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Old 12th April 2012, 14:28   #31
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

One of the biggest leveler of distance traveled per unit of time is the innumerable naka's and no-entry timings for many cities along the route. If the bigger and faster fleet investments do not end up in discernible advantage due to bottle necks like these there is no economic advantage.

Volvo, IMHO, was able to get inroads in to bus segment as some of these restrictions are not applicable to buses.

Overloading habit - even to detriment of vehicle and safety - is the other bane of Indian highways. The road surface is designed for a level of rolling load but actual loads are much higher. Who has not seen overloaded trailers keeping one axle "off" by jamming the springs to save on tyre costs. How will the new entrants look at this?

I know this is getting a bit OT but the entry of new players and the "Indian" context need to marry to be successful.
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Old 12th April 2012, 16:54   #32
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

I had read this article in Forbes. Seems the senior management in Germany has chosen the right man for this job. Mr. Marc Llistosella is known to be a bullish manager and a ruthless competitor. I guess Daimler is pulling all stops to ensure a successful entry into the Indian Commercial Vehicle Market.

This will be a make or break assignment for Marc as this is one project which Daimler cannot afford to screw up. At the same time, TATA Motors and Ashok Leyland won't take this lying down. Lets get the popcorn ready as this is going to be one interesting fight!!
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Old 12th April 2012, 17:51   #33
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

why are we discussing about cruising speed and how Daimler trucks can/cant deliver cargo faster ? while, road condition permitting, these trucks will definetly be able to turn around in a trip faster, what will work for Daimler that did not work for other phoren brands is
1) 85% localisation at launch
2) total cost of ownership ( and not just cost of purchase ) will be lower than TATA/AL because of possibly ( not proven yet ) better FE and longevity of critical parts
3) easier financing - remember Daimler has their inhouse NBFC which will go all out to come up with crazy schemes for large fleet owners

all this will ensure that within 2-3 yrs there will be a critical mass of trucks on the road and after that, as we all know how the India market works, if someone else has it, we too want it !! the sales will just keep multiplying
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Old 12th April 2012, 19:07   #34
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Originally Posted by ashwin23 View Post
How relevant is that to the trucking industry? That point isn't even very relevant to the passenger car industry.

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 relevance is that in due course the trucking Industry will evolve the same way that the pascar, 2 wheeler, bus and off-highway segments continue to evolve. Maybe at a slower pace but evolve it will. The drivers that will influence this change are legislation (emissions, safety, body-building..), changing customer profile (Large organized transport providers Vs small operators). Consider this - How many of the mom & pop garages for cars and bikes that operated 10-15 years ago have survived? And when you contrast your answer to this question to the phenomenal growth in numbers, of cars and two-wheelers, a pattern is bound to emerge.

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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. 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.

So just because engine management will be electronic soon does not mean that Ramu is going to give up!!

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!!
At the risk of loosing sight of the main topic - I harbour no disrespect for Ramu's ingenuity. Nor do I wish for his trade to wind up. Ive had the pleasure of associating with small\mid-sized truck service shops & can vouch for the skill, experience and ingenuity of some of the folks that run & work in these places. And I agree with your comment that the tinkers & painters will continue to ply their trade. But even with a limited amount of electronic coming in, trucks ( AL, TML included) will lend themselves to a lesser extent to road-side sheds. A seeming innocuous electric surge encountered while servicing ( by current standards - pun intended), can wreak havoc on trucks of the not-so-distant future.

Since you mention transmission, axles, wheel bearings, rims, gearboxes, chassis - think tyre pressure sensors (legislation?), AMT's, brake retarders and so on. Some of these bits are already on TMLs and ALs so we arent talking sci-fi.
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Old 12th April 2012, 21:46   #35
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

Maybe I'm being rigid here and adhering to the human notion of being unable to see such a drastic change but we'll see. Of course I have no knowledge about truck ownerships, if the majority are large ownerships. I'm wrong about it not snow balling, otherwise I stick to what I said. Any idea about that sort of data?

Cheers!

Also I apologise for my previous comment sounding like an accusation. That wasn't the attention. I saw it only now when I read it again myself.
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Old 12th April 2012, 22:35   #36
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Originally Posted by narayan View Post
1) 85% localisation at launch
Which means 85% components are made by vendors who already supply to TM/AL. How much better these can be unless BB pay a lot more than TM/AL which could increase the overall price of the product much higher than AL/TM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
3) easier financing - remember Daimler has their inhouse NBFC which will go all out to come up with crazy schemes for large fleet owners
I was told by an OEM executive that according to their analysis, For small fleet operators (<5 trucks), the most important thing is Finance, All other considerations are secondary. But not sure whether the same is applicable for large operators who are well funded. Now the question is, who are BBs target customers in the initial stage? Small operators 1-5 trucks? or large ones?
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Old 12th April 2012, 23:09   #37
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

First of all its great to see so much enthusiasm from MB and looks like they have done their homework thoroughly.

I see absolutely no mention of overloading in the article!

If there is one thing that separates Indian conditions from the west, this is it. Also one of the major reasons that trucks are soooo agonizingly slow and break down often due to excess wear and tear. Lets not forget that Indian truck engines are under powered to start with. Not too long ago, large TATA trucks were making a measly 100 bhp.

It still remains to be seen how good BBenz's product really is and weather the Indian trucker will like it or not.

If their Intercity bus/coaches are anything to go by, the product will be overpriced and underperforming compared to a similar spec Volvo.

Lastly 10% additional for a Benz is a steal if it works as promised.

Last edited by Mpower : 13th April 2012 at 05:24.
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Old 12th April 2012, 23:18   #38
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
First of all its great to see so much enthusiasm from MB and looks like they have done their homework thoroughly.

I see absolutely no mention of overloading in the article!!


About the financing, I spoke to my dad and he thinks they'll offer some of the trucks on credit basis for a year to offset the price difference. His company, also a german multinational follow a similar scheme on certain projects of theirs. Made sense to me, in that case we might be onto something here!
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Old 13th April 2012, 06:35   #39
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

In North, East & Western India the vehicle of choice for lorry operators is TATA not even AL.

Reason being? I will quote ad verbatim, in punjabi, the words of a 35 yr veteran of the trucking business, who in addition to being the service in-charge of a fleet of 200+ 10 wheelers, had 7 or 8 vehicles of his which were running under his employer's management(for freight collection).

"TATA di gaddi raste vich jithe vi bol jaaye koi naa koi mistri mil jaanda hai, tuhi LEyland nu chatoge jadd twaanu mistri dilliyo bhejna paina hai?"

Translated this means the wide usage of TATA vehicles ensures that in the event of a breakdown/mishap enroute, your driver will be able to have the vehicle fixed and brought to base even if on a jugaad basis without your having to send a recovery team, more often than not. Even AL does not offer this comfort in the Northern, Eastern & Western regions of India.

That my friends is a KEY consideration for those who ply their lorries to ferry cargo.

These small guys provide the bulk of the capacity to the sector. Their key decision making factors are:
[] Low initial investment.
[] VFM maintenance
[] Ease of maintenance/repair in case of mishaps/breakdowns

Provide these facilities to the industry i.e. the truckers and then dream of market dominance.

Last edited by RS_DEL : 13th April 2012 at 06:41.
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Old 13th April 2012, 06:48   #40
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Originally Posted by RS_DEL View Post
In North, East & Western India the vehicle of choice for lorry operators is TATA not even AL.
The points you have raised will take this discussion into another subject, well away from the focus of this thread - Daimler / BBenz. You can refer to other threads for the points you have mentioned.

Actually, there is a regional preference for different operators in almost all parts of the country. The hilly regions have traditionally preferred TM, while the plains see AL taking the lead. Again, some variation in the plains for TM. This can be seen for even other CV's and tractors too.
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Old 13th April 2012, 08:39   #41
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

If time is critical, i sent it via Eicher, though it cant take loads like that of Taurus. With ALL and TATA, it is considered a cruel joke if a vehicle is loaded only to its official limit.

Fish, Roses, eggs, poultry(those traveling on Palladam-Udumalalpet to Kerala route can vouch for their speeds) vegetables are solely dependent on Eicher now.

So it all depends on how well one understands the target market than how aggressive your management team is.

Last edited by ramzsys : 13th April 2012 at 08:43.
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Old 13th April 2012, 09:13   #42
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

This is definitely a good move by BB. As many other have pointed out, the reliability & the quick turnaround service in case of breakdown is crucial for BB.

But the fear of a breakdown is embedded deep inside the psyche of the Indian trucker. He will want to know if Daimler will be around if his truck breaks down. So what they’ve put in place is a system that can respond to a breakdown call in two hours flat along the Golden Quadrilateral, a highway network connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Read more: Forbes India Magazine - The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector



Looking at the above extract from the article, BB seems to have identified a good points to start off. They seem to be initially concentrating on customers who run their trucks on the GQ.

1. These roads being good compared to many other non-existent highways,
can we assume that the possibility of breakdown is a tad less ? Again due to the road condition, the service vehicle can reach the breakdown point faster.

2. Overloading is one factor that plagues all our highways. Just saw a recent directive from Govt. to NHAI asking them to setup weigh stations near all toll plazas. Govt asks NHAI to take steps to curb overloading

It's a common knowledge that this will first happen on the GQ. Of course, this takes time but lets hope that it'll be little faster since the road sections are 'owned & operated' by private players who have put in their money to build these stretches. They will be more than eager to make sure their stretch of road gets minimum maintenance, setup weight stations, rake in some more moolah from the overload vehicles.

3. Again concentrating on the GQ running customer, a significant reduction in the travel time will definitely help in the customer running more trips (because the toll cost are the same irrespective of what speed the vehicle is driven).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin23 View Post

About the financing, I spoke to my dad and he thinks they'll offer some of the trucks on credit basis for a year to offset the price difference. His company, also a german multinational follow a similar scheme on certain projects of theirs. Made sense to me, in that case we might be onto something here!
The credit is one strategy they have to follow to initially get atleast a couple of customers (conservative estimate of 10 - 20 vehicles each) in the NSEW region. It's these handful of customers that will make or break the BB innings in India.

For company that's put in close to a $1B into the market, this amount will be peanuts. Believe BB will follow the Volvo strategy (they gave buses on credit to KaSRTC intially to bag them as their first customer and the rest is history).

Last edited by GTO : 14th April 2012 at 14:20. Reason: Removing FONT tags. Please do not cut-copy-paste from other word softwares
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Old 13th April 2012, 17:29   #43
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Translated this means the wide usage of TATA vehicles ensures that in the event of a breakdown/mishap enroute, your driver will be able to have the vehicle fixed and brought to base even if on a jugaad basis without your having to send a recovery team, more often than not
But we have to ask ourselves why are these trucks breaking down and what parts are commonly the culprits?

How often does your Japanese car break down in the middle of the street?

Another point missing in the article is the fact that Indian trucks are all the rigid type whereas in western countries that are mostly the long tractor trailer designed to carry containers.

Did the author analyse how Volvo/MAN is doing and why they have not been able to beat Tata?
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Old 13th April 2012, 19:40   #44
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

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Originally Posted by RS_DEL View Post
Translated this means the wide usage of TATA vehicles ensures that in the event of a breakdown/mishap enroute, your driver will be able to have the vehicle fixed and brought to base even if on a jugaad basis without your having to send a recovery team, more often than not.
This reminds me of the days of Ambassador and Fiat when people would say the same things. Today's automobiles are not "supposed" to break down during their routine operating conditions "if" properly maintained and not overloaded.

TML, ALL etc should immediately analyse the "reasons" behind their breakdowns and improve quality accordingly. Look at decades old Maruti Vans hauling ice bricks, school children, water containers and the like and doing their duty reasonably well.
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Old 14th April 2012, 00:59   #45
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Default Re: Forbes : The German Invasion of The Indian Trucking Sector

Firstly, GTO, thanks for pointing us to this brilliant article.

Now I am by no means an expert in this industry. Yet, there are some observations that I'd like to share.

One thing is that there is very less care taken to ensure that the driver and other occupants in the cabin (or for that matter hanging outside it) in a truck get even basic levels of safety. Whether in the form of equipment or training.
I hope BBenz has products that sort out this problem.
Which leads me to one of the posts in this thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by D33-PAC View Post
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.

I agree with the statement in bold completely.
The cabins are built with nearly zero importance given to safety. Ergonomics, NVH levels etc. are not even any concern.
Economics rules.
BUT. And this is important. Smart managements of costs, and a focus towards addressing these problems in a well organized manner can make a big difference.
And for this, think about HM and PAL v/c Maruti, as many others have pointed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
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).

Indeed there are various industries that need to have their products delivered faster than the current situation.
I say this out of experience.
Let's think of any of the hazardous chemical manufacturers (and this includes paints, etc.). I used to work in a company manufacturing the paint in Bangalore. And we had to supply huge truckloads of material to Gujarat at very short notice. It was a huge contributor to our sales.
Would a company like this appreciate a faster delivery process? Hell yes.
You may think railways, but its not an option with last moment deliveries.
And with hazardous chemicals you require special permits.
And there are so many other industries which would appreciate this kind of faster delivery system, and be willing to pay a premium of as large as 5 to even 10 %.
My own comment above leads to me to another point I read in the linked Forbes article.
The plan is to have a backup on the GQ. This makes perfect sense as these vehicles may be made to go anywhere. But the actual usage would be on the better roads. To enable faster travel. Atleast to begin with, that's exactly where BBenz should focus providing their best recovery times, IMO.

And as some others have pointed out, this plan seems to be way more thorough in terms of research and key points. And in theory, it makes perfect sense.
I do hope it works out practically as well. Would be a Herculean task indeed.

As an Indian, on one hand it is highly appreciable to see the world majors try to chalk out such brilliant strategies to serve us better.
But on the other, it is sad. To see that although we can afford better vehicles, we do not have the respect towards the needs of our fellow Indians who live in such bad conditions. And they have done it for years and will probably continue to do it.
Atleast the efforts by these MNCs give some hope to providing better conditions of working for our dear truckers.
Or maybe I'm just being a romantic.
After all, economics rules.

Cheers and drive safe.
Sam
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