Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mercedes Benz Pursues Truck Sales in India

Heavy Models New to the Country to Become Available
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – Mercedes Benz are to pursue an aggressive sales policy of their truck and bus models in the coming year, in part due to the downturn of luxury car sales worldwide. The company launched their Actros tipper into India in 2006 and sales have strengthened steadily. The Actros unit is the most successful of Mercedes heavy haulage units with a claimed 600,000 sold globally.

“We are expanding our product portfolio and looking at launching trucks for the long haulage and construction segment, said Dr. Wilfred Aulbur, Managing Director of Mercedes Benz India Private Ltd. “We are quite confident that the commercial vehicle market in India in its various segments will witness significant growth in the coming years”.

India has traditionally bought in European brands such as Scania and Volvo as well as Mecedes but attempts to home produce similar models have usually resulted in a disappointing standard of production.

Mercedes is planning to attack the over dimensional cargo (ODC) market which takes around 3000 new trucks annually. “There are several areas in India like mining, construction and long haulage application where European trucks can play an important role. We are looking at any segment where the total cost of ownership will be a key factor”, commented Dr. Aulbur.

There is talk that a new company, Daimler-Hero India Private Ltd., a joint venture between Daimler AG and the Hero Group, a traditional producer of bicycles and auto parts in the subcontinent, will set up a factory near Chennai to produce commercial vehicles locally, but this has yet to be confirmed.