Daimler unveils all-new BharatBenz truck range
18 Feb 2011
Germany's Daimler AG, the world's biggest truck maker by sales, on Thursday unveiled its new truck brand for India as it attempts to get a bigger foothold in a market that it expects to double by 2020.
The Stuttgart-based auto maker will offer trucks from six to 49 tons under the BharatBenz brand, producing them at its factory at Oragadam near Chennai. The first truck model will be introduced in June 2012 from the €700 million (Rs4,300 crore) plant that will have an initial production capacity of 36,000 vehicles a year.
"We would have liked to come to the country earlier but there was a slowdown," Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche told reporters. "We are very clear that we want to take a leadership position in India. We have chosen a very promising product for this market."
Daimler has been assembling since November 2007 its Mercedes-Benz Actros brand of heavy-duty trucks as well as buses at a factory near Pune. The Pune plant is owned by Daimler's passenger vehicle unit, Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd, which also assembles C-Class, E-Class and S-Class luxury sedans.
Daimler currently sells trucks under the Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Western Star and Fuso brands worldwide. BharatBenz will be its fifth brand.
India's truck market is dominated by Tata Motors Ltd, but Daimler and other global companies such as Volvo AB, MAN AG and Navistar International Corp are increasing their presence to capitalise on potential demand in the world's second-fastest growing major economy.