BharatBenz unleashes a range of high performance trucks for India

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (DICV), the Indian subsidiary of the world’s leading truck manufacturer Daimler AG, unveiled a new range of trucks under its brand BharatBenz.

In a special premiere spanning six-days at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, future customers and brand partners like dealers & suppliers will experience the BharatBenz trucks for the very first time.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Marc Llistosella, CEO and Managing Director of DICV said: “Today is a proud moment for all of us at Daimler as we present the outcome of our hard work over the last years – the first range of BharatBenz trucks. BharatBenz, as a brand, stands for our commitment to India. It is the first time ever that Daimler has dedicated a brand entirely to one market. Also, with an overall investment of Rs. 4,400 crore, it is one of the biggest Greenfield investments outside Europe that Daimler has ever made.”

Explaining the launch plan for the BharatBenz range, he added: “Exciting times lie ahead of us. We will start our market launch in the 3rd quarter with the introduction of three models. This will be followed by the launch of our entire product portfolio, consisting of 17 models, over the next 20 months.”

The BharatBenz range of trucks unveiled today includes Light Duty Trucks (LDT) & Heavy Duty Trucks (HDT) in the 9, 12, 25, 31 and 49 tonnes category, featuring various usages and applications.

The LDT, based on the Fuso Canter platform, features a four-cylinder engine in two variants of 100 KW (140 HP) and 125 KW (175 HP). It is available as 9-tonne Rigid, as well as 12-tonne (Rigid or Construction). An industry first in the LDT segment, BharatBenz offers Anti-roll bars for added stability, as well as comfort features like A/C option and a tuned suspension system for best ride comfort.

The HDT, based on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform, features a six-cylinder engine in two variants of 170 KW (231 HP) and 205 KW (279 HP). It is available as 25-tonne (Rigid or Construction), 31-tonne (Rigid or Construction) and 49-tonne tractor-trailer.

Another industry first, the rigid truck offers intra-axle differential lock as a standard fitment and balancer type rear suspensions that gives more traction on loose ground. Also unique is the fact that engine driven applications (like Mixers) can directly be powered from the truck-engine, without having to add a separate engine for the application.

Mr. Aydogan Cakmaz, Vice President, Product Engineering, said: “Our trucks are based on two of the most successful platforms proven across the globe, the Fuso Canter and the Mercedes-Benz Axor. But for that, we have literally taken every part, re-developed and re-designed it for Indian conditions like overloading, rugged terrain and poor roads. This re-engineering has been the key for the development of a new generation of products, which are 85% localized right from the beginning, to perfectly fit the Indian customers’ requirements.”

“Our BharatBenz trucks have been benchmarked and tested for over 4.5 million kilometers on our specially designed test track. We don’t test our products on the customer. When a customer buys our product, he gets a 100% tested and reliable product, that powers him ahead.”

Mr. V.R.V. Sriprasad, Vice President, Marketing & Sales, After-sales, said: “We believe that our trucks will contribute to our customers’ success. This is why we have priced them competitively in the volume segment. Importantly, we have focused on offering value-for-money features, which includes significant fuel efficiency advantages, best in class reliability with parts engineered for long lifespan and longer service intervals, which will reduce the operational cost and keep the trucks running.”

In the first phase, BharatBenz trucks will be sold and serviced over a network of 70 dealerships. This will be extended to more than 100 dealerships by 2014.

“Partnership is a core value of BharatBenz,” Sriprasad said. “Our trained sales force consults rather than mere sell the product and they will stay with the customer as their key contact over the whole lifecycle of the truck. This partnership approach also reflected in our 24/7 service, that includes roadside assistance for best service reach, interactive vehicle diagnostics and short turnaround time,” he added.

Backed by the financial power and expertise of Daimler’s financial arm – Daimler Financial Services – customers will benefit from the captive financier under the name of BharatBenz Financial. “With the help of BharatBenz Financial, a DFS India brand, we will offer financing solutions, insurance and service contracts to our customers,” said Sriprasad.

BharatBenz Insurance, India’s first Branded Commercial Vehicle Insurance, offers cashless facility including zero depreciation and full maintenance contracts. This integrated approach will offer the customers the combined benefit of products and financial services under one roof, making ownership a hassle-free experience.

BharatBenz also has tied up with three leading Indian banks – HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Sundaram Finance, who will offer tailored financing solutions for customers, who want to become a part of the new Trucking Experience.

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) is a 100% subsidiary of Daimler AG, Stuttgart, Germany. DICV will produce light, medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles for the Indian volume market, under the brand name – BharatBenz. BharatBenz stands for Indian engineering with German DNA. The products will be customized to serve all major customer segments, from owner-drivers up to large fleet operators.

The efficiency of BharatBenz trucks will be an optimal fit for customers keen on efficiency, a low Total Cost of Ownership over the life-cycle and highest profit potential for their businesses. The state-of-the-art production plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, spreads over 400 acres (160 hectares). It includes a modern test track designed to simulate Indian conditions – making it one of its kind in Asia. DICV has a total dedicated investment of over INR 4400 crs (approximately €700 million).

Sustainability being a core of Daimler’s corporate culture, DICV will focus on creating efficient, reliable and ecologically affordable products. The Company also handles Marketing, Sales and After Sales of Mercedes-Benz Actros Trucks in India.