms. Indian specialists developed the trucks for the local market, where they are also built,” Renschler said. “This is the most effective way for us to participate in the growth of India’s volume segment. Our product range focuses on quality, reliability, and efficiency and particularly targets the modern domestic segment, which shows huge growth potential and reflects the growing demands of Indian customers.”
The new brand is part of Daimler’s commitment to India, a company executive said.
“BharatBenz mirrors our long-term commitment to India. It is a successful synergy of Indian engineering and German DNA. We will offer modern trucks that will redefine the Indian trucking experience,” said Marc Llistosella, managing director & CEO of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles. “With this preview, we are introducing a completely new truck designed from scratch. We are confident that the introduction of modern trucks with greater fuel efficiency, improved safety features, and competitive pricing will make us the game changer in the Indian trucking industry.”
The trucks will be manufactured at a new plant in Oragadam near Chennai in Southern India. Construction of the plant is nearly complete and trial runs for engines and transmissions on the production line have already taken place, Daimler said. The plant is expected to be able to produce 36,000 units per year initially with the capabilities to ramp up to 70,000 per year.
The company expects to utilize more than 450 local suppliers in the construction of the trucks, which will be sold through 70 locations throughout India.