Daimler’s Indian bus plant goes on stream

German automobile maker Daimler on Wednesday inaugurated its Rs 425 crore bus plant near here while unveiling a new range of trucks and heavy-duty tractors. According to Wolfgang Bernhard, a member of the Board of Management, Daimler is now firmly established in the Indian market with its Bharat Benz brand of vehicles.  Daimler’s Indian Commercial Vehicles — the Indian subsidiary of Daimler — had initially set up a plant to roll out trucks and decided to set up a bus plant within the same complex near here.

The bus plant has an initial capacity to roll out 1,500 units and can be expanded to 4,000 units per annum. The new plant will manufacture buses with a gross vehicle weight of 9, 16, and above 16 tonnes range. “We continue to strengthen our presence in the Indian comm

The bus plant has an initial capacity to roll out 1,500 units and can be expanded to 4,000 units per annum. The new plant will manufacture buses with a gross vehicle weight of 9, 16, and above 16 tonnes range. “We continue to strengthen our presence in the Indian commercial vehicle market with new products, now also including buses. In doing so, we are opening a new chapter of growth,” Bernhard said.

The bus plant will roll out vehicles under two brands – Mercedes Benz (rear engine for inter-city travel) and BharatBenz (front engine for schools, tourists, and staff transportation).

According to Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler Buses, the group sees huge potential for growth in India. He said the volume of the Indian market for buses weighing over eight tonnes will more than double by the year 2020.

“Our two-brand strategy allows us to offer our customers in the region the right products and services for them,” Schick said.

With the opening of the bus plant, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles is now a full-fledged commercial vehicle maker in India.

The company also ventured into the mining segment with its BharatBenz 3143 truck as a natural progression. The model will be available in two variants.

The company later in the year would also launch a truck suited for transporting heavy-lift project cargo like turbines, heat exchangers, windmill propellers, and others.

According to Erich Nesselhauf, managing director and the CEO of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, over 20,000 trucks rolled out of the plant are on the Indian roads.

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