As per a report Bharat Benz, the India-specific brand that DICV unveiled earlier this month at the Delhi Auto Expo, is currently gearing up to launch its entire truck portfolio, comprising 17-19 vehicles in the 6-49-tonne range. It was mentioned that the company’s foray into the competitive 1-1.5-tonne truck segment would be based on the success of the Bharat Benz brand in the Indian market, currently controlled to the extent of 70 per cent by Mumbai-based Tata Motors and Chennai-based Ashok Leyland.
DICV Vice-President (R&D) Aydogan Cakmaz said that, “It is possible, but it should make business sense. We will undertake research and development to go for such a product. If at all we decide to enter this segment, it will take at least four to five years to do it.”
Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have market dominance in the segment, some other companies also plan to make inroads into the mini-truck space. Ashok Leyland has joined hands with Nissan, while Bajaj Auto has developed its own four-wheeler. Force Motors and Piaggio also have presence in the segment. “The segment has many players and it would be important for us that the product we offer meets our quality parameters,” added Cakmaz. The mini-truck category has huge demand in the Tier-II and -III cities. Tata Motors currently has 52 per cent market share in the light commercial vehicle segment, while Mahindra & Mahindra, with its Maxximo brand and some pick-ups, has 25 per cent.
The report also stated that Daimler , one of the world’s largest manufacturers of trucks above six tonnes, is focusing on developing India-specific products to better suit the local road conditions. With a total dedicated investment of over Rs 4,400 crore, DCIV’s green field plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, is going to be inaugurated soon. The plant’s initial production capacity of 36,000 units a year could be further ramped up to a technical capacity of 70,000 units a year. The company will launch its products in the market in the third quarter of this year. DICV has said its products will have as high as 85 per cent localistion to make those affordable.