Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DIVC), the Oragadam, Chennai-based manufacturers of commercial vehicle, BharatBenz, recently displayed its Euro-V ready medium-duty trucks as part of celebrating the German auto maker’s five years of journey in India.
Opening a new phase in the commercial vehicles segment of Indian automotive horizon with the launch of its truck, BharatBenz, the company celebrated its five years of successful journey by announcing that it had sold in excess of 55,000 trucks during this time. Since 2012, BharatBenz had made steady inroads despite adverse conditions including an overall industry downturn or multiple market distortions happened last year. The company has achieved the double digit market share in recent months, maintaining the pole position of number three in the heavy duty truck segment. DIVC is aiming at humongous growth in this year and as part of the preparedness, the German auto maker is expanding the manufacturing output with two shift operations. The company’s introduction of Euro-V ready medium-duty trucks goes to show its eagerness to improve air quality beyone BS-IV levels.
Double Digit Growth
While speaking at the event, Marc Llistosella, Head, Daimler Trucks Asia said, “Our strategic aim was to give Daimler trucks a strong footprint in India with its immense growth potentials. In just five years, we have firmly established BharatBenz as an aspiration brand in the world’s toughest commercial vehicle market. We thank our loyal customers and partners for making this unprecedented ramp-up happen with us.” What is more, in the current year, DICV expects to achieve significant growth with BharatBenz. For the first time, the brand progressed into double-digit market share in recent months, based on strong momentum gained with the BS-IV transition.
Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles: “We continue on our sustainable growth track with BharatBenz. Customer demand been particularly strong in the 16-49 tonnes segment, further extending our position as the clear number three in heavy-duty trucks. We have thus taken the next step and moved to two-shift operations at our manufacturing plant.”
Based on the strong and consistent order book position, DIVC will add a second shift at its truck manufacturing facility in Oragadam, near Chennai. The capacity expansion also means that the additional vehicle produced from this plant for its export orders. Since 2013, DIVC has exported more than 10,000 trucks. The company is aiming at exporting its trucks to 40 overseas markets by the end of this year.
To commemorate its fifth anniversary in the Indian market and to illustrate potentials to achieve further air quality improvements quickly, BharatBenz handed over its first Euro-V ready medium-duty trucks to customers. Nesselhauf said, “BharatBenz will continue to push the limits of India’s commercial vehicle industry. We led the transition to the BS-IV standard, and we are proud to hand over to customers Euro-V ready trucks today. Improvements of air quality beyond the BS-IV levels can be achieved immediately.”
In line with the Euro-V emissions standard, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are reduced by more than 40% compared to BS-IV. Nitrogen oxides are considered to be a major source of air pollution in high-traffic metro areas which leads to respiratory diseases and other negative impacts on people and environment.
The BharatBenz brand is specifically tailored for the Indian market and its demanding customer requirements by Daimler AG, the world’s leading CV manufacturer with a global reach. First unveiled in February 2011, BharatBenz celebrated its market launch in September 2012. Soon featuring a full-fledged product portfolio in the medium- and heavy-duty segments, the brand crossed the first major milestone of 10,000 units in April 2014 and had since, never looked back.
With the refresh of the medium-duty range in 2016 and the all-new heavy-duty range in 2017, BharatBenz updated its entire truck portfolio within a short span to give customers even more value for their money. Less than five years after its market foray, 55,000 BharatBenz trucks were handed over to patrons, an unprecedented ramp-up in the Indian CV industry. BharatBenz products are sold and serviced through a pan-Indian network of more than 130 touch points which is continuously expanded further also beyond the Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
The company is further looking at the introduction of electric vehicles in India. With the confidence of launching its Fuso e Canter electric truck in New York recently, before the introduction of the much hyped Tesla’s electric semi-truck, it is contemplating in terms of bringing the same to India as the German auto maker has the requisite technology, products and the wherewithal of making electric vehicles.
Speaking to the journalists at the event, Listosella said that the company had plans to bring the electric trucks to the country, if the German auto maker is assured of the necessary infrastructure support from the Indian civic bodies. “The Government should cite real cases of infrastructure for electric vehicles”, Listosella said and added: “Mere prototypes won’t work.” When asked as to whether the company had any definite timeline for the introduction of electric vehicles in India, the official said, “If we get the chance to bring our electric trucks to India, we will initially launch it only in metropolitan cities. Based on the speed of setting up the necessary infrastructure by the Government, we would initially bring only the medium-duty electric trucks. We are contemplating on making pilot run in cities such as Mumbai”, Listosella added.