Sales under the brand BharatBenz grew to 20,500 units during January-November 2018 period as against 15,200 sold in same period in 2017
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), the local subsidiary of the German trucking giant, posted sales growth of 35 percent last year even as it prepares to up its ante against local heavyweights Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland.
Sales under the brand BharatBenz, which was created specifically for India, stood at 20,500 units during January-November as against 15,200 units in the same period last year. DICV sells trucks only in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (MHCV) segment.
The company’s market share marginally improved to 5.86 percent during the reporting period as compared to 5.8 percent. The industry grew 33 percent without DICV to 3.29 lakh units during January-November. DICV’s 35 percent growth last year is higher than the 28 percent clocked in 2017.
DICV does not share its sales or production numbers with the auto industry’s apex lobby body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). DICV makes tippers, tractor trailers, haulage trucks and intra-city buses.
“In India, sales were boosted by a significant recovery in demand for medium and heavy-duty trucks. DICV sold approximately 20,500 trucks in the first eleven months, a significant increase of 35 percent compared with the same period of last year of 15,200," Daimler said in its international statement.
In comparison, Tata Motors' sales grew 35.57 percent to 1.7 lakh units, and that of Ashok Leyland went up 28.5 percent to 1.06 lakh units in January-November.
Daimler Trucks also reached the milestone in September 2018 with the production of its 100,000th vehicle at the Chennai plant. In addition to BharatBenz trucks for the local market, the plant in Chennai also manufactures models for export to more than 40 markets worldwide.
Established in 2009, DICV makes trucks and buses having tonnage range of 9-49 tonnes under the BharatBenz and Mercedes-Benz brands. Its Chennai-based factory spread over 400 acres, has seen an investment of more than Rs 5,000 crore.
The consistent rise in market share and volumes of DICV comes on the back of the exit of MAN last year, a Volkswagen group company, from India after years of fruitless operation. MAN’s sister company Scania followed suit when it said it is exiting the bus body building operation in India.
“No other western manufacturer than Daimler has successfully become established in India so far," added Daimler in the statement.
The upcoming Bharat Stage VI emission norm is putting a strain on the finances of all truck and bus manufacturers. BS-VI, which will be in force from April 1, 2020, will likely result in a 10-12 percent jump in prices of CVs translating to a rise of more than Rs 3 lakh.DICV’s entire product comes from a range that used to have BS-VI in the past. The company said it will upgrade all the components and localise them as much as possible to keep costs down.