Daim­ler Makes In­roads into Lead­ing Truck­mak­ers’ Turf

Co plans to launch 5-7 tonne trucks in the .₹ 50-80 lakh seg­ment where Tata Mo­tors and Eich­ers are dom­i­nant

The Economic Times - - Business Of Brands - Ke­tan.Thakkar@ times­group.com

Mum­bai: Hav­ing climbed to num­ber 4 po­si­tion in the In­dian com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle space in less than four years, world’s sec­ond largest truck maker Daim­ler is grad­u­ally ex­pand­ing foot­print and en­ter­ing into main­stay seg­ments of mar­ket lead­ers Tata Mo­tors, Ashok Ley­land and Eicher and carv­ing out new seg­ments and price points in grow­ing In­dian com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle space.

Hav­ing started from 9-49 tonne through its Bharat Benz trucks, DICV is now plan­ning to cre­ate a new en­try point in In­dia by in­tro­duc­ing a 5-7 tonne light truck in a cou­ple of years and take on Tata Mo­tors 407 and Eicher Pro Se­ries and on the other ex­treme, cre­ate a mid price seg­ment of .₹ 50 lakh to .₹ 80 lakh with its new range of Thun­der­bolt trucks, which will po­si­tioned be­tween high end of Tata Mo­tors trucks and Volvo Trucks ca­ter­ing to min­ing seg­ment and high di­men­sional cargo seg­ments with its tip­pers and trac­tor trail­ers.

En­ter­ing into 5-7 tonne range will not only give Daim­ler a foothold into 2,500 to 3,000 units a month mar­ket, which makes up for 8-9% of 5-49 tonne mar­ket in In­dia, but it will also be ex­ported as Fuso in big num­bers to Latin Amer­ica and In­done­sia, where such kind of trucks are in big de­mand, say peo­ple in the know.

Daim­ler is tar­get­ing buy­ers of Sca­nia and Volvo Trucks which are priced over .₹ 1 crore with the highly lo­calised so­lu­tion with its Thun­der­bolt range at a price which is 30-40% lower than ri­val trucks, but de­liv­ers on same at­tributes. Erich Nes­sel­hauf, MD of Daim­ler In­dia Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles told ET three years since start­ing op­er­a­tion in Septem­ber 2012, the com­pany has de­liv­ered sales ahead of its plans.

"2015 was a very suc­cess­ful year for Daim­ler in In­dia, be it for do­mes­tic mar­ket or ex­ports. The com­pany’s do­mes­tic sales grew by 30%

En­ter­ing the 5-7 tonne seg­ment will also en­able Daim­ler to ex­port to mar­kets in Latin Amer­ica

and ex­ports dou­bled. We are adding ca­pac­ity on one hand and add new prod­ucts in our port­fo­lio, we will widen our range fur­ther - we can go up and we can go down," said Nes­sel­hauf.

The com­pany closed year 2015 with do­mes­tic sales of 14,000 units and saw its mar­ket share in­crease from 6.2 % to 7.3% in 2015 in the ad­dress­able seg­ment of 9-49 tonne.

While the cu­mu­la­tive mar­ket share is at 7.3%, in some of the mar­kets and some seg­ments, Nes­sel­hauf says, Bharat Benz’s mar­ket share ranges from 5% to even 50%. The com­pany cu­mu­la­tively sold about 30,000 trucks in In­dia and just last year also rolled out range of Bharat Benz buses for the In­dian mar­ket.

For the year 2016, the com­pany is plan­ning to grow sales by an­other 40% and may cross 20,000 units of an­nual vol­umes, whereas pro­duc­tion is likely to touch 25,000 units with Fuso trucks in strong de­mand glob­ally.

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