BharatBenz surpasses 100,000 trucks sale, firmly established in India
Published On Apr 29, 2020
The milestone achieved 8 years after retail sales took off in 2012. A total investment in excess of Rs 5500 Cr so far, the Indian operation emerged as a key export hub. A renowned brand and expanding network, BharatBenz prepared for a long ride in the Indian trucking industry.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG in India, achieved yet another important milestone during the first quarter of 2020. Within eight years of the start of production in 2012, the company sold more than 100,000 medium and heavy-duty trucks in India. This marks an unprecedented ramp-up in the world's toughest commercial vehicle market, taking on local truck brands.
The India project took-off in 2008 amid the global financial crisis, when the company announced plans to venture into the Indian domestic commercial vehicle industry. Right from the word go an intense focus on higher localization, a deeper study of the local market and technological capabilities, BharatBenz pulled-off challenging times. The company first developed its truck test track, and followed-up with a greenfield, integrated manufacturing plant at Oragadam, at the outskirts of Chennai. Thus far, the investment has crossed over Rs 5500 Cr, and the BharatBenz brand becomes synonymous with Indian trucks against the challenging domestic truck brands.
Speaking on the sales milestone, Rajaram Krishnamurthy, vice president marketing and sales said, "BharatBenz trucks are specifically designed for India. Reaching 100K truck sales so soon shows how many Indian customers appreciate Daimler's quality and value. We are very proud to celebrate this milestone and look forward to many more."
Further, Daimler Buses has sold more than 4500 BharatBenz buses in India since the start of operations in 2015. DICV recently also celebrated important export milestones. Since 2012, DICV has exported more than 30,000 vehicles under the brands BharatBenz, Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner and FUSO to more than 50 markets around the globe. Moreover, the company has exported 130 million parts to other plants within the production network of Daimler Trucks since 2014.
According to Satyakam Arya, Managing Director and CEO, "DICV is real proof of the 'Make In India' concept. We combine Daimler's worldwide network and a long history of engineering with India's ingenuity and frugality. That's how we've exported over 13 crore parts from India to all over the world."
BharatBenz caters the above 9 to 55T trucks as well as BharatBenz buses, Mercedes-Benz coaches and bus chassis in the Indian domestic market. The company manufacturing these vehicles at the modern plant at Oragadam near Chennai spreads over 400 acres (160 hectares) including a highly modern test track and is home to the company's headquarters, R&D and training operations.
Besides serving the local market DICV makes vehicles and components for the export market. It produces Daimler Trucks' brands of FUSO, Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner trucks which are being exported to more than 50 markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Responding to the rapidly changing Indian trucking market, BharatBenz has revamped its complete truck portfolio with the advanced BS6 emission compliant. The company heavily invested in technologies in developing the new truck range. What has also helped BharatBenz is the global experience of developing, manufacturing and successfully deploying BS6 trucks across the developed markets.
BharatBenz unveiled its BS6 truck and bus range ahead earlier this year much ahead of the deadline and now geared-up for retail sale. The new generation trucks come with pioneering 'ProfitTechnology+' a package of technologies and features ensuring industry-leading fuel efficiency, safety, comfort, and reliability. With the new generation of BharatBenz trucks, DICV moves away from the traditional tonnage classification. Instead, it will focus on creating the best truck for every need, customizing vehicles for use applications and targeting specific sectors such as e-commerce.
To serve the customer better BharatBenz is increasingly focussing on digital technologies. Its Proserv digital service platform, and the new telematics solutions Truckonnect and Bus Connect. These connectivity-enhancing services allow fleet-operators to track and analyse their vehicles in real-time. The benefits of this include improved fleet and fuel management, reduced running costs, increased utilization of assets and improved driver performance.
Protect market share & Invest in a network
In the calendar year 2019, BharatBenz sold fewer trucks than 2018 due to the ongoing slowdown in the domestic market; however, it has successfully maintained both profitability and share of the market for its domestic truck business. BharatBenz recorded a drop of 36% with sales of 14,474 trucks (2018: 22,532 units) in the year 2019, in line with the 35% drop in industry sales volumes.
Despite significant market headwinds, the company has invested in expanding its sales and service network. In 2019 alone, the pan India network has recorded considerable growth of 30%, increasing from 82 touchpoints in 2018 to 236 in 2019.
BharatBenz is committed to the Indian truck market and embarked on further investment in order to be closer to the customers and serve them better.