Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd, a 100 per cent wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, Germany, has inaugurated its new bus manufacturing facility in Oragadam, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and unveiled its second wave of products – BharatBenz and Mercedes-Benz buses as well as a new range of new BharatBenz high-power engine trucks and BharatBenz heavy duty tractors, a company release said.
The new state-of-the-art bus manufacturing plant, constructed within the existing premises of DICV spread across an area of 27.91 acres, will manufacture and assemble buses under two brands: Mercedes-Benz and BharatBenz. With an investment of Rs.425 crore, the bus plant is set up for an initial capacity of 1,500 units which can be further expanded to 4,000 units subsequently.
Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses, said, “We have become firmly established in the Indian market with our BharatBenz brand, despite only operating in the market since 2012. We continue to strengthen our presence in the Indian commercial vehicle market with new products, now also including buses. In doing so, we are opening a new chapter of growth.” He added, “This investment represents the ongoing pursuit of our strategy of targeted expansion for our global market presence.”
“We see enormous potential for growth in the Indian market. For example, we expect the volume of the Indian market for buses weighing over eight tons to more than double by the year 2020. Our two-brand strategy allows us to offer our customers in the region the right products and services for them,” Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, said.
With the opening of the bus plant DICV is expanding its business and becoming a full-fledged CV manufacturer in the Indian market. It will adopt a twofold strategy with BharatBenz and Mercedes-Benz buses that will cater to the Indian customer. BharatBenz buses manufactured at the Oragadam plant will be front-engine for short distance travel targeting school, staff and tourist transportation. The premium segment will be addressed with Mercedes-Benz rear-engine buses for intercity transportation. The new plant will manufacture buses with gross vehicle weight of 9, 16 and above 16 ton range.
The growth in the industry will position India as the second largest bus market with high strategic relevance for Daimler Buses. The new bus plant will create 1,300 job opportunities in the state, 300 for DICV and additional 1,000 at Wrightbus International.
Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, said, “Since start of production, we have over 20,000 trucks on Indian roads. This is a reinforcement of the customers’ acceptance of our products. India has a lot of natural resources like coal, iron and other minerals. We expect the Indian tipper industry to grow substantially by 2020. The 3143 will be a game changer in the deep mining segment targeting the most demanding application with a local product.”