Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karnataka Bank to provide customised financial packages to its customers. BharatBenz customers will get access to Karnataka Bank’s 740 branches across India to avail of their finance needs to buy BharatBenz CVs. Aiding BharatBenz’s growing presence in India according to Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, the arrangement will enable Karnataka Bank to reach out to more number of CV customers. DICV, in India, sells a wide range of BharatBenz trucks and buses ranging from 9-tonne to 49-tonne. The company also offers light, medium and heavy-duty buses in India. The heavy-duty bus is marketed under the name of Mercedes-Benz
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles charges ahead with a mix of rising domestic sales and a strong exports drive.
It was in March 2012 that Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, unveiled its new range of trucks under the BharatBenz brand. The company held a special event spanning six-days at the Hyderabad International Convention Center, where the media, potential customers and brand partners including dealers and suppliers were able to see the trucks up and close. The event followed the announcement from the company that it will seek a presence in the CV segments in India ranging from 9 to 49-tonnes. Truck models to that effect – light-duty and heavy-duty, were showcased. A sale of 1000 trucks was achieved in 2012. In May 2013, the company announced its Indian strategy under its forward-looking programme, Daimler Trucks No. 1. The first outcome of the programme resulted in the launch of a new robust ‘Made in India’ truck portfolio under the Fuso brand for exports. Supported by rising domestic sales and a strong export drive, DICV, it is no secret, is pursuing growth. Expecting to break-even this year, the company, according to Marc Llistosella, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, has been able to offset its growth in the domestic market last year with exports. “Our path is promising, and we expect to break-even this year,” he said.
Expecting to be profitable from 2018, DICV, it is certain will continue to follow the strategy of driving exports while it increases its reach in the domestic market. Exports of DICV trucks made at the Oragadam plant ammounted to 4500 units in 2016. In 2015, 2100 units were exported. So far, 7500 trucks have been exported to over 30 markets. Exports of parts from DICV’s extensive Indian supplier base to other Daimler entities in Japan, Europe, North America and Brazil, have crossed 35 million. The domestic performance of the company may reflect from the degrowth of seven per cent, it were the exports that made a difference. A total of 13,081 trucks were sold in the domestic market by the company in 2016. In 2015, 13,997 units were sold. Until now, sources close to the company claim, 40,000 BharatBenz trucks have been put on the road. Said Llistosella, “The Indian operation is a cornerstone of our success at Daimler Trucks Asia. With the launch of a third product line for exports, we will enter the next stage in the strategic collaboration of DICV and MFTBC. DICV will start production of this new series of trucks – sub-9 tonne vehicles, shortly. These would initially be exported as Fuso brand variants.” “The first customer vehicles will roll out in the first half of the year,” he added.
According to Erich Nesselhauf, MD & CEO, DICV, the focus on profitable growth continued in 2016. “A mixed year for the Indian CV industry 2016 was. We were able to compensate the current challenges in the domestic market with our successful export story. With new products in the pipeline, we are geared up for further growth.” Clear about offering fully-built trucks and buses, the implementation of BSIV emission norms in April this year are likely to work to the advantage of the company, which announced last year that product transition to BSIV emission norms has been accomplished. “With BharatBenz, we have the best technology in the market. The CVs are based on proven solutions, and enable use to be fully ready to sell BSIV vehicles in India. Feedback from our customers for our BSIV vehicles clearly indicates that we are perfectly positioned for the transition,” expressed Nesselhauf. He mentioned, “Continuing discussions on BSIV are reflecting upon the attempt of some players in the Indian commercial vehicle industry to dilute this upcoming transition of emissions standards. It should not be diluted by commercial interests. There is no acceptable reason for any delay, as everyone in the industry has had enough time to get ready for the transition. We also believe that our BSIV vehicles are economically beneficial to our customers since they deliver more mileage (kilometer per litre) compared to BSIII versions. Superior efficiency of BSIV trucks can help to reduce the import bill of the Government of India,” explained Nesselhauf. He further stated, “We have been selling BSIV emission compliant CVs since August 2015. The feedback we received was positive.” The company has trained its dealers to cater to its new-tech trucks.
The new generation BharatBenz heavy-duty trucks launched in the coming months, will be key growth drivers, claim Daimler India sources. In Its been three years after the launch of BharatBenz CVs that the company is presenting a new range of medium-duty trucks. Upgrading the entire truck portfolio with the launch of its new generation heavy-duty trucks in the segment between 16 and 49 tonne GWV, the company rolled out the 50,000th CV recently. The roll out marked a production milestone in August 2016. Localisation levels of trucks are claimed to be as high as 92 per cent. With air conditioned cabins on offer, the new BharatBenz trucks are expected to reduce driver fatigue, a major cause for accidents in India.
With the ecanter, the third generation of the world’s first fully-electric light truck under the Fuso brand marking a leap forward, DICV, as part of Daimler’s Asia strategy, continues to look forward to a brighter future. The ecanter, based on the modular battery concept, can cover up to 100 km on a single charge.
It takes less than an hour to charge 80 per cent of the battery. Payback time is expected to be three years. With a payload capacity of two to three-tonne, the trial run of the ecanter is said to have highlighted a saving of around Euro 1000 per 10,000 km. This vehicle will be delivered to the customers in Europe, the US and Japan.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has praised the government statement about making ACs mandatory in trucks from mid-2017. Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, has expressed that they highly welcome the government’s push for mandatory AC on trucks. At BharatBenz, we have been selling AC trucks throughout our 9- to 49-tonne truck range since inception, he added. Nesselhauf stated that making AC mandatory would boost safety by increasing driver concentration. For its bus business, DICV is aiming to invade new geographies. Having sold over 1000 buses in the domestic and international markets since Novemner 2015, the company is working on a phase-by-phase approach. After completing phase I, which included penetration in southern and western markets, the company will implement phase II. This would involve market penetration of buses in north and east India. The move is expected to take place by the end of this year.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) is looking at exporting fully-built nine-tonne buses to the Middle East by the end of the current year, claim industry sources. The company is currently exporting nine-tonne bus chassis to South East Asia, Africa and Latin America. Within the Chennai plant of DICV is a Wrightbus bus body building facility. Claimed to have a 24,000 unit capacity, the facility makes BharatBenz staff, school and tourist buses, and a Mercedes-Benz luxury coach on the O500L chassis. For global expansion, Daimler is looking at Indian built trucks to play a role. It showcased a 37-tonne BharatBenz 3723R five-axle rigid truck at the Hannover CV show. Claimed to have sold over 40,000 heavy-duty and medium-duty India-made trucks since the last four years, Daimler also showcased Fuso TV-R, a heavy-duty tractor made in India. In India, DICV produces and sells BharatBenz trucks ranging between nine- and 49-tonnes.
Ice Road Truckers (IRT) is a reality television series that premiered on History television channel on June 17, 2007. Mirroring the global series, Ice Road Truckers (IRT) – India’s Deadliest Roads, the Indian series features prominent television and film personality Mandira Bedi, wrestler Sangram Singh, and actor Varun Sharma. For the Indian series, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has associated with History TV18 television channel to provide their truck MD1214R. Finding the concept interesting according to Sominder Singh, Vice President for Domestic Sales, Product Management & Network, DICV, the MD 1214R truck was chosen for the task because of its modern build and comfortable drive. Averred Singh, that they found the concept of the show not and challenging but also fascinating. Also perfect to visually showcase how BharatBenz trucks are built for the toughest conditions. The selection of celebrities in the Indian version (over the selection of seasoned truck drivers in the international series) was done to attract more viewership. Before setting out for the 1200 km journey, through remote and challenging terrains of Leh-Ladakh, Pangong Lake and Nubra valley to reach an altitude of up to 18,000 feet in the Himalayas, the participants underwent training at DICV’s Chennai plant, and on tough terrains like Manali before setting out on the journey. When it came to sharing their experiences, the three celebrities described the show format as the most challenging. The series is expected to draw attention to the tough life truck drivers in India lead. The three celebrities had a first hand experience of what the truck drivers go through quipped Bedi at an event held in Mumbai to announce the airing of the series.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PSG Polytechnic College, Coimbatore, to offer a vocational diploma program in the automobile sector. The course, certified by the Directorate of Technical Education (DoTE), will have 20 blue collar associates of DICV participating. Over the one-year duration of the course, the participants will receive skill training (Level 5 of NVEQF/NSQF) in accordance with the AICTE curriculum. PSG Polytechnic College will provide the academic knowledge whereas DICV will be the skill knowledge provider. The successful blue collar associates will be awarded with the diploma. Expressed Erich Nesselhauf, MD and CEO, DICV, “We actively support all our employees, and on all levels of the organisation in their professional development.” “We are proud to introduce this government-certified program aimed at their further development,” stated mentioned.
Over 5000 vehicles have been exported by Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV). This milestone was achieved in a short span of three years after starting to export its trucks in 2013. DICV exports trucks and buses it produces at its plant at Chennai to more than 20 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. After the recent additions of Kuwait and Peru, the company expects to add 10 more markets in the course of this year. Marc Llistosella, President and CEO of MFTBC and Head of Daimler Trucks Asia said, “We are systematically developing Daimler Trucks Asia’s Fuso brand business in key growth regions across the globe.” He gave credit to the Fuso range of vehicles, built at the Indian plant. The new Fuso range of vehicles features four medium duty (nine to 16-tonne) trucks and twelve heavy-duty (16 to 49-tonnes) trucks. Good amount of diverse offering has opened doors to additional target markets according to Llistosella. Beyond completely built trucks and parts, DICV also exports bus chassis produced at its bus plant at Chennai. The company also supplies vehicle kits to Kenya for local assembly by a Fuso partner since March 2016.