Automaker Daimler AG is aiming to expand its product portfolio in India as it plans to launch sub 9-tonne trucks from next year, which will be sold both in domestic and export markets. The new product range, which the company terms internally as ‘Titan’, would have trucks ranging between 6-9 tonnes.
“We will start in India with the product called Titan next year. We will start the products below 9-tonne from India to India and also to the world. That’s very important because now it’s the third product,” Daimler Trucks Asia Head Marc Llistosella told reporters here. Stuttgart-based Daimler AG is present in India through a 100 per cent subsidiary — Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV).
The Chennai-based company currently sells medium duty and heavy duty trucks ranging between 9 and 49 tonnes in the country under the brand name BharatBenz. Besides, the DICV-built FUSO trucks from Oragadam plant near Chennai are exported to markets in South East Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Llistosella said, since starting operations in India four years ago, the company has so far sold 42,000 units in the country and exported another 7,000 trucks. Besides, it has produced around 52,000-53,000 truck units till now from the same plant. The company exports its products mostly to Africa, Middle East and South America. “We are going step by step to some countries in South America like Peru, Chile and Colombia. We are picking some good markets with good size where we can position ourselves exactly where new Fuso needs to be,” Llistosella said.
On sales network, he said, “We have over 100 sales points currently. Now, we have started our third wave of dealerships which are smaller because we need to be in the rural areas, this is where India is growing.” He also said that DICV is one of the biggest solar power producer entities in India. “Roughly 35 per cent of our energy supply is from solar panels in two years from now, we will be self-sufficient in energy which is really remarkable,” Llistosella said.
Daimler has already invested Rs 5,000 crore at the Oragadam plant which is spread over 400 acres. The company has a production capacity of 36,000 trucks per year from the plant, which can be doubled. In June this year, it exported 5,000 units, less than three years after the start of overseas shipments in 2013.
DICV and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) jointly operate in an organisational union under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia (DTA). Daimler Trucks Asia is not a legal entity, but a strategic business model which allows its group entities to collaborate in product development, production, exports, sourcing and optimising research activities.