The Oragadam, Chennai-based Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Private Ltd (DICV), the wholly-owned subsidiary of the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturer Daimler AG, yesterday laid the foundation stone of its new bus manufacturing plant.
From (L-R): Markus Villinger, Head – Daimler Buses India; Hartmut Schick, Head – Daimler Buses & CEO – EvoBus GmbH; Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses and Marc Llistosella, MD & CEO, DICV.
Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Daimler AG Board member, responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses formally laid the foundation stone for the new bus plant in Tamil Nadu, India in the presence of Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses and CEO EvoBus GmbH, Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO, DICV; Markus Villinger, Head, Daimler Buses, India, a host of Indian and International media, Dealers, Suppliers and DICV personnel.
While speaking to the select media persons who were taken to the plant, Dr Bernhard said: “On the basis of our strong truck business, we are now pressing ahead on the Indian bus market. For that purpose, we are consistently using existing suppliers, our production site and our sales network in India”.
New bus plant
The new Bus manufacturing plant is spread across an area of 27.91 acres will be constructed within the existing premises of DICV. The bus plant will manufacture and assemble buses under the Mercedes-Benz and BharatBenz brands and will be completed by second Quarter 2015.
The DICV plant at Oragadam, near Chennai in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu will thus be the only Daimler Truck plant globally that manufactures three brands of trucks and buses, as well as engines all under one roof. Daimler India buses will be offered in nine tonnnes, 16 tonnes and above 16 tonnes categories in both front and rear engine configurations. An investment of Rs 425 crore has been earmarked for the bus project in India for an installed capacity of 1,500 units in the first phase. The capacity can be further expanded to 4,000 vehcieles subsequently, a company official said.
Schick pointed out: “Our two-fold strategy with BharatBenz and Mercedes-Benz buses allows us to cater to the different needs of Indian customers in a perfect way. In terms of safety, fuel efficiency, quality, and comfort, both brands will set new standards in the Indian bus sector”.
From (L-R): Marc Llistosella, Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Hartmut Schick and Markus Villinger.
Daimler India has partnered with Wrightbus, a leading global player in bus body building, for its front-engined buses. The state-of-the-art bus body building facility will be part of the new bus plant. The bus body will be superior in terms of technology and reliability meeting Daimler global standards of quality and efficiency.
Llistosella added: “We, at DICV, are extremely proud and confident about this new beginning. Since inception, we have delivered on all our promises for the Indian market, and we are continuously achieving new milestones. BharatBenz, having already achieved the No.4 position in trucks in India, has now become the preferred brand for most of the truck customers, thanks to its high performance products backed by best-in-class service levels. I am confident that the new bus project will continue to deliver same level of promise and experience to the customer”.
Villinger concurred: “The new Bus plant will roll out the first buses by second Quarter 2015. The bus division will have a dedicated strength of 300 personnel besides using the synergies of DICV’s existing expertise”.
It may be recalled that as early as in April 2013, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) consolidated commercial vehicle operations in India by integrating Mercedes-Benz Buses business into its operations. Subsequently, the Marketing, Sales and Service of Mercedes-Benz buses were aligned to the marketing function of DICV in line with Daimler’s global practice to ensure better synergies in business verticals.
The existing and upcoming Dealership network of DICV which caters to the BharatBenz range of trucks will also participate in the Daimler Bus business. The well-established and state-of-the-art dealerships will enhance the confidence of Indian customers. The network will ensure that every Bus customer is treated to an international service experience.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) is the subsidiary of Daimler AG, Stuttgart, Germany. DICV is contemplating on manufacturing medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles for the Indian volume market, under the brand name – BharatBenz. BharatBenz stands for Indian engineering with German DNA. The products have been engineered to serve all major customer segments, from owner-drivers up to large fleet operators. The efficiency of BharatBenz trucks is an optimal fit for customers keen on efficiency, a low Total Cost of Ownership over the life-cycle and highest profit potential for their businesses. The state-of-the-art production plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, spreads over 400 acres (160 hectares). It includes a modern test track designed to simulate Indian conditions – making it one of its kind in Asia. DICV has a total dedicated investment of over Rs 4,400 crore (€ 700 million).
The Company also handles Production, Marketing, Sales and After Sales of Mercedes-Benz Actros Trucks in India. Mercedes-Benz Trucks with the Brand Promise ‘Trucks you can Trust’ are renowned world-wide for their reliability and efficiency under most extreme operating conditions, as well. These trucks also offer the best that Truck Technology has to offer. The Daimler Bus division in India was merged with DICV in April 2013. In May 2013, a new range of FUSO trucks were launched as part of Daimler’s ‘Trucks Asia’ strategy. DICV is currently focussed on expanding its presence in the Indian Bus market. To this end DICV is currently in the process of setting up a dedicated manufacturing facility for the manufacture of Daimler Buses under the Mercedes-Benz and BharatBenz brands. The new manufacturing facility will also include a state-of-the-art body-building facility within its premises. Sustainability being a core of Daimler’s corporate culture, DICV will focus on creating efficient, reliable and ecologically friendly products.
BharatBenz is the Indian truck brand of Daimler AG, the world’s largest Commercial Vehicle manufacturer and inventor of the truck. Backed by over a century of global trucking experience and an in-depth understanding of the Indian terrain, BharatBenz is here to transform the country’s trucking industry. BharatBenz offers Indian customers an entire truck portfolio in the 9 to 49 tonne range across various applications. The name – BharatBenz – brings out the two most defining qualities of a brand that is being built exclusively for India. ‘Bharat’ carries the values, ideologies and spirit of the nation, and reinforces the brand’s commitment to serve the Indian market. ‘Benz’ upholds the lineage of innovation, technological brilliance and engineering excellence that have given unparalleled performance and great value for generations. Powered by the synergy between global leadership in technology and local deep rooted customer knowledge, BharatBenz builds robust, reliable, performance-oriented trucks to drive maximum productivity and deliver maximum value to customers across the country. With BharatBenz, a new era in Indian trucking has arrived.