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
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.