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Old 11th April 2012, 16:34   #16
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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The operator may do a quick turnaround for one truck to do more trips, but when will he break-even for his higher purchase cost ? Remember, he is normally not going to get paid extra for sending the cargo on a Daimler than he will get if he used a TM/AL. Nor will he get better paid if delivers it faster.
I do not entirely support your argument here. I know industries which are ready to pay a little extra provided the shipment is delivered faster than what normally is possible. A simple example for this would be in the courier segment where we have to pay higher for quicker deliveries.

So, let's assume a scenario where the owner gets paid more for quicker shipment. This will ofcourse mean more trips in the same period of time! Won't that be an interesting deal for the operator? Also, the average downtime for these trucks are supposed to be much lower too.
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Old 11th April 2012, 16:37   #17
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

I am wondering where did HINO motors end up in India . No signs of life . The same is the case with Navistar .
The reason for AL or Tata selling in India is simple . First any roadside mechanic is geared to repair the trucks . Spare parts are easily available . Most of the owners do not want to risk their operations by buying some thing "exotic" and end up with a pile of **** .
The owners always consult a mechanic regarding a new product in the market and ,if the mechanic has not seen or heard of it , the best answer from him would be "it is a failure model "

FYI , Volvo buses are prefered in the A/C segment .. in the non -a/c segment it is still the AL and Tata doing duty .
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Old 11th April 2012, 18:03   #18
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

While I agree to the argument that there may be industries which will be ready to pay more for a faster delivery (fisheries, courier, fruits, vegetables) Iam not sure how much having a better truck is going to help. Since, road conditions affect any travel (Car/bus/truck).
For example if a normal truck takes 30 hrs to cover a distance of X km's, a better engineered truck may take say 25 hrs. Since no matter how good the truck other factors like check posts, traffic snarls, loading / unloading time,cut off time to enter in to city etc will remain same. I feel until all other factors exist, it needs to be seen how much of the value it will a small decrease in turn around time will save the truck operators.

On a similar note, I take anything around 5 - 6 hrs to drive in my Alto from Bangalore - Chennai (a distance of 350kms). Now, if I were to buy a Merc will it save running time? Ofcourse yes. However I wont be able to utilize the Merc to its full extent and may end up with a running time of say 4- 5 hrs. A saving of may be 1 hr with more investment / maintanence cost. If I was a smart truck operator I would rather buy another truck and try getting more profit.
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Old 11th April 2012, 20:16   #19
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

Apparently to replace a 3 panels on the cowl of the 10 or 12 wheeled TATA trucks, the price is 1500 rupees. 500 for each panel!!!!!!!

This is dirt cheap! No wonder TATA never made any cosmetic change to the 3118C. Can Daimler price their parts for the same?

Face it, Indian truck owners don't care about reliability or better product. They just want something that moves goods from A to B in the cheapest way.

Daimler isn't even selling their product in the frame-only version. Nobody has been sold figures like those of Tata and Leyland by building the cabs themselves. Even this says a lot. I don't know why the frame only versions are sold by TATA and Leyland, but it has a lot to do with keeping the cabin and body cheap.

Daimler is going to be another Volvo I think, you'll probably see them pulling enormously oversized loads here and there on the roads.
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Old 11th April 2012, 20:40   #20
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

I hope they do not need flatbeds as often as the German cars!
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Old 11th April 2012, 22:30   #21
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

Whatever cracker bursting may happen now !! After all everyone has to know. Finally it's about operating in India. Where a Volvo bus might work in a small premium segment but a Volvo haulage truck won't. Expect to see Diamler merging their current Actros range in India with Bharat Benz in a few years.
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Old 11th April 2012, 22:42   #22
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Apparently to replace a 3 panels on the cowl of the 10 or 12 wheeled TATA trucks, the price is 1500 rupees. 500 for each panel!!!!!!!

This is dirt cheap! No wonder TATA never made any cosmetic change to the 3118C. Can Daimler price their parts for the same?

Face it, Indian truck owners don't care about reliability or better product. They just want something that moves goods from A to B in the cheapest way.
I could not agree more with you sir. I have several clients who are fleet owners and they swear by Tata products because they are cheapest to buy, service and maintain in the long term.
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Old 11th April 2012, 23:05   #23
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

I'm not sure if the Indian truck market will respond the same way as passenger-driven automotive segments in India. Mileage and running cost would probably remain the cornerstones of all things Indian trucking.

Any manufacturer who can deliver the best in-class of these 2 parameters will reap rich dividends - and it need not even be an Indian manufacturer. E.g.: I am led to believe that Volvo tipper trucks - the type used to carry mined ore, return around 16 kmpl under full load.
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Old 11th April 2012, 23:24   #24
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

While I do not recollect the exact percentage figure, but I do remember reading that the entire Bharat Benz range of trucks has a very high degree of usage of indigenous parts which is likely to be a key USP for them while promoting their vehicles. And if they go the AMW way of offering service packages then they can definitely sell in large numbers in the 10-20 ton category.
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Old 11th April 2012, 23:26   #25
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

Mercedes Benz offers many brands in various markets at various price ranges. Mercedes Benz, FrieightLiner, Western Star, FUSO and so on. FUSO being the cheapest among the various brands MB offers. It looks like Bharat benz trucks are basesd on FUSO platform, ( NOT the premium brand "Mercedez Benz Truck platform or even FrieghtLiner). So a FUSO truck, 80% Indianized, does it command a 10% premium, except for the "BENZ" badging? looks like the intention is to leverage the brand recall of "BENZ", to market a not So premium product. Will the Indian truck owners fall for it?
Our Brands | Daimler > Brands & Products > Our Brands
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Old 12th April 2012, 00:15   #26
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

While I like the enthusiasm of the BBenz folk I do not agree with their strategy fully.

The Indian haulage industry have brilliantly worked around the limitations of the two CV majors and their models. Primarily this revolves around maintainance, since a Tata or AL truck can be fixed easily and cheaply (compared to other makers) anywhere. So reliability is not the fleet owners real worry, its the doubt that wether he can get it fixed anywhere at minimal cost.

Fleet owners especially small and medium size ones do not rely on authorised service centres as the cost difference compared to local solutions is HUGE!!
eg. Ramu does not need to run a 24x7 emergency service car, be sent to training centres to learn, does not charge for his services by the hour and neither does he top it off with sales tax, octroi, VAT etc.....
The moral of the story is Ramu can fix/service any Tata or Leyland and he can do it CHEAP. I cant see BBenz's 35 dealers competing with Ramu.

Then comes the Tata/AL spares of which you can get OEM parts, new parts, fake parts, second hand parts, jugaad parts and I can go on and on!! You can get them anywhere and not just 35 authorized dealers and their associates.

So the so called more reliable Germans (coff...coff...ahem!!) wont exactly be a real deal clincher, what next....Price!!!

BBenz have already convinced themselves they can charge a 10% extra, which is a lot of money. I have not mentioned the discounts Tata and AL offer as their margins are already quite strong.

I think its a mistake not taking on Tata and AL on price at least for the initial period. A BBenz product at a similar price to the Indian twins has a strong lure to it. At least the truck owner is convinced hes making a saving somewhere rather than rely on the salesmen's 'yeh German hai!!' slogan or an emergency breakdown support number!!
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Old 12th April 2012, 11:20   #27
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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While I like the enthusiasm of the BBenz folk I do not agree with their strategy fully.

Ramu does not need to run a 24x7 emergency service car, be sent to training centres to learn, does not charge for his services by the hour and neither does he top it off with sales tax, octroi, VAT etc.....
The moral of the story is Ramu can fix/service any Tata or Leyland and he can do it CHEAP. I cant see BBenz's 35 dealers competing with Ramu.
With ever passing year Ramu's long term prospects seem bleak as engines, transmissions and other vehicle systems get more complex and as on-board diagnostics become the quickest way to identify problems. There will still be some basic services that he can provide but he certainly will not be a one-stop solution for maintenance \ repairs.
What is clearly a competitive advantage today (For TML & AL) will slowly cease to remain so with BS5 and beyond.
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Old 12th April 2012, 12:56   #28
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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With ever passing year Ramu's long term prospects seem bleak as engines, transmissions and other vehicle systems get more complex and as on-board diagnostics become the quickest way to identify problems. There will still be some basic services that he can provide but he certainly will not be a one-stop solution for maintenance \ repairs.
What is clearly a competitive advantage today (For TML & AL) will slowly cease to remain so with BS5 and beyond.
How relevant is that to the trucking industry? That point isn't even very relevant to the passenger car industry. Granted I shouldn't be comparing the two that way as they are two seperate industries but the passenger car section is the one you'd brand as the more premium of the two and we still aren't that far ahead of Ramu.

Obviously what you say makes sense but if I can go so far as to accuse truck owners of being short sighted for the most part and looking at immediate returns and here I think I'm right because for the most part when you look at a smaller business they look at what's worked and stick to it unless a larger firm proves that a different method is the way to go. That is one factor. The other one is the price, 10% more over 9 trucks is a whole new truck and whole lot more revenue or you could look at it is them being able to service so many more trucks with that spare money.

The onus IMHO is on the larger firms to prove it can work and over time the smaller truck owners will jump in if they see a marked improvement with the larger firm. Another reason would be that the prices of the trucks obviously drop or at least stay at the same level with the increased demand in the sense that maybe Benz goes for numbers over single unit profits. TATA can of course cut into their margins and weave their clout and that would probably be a death blow and it would be the way mpksuhas said with them dealing with the larger loads and such.

Interesting to watch for the neutral of course, competition breeds innovation and improvement
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Old 12th April 2012, 13:33   #29
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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With ever passing year Ramu's long term prospects seem bleak as engines, transmissions and other vehicle systems get more complex and as on-board diagnostics become the quickest way to identify problems. There will still be some basic services that he can provide but he certainly will not be a one-stop solution for maintenance \ repairs.
What is clearly a competitive advantage today (For TML & AL) will slowly cease to remain so with BS5 and beyond.
Exactly!!

When we talk about the roadside workshop, we also need to keep in mind that this is not a long - term solution. I will ask just one question here, how many of us still take our car to a roadside "jugaad" workshop for service?

With all the electronic gadgetary dripping into the modern trucks, it will soon become very difficult for "Ramu" to service the vehicles equipped with just a spanner and a screwdriver!!

Last edited by ajman28 : 12th April 2012 at 13:38.
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Old 12th April 2012, 14:23   #30
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Exactly!!

When we talk about the roadside workshop, we also need to keep in mind that this is not a long - term solution. I will ask just one question here, how many of us still take our car to a roadside "jugaad" workshop for service?

With all the electronic gadgetary dripping into the modern trucks, it will soon become very difficult for "Ramu" to service the vehicles equipped with just a spanner and a screwdriver!!
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Originally Posted by Zed View Post
With ever passing year Ramu's long term prospects seem bleak as engines, transmissions and other vehicle systems get more complex and as on-board diagnostics become the quickest way to identify problems. There will still be some basic services that he can provide but he certainly will not be a one-stop solution for maintenance \ repairs.
What is clearly a competitive advantage today (For TML & AL) will slowly cease to remain so with BS5 and beyond.
I think you guys undermine the ingenuity of these folks who do the hard grind of repairing Indian trucks on the cheap.

A majority of a trucks running gear is not electrical, transmission, axles, wheel bearings, rims, gearboxes, chassis, body panels are not made of silicon and nor do you need an IT qualification to fix it.

Electronics even if they trickle into trucks will only form a very very tiny percentage of its overall engineering eg. Engine management, braking (ABS)...you see unlike cars trucks dont have a CANBUS system, AV equipment, HVAC etc..etc... The core of a truck is very much mechanical and will stay that way.

And just because something is complicated dont expect Ramu to raise his hands and give up, its his livelihood you see and we Indians are an ingenious bunch.

For eg. one of the most complicated components of a truck is its engine pump and there are specialists for that. So what Ramu does is remove this pump and take it to a specialist who has a test bench and is very good at what he does, because thats all he does. So just because engine management will be electronic soon does not mean that Ramu is going to give up!!

On the contrary if one is to make trucks that can only be taken to the main dealership for repair and have to shell out on labour charges per hour, OEM parts, taxes, service delivery delays....then trust me fleet buyers will definitely look for other options.

And truck owners are not car owners, service bills dig into profits unlike personal cars that do occassional running and serviced maybe once a year!!
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