Daimler AG planning on launching mini trucks, LCVs in India under Bharat Benz

The commercial vehicle market is growing on par with the passenger car segment in the Indian auto industry. Daimler India Commercial Vehicles – DICV, a fully owned subsidiary of Daimler AG – makers of Mercedes Benz, are now planning on introducing a new range of trucks in India. These new trucks from Daimler AG will be launched under the Bharat Benz brand which was unveiled at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo.

DICV is planning on introducing around 19 trucks in India which will be in the range of 6 tonnes to 49 tonnes. Apart from this, DICV also wants to tap the small truck segment in the range of 1 tonne to 1.5 tonnes. These small trucks will be launched under the Bharat Benz brand.

Mr Aydogan Cakmaz, VP (R&D), DICV, said, “It is possible, but it should make business sense. We will undertake research and development to go for such a product. If at all we decide to enter this segment, it will take at least four to five years to do it. The segment has many players and it would be important for us that the product we offer meets our quality parameters.”

Currently the small trucks market in India is ruled by Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra. In the LCV segment, Tata Motors eats 52% market share while Mahindra takes away 25% of the market, which leaves about 23% of the market for other players. Daimler is the largest manufacturer of 6 tonne trucks in the world and they would definitely want a bigger share in the Indian truck industry.

At their soon to be inaugurated $1 billion plant in Chennai, Daimler will build India specific trucks and LCV’s. Daimler Chennai plant will have a capacity of 36,000 units, which could be increased to 70,000 units if the need arose. With help of localization, Daimler AG will be able to offer LCV’s and trucks at a competitive price in India. Daimler official said, “We want to be extremely competitive in our pricing and are focusing on low cost of ownership.”