Daimler to launch three more models in India

The rollout of three new models is as per Daimler India's plan to have 18 models in a 15 month period since its launch in 2012.

Chennai: German commercial vehicle maker Daimler will launch three new models in the country, taking its total product portfolio to 12 by this year-end, a top company official Thursday said.

The rollout of three new models is as per Daimler India's plan to have 18 models in a 15 month period since its launch in 2012.

At present, the company has about nine models across various tonnages, said V R V Sriprasad, Vice-President, Marketing, Sales and After Sales, Daimler India Commercial Vehicle.

"When we launched our vehicles in September 2012, we had said that we will come out with 18 platforms in a period of 14-15 months. We still stick to that", he told reporters here, on the occasion of completion of one year of the commercial vehicle maker's launch of its products in the country.

"We already have nine platforms. Next three platforms are in the pilot stage...These are for heavy duty trucks and tractor-trailers," he said.

During the last one year, the company has produced 5,000 models from its Chennai plant, he added.
Besides, the company also plans to expand its dealership network in the current year.

According to Sriprasad, Daimler currently has presence in 16 states through its network of 52 dealerships.

"By year-end, these 52 dealerships would go up to 70 plus. We have already issued Letters of Intent for 124 locations, which we expect to be ready by end of 2014", he said.

Daimler India currently retails trucks from six to 49 tonnes range across various platforms. The company has invested about Rs 4,400 crore at its 400 acre facility at Oragadam near here.

It has also started exporting its trucks under the brand FUSO to Asian and African markets. The company would also begin exports to Zambia from tomorrow.

The company initially intends to serve the right hand driven markets across the globe and later expand it to other locations, said Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India.

Stating the company would not offer discounts to sell its products, Llistosella said: "The Rs 4,400 crore investment was over in one shot and nobody else did such one-shot investment".

"DICV would significantly contribute to the goal of doubling Daimler Truck sales in Asia to 2.90 lakh units by 2020 from the current 2.30 lakh units", he said.

Stating that the company would not enter into light commercial vehicle segment category, Llistosella indicated the company would foray into manufacturing of buses. "You can expect that", he said.