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To mark five years of its journey, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles has introduced a Euro5 truck in India.

Story & Photos by:

Bhushan Mhapralkar

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has introduced a Euro5 ready truck in the medium-duty range of trucks it sells. Offering 14 truck models in the 9- to 49-segments, and under the medium-duty truck (MDT) and heavy-duty truck (HDT) nomenclature, the company is starting second shift at its Chennai plant to address the rise in demand for its trucks. Experiencing a positive uptake in the Indian market after the migration to BSIV emission norms, the company has sold over 50,000 trucks in its five years in India. Announcing a dedicated truck brand BharatBenz for India in 2011, DICV bridged the 10,000 units sales mark in 2014. Unveiling the first BharatBenz truck at Delhi in early 2012, and following up with an introduction of HDT truck at Mumbai the same year, DICV is looking at expanding its reach to 40 export markets by the end of this year over the current count of 38 markets. Beginning exports in 2013, and to the left-hand drive markets in 2014, DICV, in the domestic market has come be the number-three player in the HDT space. Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate five years of DICV in India, Marc Llistosella, Head of Daimler Trucks Asia, expressed that they have been changing the game in India. He drew attention to the Fuso eCanter his company has introduced in New York. The electric truck will complement the UPS fleet for last mile delivery in an urban environment.

Describing the eCanter as a game changer, and a solution from Daimler to address the new needs in urban haulage, Llistosella, revealed that they have achieved a nine-per cent growth in India. He averred, “We are seeing a marginal improvement in India.” The Asian business, in comparison, grew 25 per cent. Stating that the significant growth in the last few months gives him confidence, Llistosella remarked, “In 2012, we started with the launch of the HDT in Mumbai. We brought new standards in quality and safety. We also began exporting. Exports have doubled every year since. None of the new entrants have come close to where we are today.”

Banking on technology

Exporting trucks made at the Chennai plant to Indonesia under the Mercedes-Benz brand, DICV has exported 7000 trucks under different brands till date said Marc. Trucks sold domestically and those that are exported share the same line at the Chennai plant of DICV. They flaunt the same build quality thus. Confronting 60 per cent old trucks upon entry into the Indian market five years ago, Llistosella touched upon the cowl trucks. They are not safe, he quipped. Claiming that they were the first to offer fully-built trucks, Llistosella commented, “We were the first to offer a BSIV truck in India. It is us who have been pushing for a AC cabin. We feel that it is necessary for the driver who drives over longer distances. His getting tired has a safety imperative.” Stressing upon the obligation to bring new technology, Llistosella opined, “Now is the right time. Electrification of trucks is possible. It is possible in India with the support of the authorities. We need infrastructure, and we can do it. Daimler can do it.” Expressing that they have not achieved all that they wanted to achieve (in India), Llistosella mentioned that exports have exceeded their expectations. Averred Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director & CEO, DICV, “We export to 38 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, New Zealand, and Africa. To address export aspirations as well as to address the rising demand in the domestic market, we have started second shift at the Chennai plant.” Erich expressed, “We have never waited for regulations.”

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Staying ahead of regulations

The push for AC truck cabin by DICV made news late last year. The company is continuing to push for AC cabins. The pursuit for AC cabins, said Erich, reflects on our strategy to not wait for the regulations. “We were the first to introduce crash tested cabins. We are exporting them to advanced markets. We were the first to introduce an AC in our trucks. We understand the need to deliver less polluting products. We will not wait for regulations. It is as per our strategy that we are introducing the Euro5 ready truck. It has 40 per cent NOx emissions than an Euro4 truck,” he explained. Offered on the MDT platform, which borrows heavily from the Fuso Canter platform, the Euro5 truck employs airless SCR technology. To meet Euro5 regulations, DICV engineers tweaked the SCR and engine management system.

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Capable of withstanding the variation in the quality of Diesel in India, the Euro5 truck, according to Nesselhauf has already begun finding its way to the operators. “We will hand over the Euro5 truck to our customers that care about the environment,” averred Erich. Hopeful of finding a place in many markets of the world, the Euro5 truck, said Erich, is the cleanest truck on Indian roads today. Reflecting on the ability of the company to pro-actively protect the environment, the Euro5 truck, quipped Marc, will help address vehicular particulate pollution. “We don’t believe in the lack of infrastructure. India is heavily investing in solar and other means of electricity generation. Pollution here is about 400 particles as compared to Germany where it is about 150 particles. There is an opportunity for an electric product. When we come out with an electric product, it will be competitively priced,” he concluded.

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