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Old 18th April 2012, 18:46   #1
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Default Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai

Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai-dicv-truck-custom.jpg

Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai-dicvyatra-flag-off.jpg

Daimler unveils its new production facility at Chennai, from which BharatBenz Trucks will roll out in the 3rd quarter of 2012. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Hon'ble Selvi J Jayalalithaa, inaugurated this 400-acre plant. It is noteworthy to mention that Daimler is the largest truck manufacturer in the world (Volvo is no.2).

About the plant and the Indian company:

• A total investment of Rs 4,400 crore by Daimler, including the manufacturing plant and research & development costs.

• Initial production capacity of 36,000 units per year (24,000 for heavy-duty trucks, the rest for light-duty). Will be eventually ramped up to more than 70,000 units.

• This plant is one of only three Daimler facilities worldwide to combine truck assembly & components production at the same location.

• With a planned portfolio of 17 BharatBenz commercial vehicles by 2014, Daimler is pushing hard in the Indian truck space that has developed into the world’s 3rd largest. Indian market volume was over 330,000 vehicles in the weight classes of 5 - 49 tonnes last year. Tata Motors plays a dominating role in the commercial vehicle segment, followed by Ashok Leyland.

• Work-force is primarily Indian and is 1,400 employees strong.

• BharatBenz trucks will have a localization level of 85 percent. Daimler wants to increase this to 90% in 3 years.

• 450+ suppliers in total, of which 180 are located within a 40 kilometer radius of the plant.

Challenges:

• The Indian truck & bus segments are dominated by Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. Several other foreign manufacturers have unsuccessfully tried to break this monopoly.

• Truck owners are wary of foreign brands, as some MNC manufacturers wound up operations, leaving existing owners wanting for spare parts and service.

• Daimler trucks will be priced higher than competing products from the Indian manufacturers.

• Tata Motors has an unbeatably w-i-d-e service network in India for its trucks. Spare parts are also available in every part of India.

• Overloading trucks with extra cargo is a common practice in India. Tata & Ashok Leyland understand this & engineer their trucks accordingly. Can Daimler trucks handle cargo that weighs over the specified payload?

• Existing relationships between Indian manufacturers & fleet operators pose a huge barrier to entry.

About Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV):

• Daimler India Commercial Vehicles is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, which is based in Stuttgart, Germany. Starting this year, DICV will produce commercial vehicles for the Indian market. The products will serve all major customer segments, ranging from owner operators to large fleets. The company also handles the marketing, sales and service of Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks in India.

Service & Network:

• 70 dealerships in place by end 2012. More than 100 dealerships targeted by 2014.

• 24/7 roadside assistance service. Daimler promises service within 2 hours "anywhere on the Golden Quadilateral".

• Daimler Financial Services will provide finance, insurance and service contracts under the BharatBenz Financial brand.

• The insurance schemes will offer cashless facility, zero depreciation claims and full maintenance contracts.

About the Trucks:

The range of trucks includes Light Duty Trucks (LDT) & Heavy Duty Trucks (HDT) in the 9, 12, 25, 31 and 49 tonnes category.

Light Duty Trucks (LDT):

• Based on the Fuso Canter platform.

• Four-cylinder engine in two variants of 140 HP and 175 HP.

• Available as 9-tonne Rigid, as well as 12-tonne (Rigid or Construction).

• BharatBenz offers Anti-roll bars for added stability, as well as an optional air-conditioner.

Heavy Duty Trucks (HDT):

• Based on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform.

• Six-cylinder engine in two variants; 231 HP and 279 HP.

• Available as 25-tonne (Rigid or Construction), 31-tonne (Rigid or Construction) and 49-tonne tractor-trailer.

• The rigid truck offers an intra-axle differential lock as standard fitment, and a balancer-type rear suspension that provides greater traction on loose ground. Also unique is the fact that engine driven applications (like Mixers for instance) can be directly powered from the truck engine (no need for a separate engine as is usually the case).

• Tested for over 45 lakh kilometres on a specially designed test track.

Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai-dicvplant-inaugural-1.jpg

Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai-dicv-ciw-shop-custom.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 19th April 2012 at 16:54. Reason: Adding our own article
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Old 18th April 2012, 22:47   #2
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

Is this plant near the Hyundai Plant at Sriperumbudur? This signifies a huge step for Mercedes Commercial vehicles in India and will go a long way in helping them to achieve competitive pricing, harness local talent and of course make this plant an export hub for Asia.

Thanks for sharing the update.
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Old 18th April 2012, 22:57   #3
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

Now that this plant has become operational would Mercedes still continue their JV with Sutlej for their bus body building?
I would prefer if they go the Volvo way and have everything under their roof.
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Old 18th April 2012, 23:14   #4
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Is this plant near the Hyundai Plant at Sriperumbudur? This signifies a huge step for Mercedes Commercial vehicles in India and will go a long way in helping them to achieve competitive pricing, harness local talent and of course make this plant an export hub for Asia.

Thanks for sharing the update.
As per the report, the plant is located at Oragadam. This should be around 20kms from Sriperumbudur.
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Old 19th April 2012, 12:36   #5
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Is this plant near the Hyundai Plant at Sriperumbudur? This signifies a huge step for Mercedes Commercial vehicles in India and will go a long way in helping them to achieve competitive pricing, harness local talent and of course make this plant an export hub for Asia.

Thanks for sharing the update.
Daimler Benz is on the Singaperumal Koil - Sri Perumbudhur State Highway just before Oragadam. Oragadam now has Renault Nissan, Apollo Tyres & Daimler Benz facilities, not to forget the Global Automotive Research Centre.

With SIPCOT actively promoting Vallam Vadakkal & Pillaipakkam, the stretch between Sriperumbudhur & Oragadam is going to be "The automotive Cluster" of the country in the days to come.
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Old 19th April 2012, 12:50   #6
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

Nice beginning and that too in Chennai, which is fast turning on to be the Detroit of India. The efforts taken by Tamil Nadu to lure automakers to the state is noteworthy.
Hope, my state emulates Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra on the subject. What a pity when the BMW team which came to Kerala to inspect probable sites for their venture had to stay indoors due to a Hartal which literally pulled down shutters then and there.

Last edited by rajeev k : 19th April 2012 at 12:52.
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Old 19th April 2012, 14:14   #7
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
....
With SIPCOT actively promoting Vallam Vadakkal & Pillaipakkam, the stretch between Sriperumbudhur & Oragadam is going to be "The automotive Cluster" of the country in the days to come.
Pillanipakkam is about to get another plant - Ashokleyland will be setting up new facility here for LCV's, which is developed along with Nissan.
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Old 19th April 2012, 14:30   #8
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

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Originally Posted by rameshnanda View Post
As per the report, the plant is located at Oragadam. This should be around 20kms from Sriperumbudur.
They also had an office in Perungudi, which was doing some R&D. Don't know whether it will be shifted to Oragadam now.
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Old 19th April 2012, 16:55   #9
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Default Re: Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai

Update : Opening Post has been updated with our own report. Comments welcome
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Old 19th April 2012, 18:13   #10
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Default Re: Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai

Quote:
Tested for over 45 lakh kilometres on a specially designed test track.
Vow that needs an effort. The name Benz will sell in India. In India TATA is still called a Benz by many. I feel the competition would be between Benz and Volvo and the very High capacity ranges of TATA and not at the lower end.
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Old 20th April 2012, 12:29   #11
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Default Re: Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai

A very good editorial in Forbes India about Marc Llistosella (who heads BharatBenz) and Daimler's BharatBenz plans.
A must read.

Source: Forbes India

Some points that I found very interesting
  • For six years, the team travelled across the country to understand the market so they could build a truck they believed the market would buy into.
  • Daimler has invested Rs 4,400 crore in Bharat Benz, its largest greenfield investment outside Europe.
  • BharatBenz team initially rented a warehouse from the Transport Corporation of India, a logistics company. They called it the “tear down centre” because every truck that existed in the Indian market was driven down here and stripped, and examined to the last detail.
I'm not well-versed in the commitment by other international CV players to the Indian market but (going by the article) these guys mean business and the have the cash to back it.
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Old 20th April 2012, 17:45   #12
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Default Re: Daimler plant inaugurated in Chennai

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Originally Posted by vivekkp View Post
Now that this plant has become operational would Mercedes still continue their JV with Sutlej for their bus body building?
I would prefer if they go the Volvo way and have everything under their roof.
They are not manufacturing bus here,this is Daimler truck division.
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Old 24th April 2012, 21:36   #13
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Default Re: Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai

Here is an interesting video on the plant! Enjoy!

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Old 1st May 2012, 20:02   #14
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Default Re: Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai

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Originally Posted by NikhilB View Post
I'm not well-versed in the commitment by other international CV players to the Indian market but (going by the article) these guys mean business and the have the cash to back it.
You are right Nikhil. Daimler's commitment in the CV sector reminds me a lot of Hyundai in late nineties. When all other competing brands (Honda, Toyota, Opel and Ford) were testing the waters with expensive mid-size sedans, the Koreans (Daewoo included) came, saw and conquered the market. And it was due to their commitment and willingness. They invested heavily and reaped the benefits. I am sure Daimler is also going to succeed big-time in our market. Apart from the points that you have highlighted, another point that I heard from a 'Daimler' employee is that they have achieved an unbelievable 85% localization level in their models right from 'Start of Production'. That's a tough task and those who are in the industry know that. It just goes to show how they have studied and understood the market and how they are willing to take risks.

I, for one, is totally impressed with Daimler till now. As someone else mentioned, the name 'Benz' sells in India and Daimler has got it spot-on with the branding too.
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Old 1st May 2012, 20:14   #15
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Default Re: Daimler Trucks unveils BharatBenz Plant at Chennai

OK TATA, bye bye!

Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the slow-moving, smoke-spewing highway hogs that we have for trucks. All highway users will benefit from that demise.
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