29 May 2020

Interaction-Sominder Singh, VP Domestic Sales, Product Management & Network Daimler India Commercial Vehicles

BharatBenz is set to transform the way of work in the construction and infrastructure segment

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Daimler AG, Stuttgart, Germany. It currently produces and sells a range of 9 to 49 ton trucks for the Indian market, as BharatBenz, and FUSO trucks for exports to markets in South East Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.SOMINDER SINGH, VP DOMESTIC SALES, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT & NETWORK DAIMLER INDIA COMMERCIAL VEHICLES, responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES queries on the plans and prospects of his company going forward.



Could you brief us on your range of off highway equipment offerings and their applications?

BharatBenz has a wide range of product offerings in this segment. The key differentiator that BharatBenz offers in this segment is higher payload, better fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs. In addition, the high localization of the parts translates into availability of spare parts.

With the impetus in the mining segment, we have launched s first indigenous deep mining truck- BharatBenz 3143. It is a natural progression towards high powered, cost efficient mining trucks that will bridge the gap in the industry that currently offers premium trucks and trucks that are underpowered. The truck is capable of operating in challenging terrains and can efficiently operate in deep mining conditions, making it an unbeatable value proposition.



The road and infrastructure sectors have received a major push what sort of demand do you expect in current year and subsequent years.

We foresee enhanced business in the HDT growth as a result of the government efforts to enhance infrastructure and focus on mining projects.

Besides, reducing overloading will also lead to new buys recreating corresponding capacities which will be an additional momentum.

We have a wide offering and the right products in our BharatBenz’ HDT range to address these requirements.



Tell us of the new products you intend to introduce and the geographical markets where you are planning to push them?

With the impetus on infrastructure projects, BharatBenz is set to transform the way of work in the construction and infrastructure segment.

The customers are looking towards efficient and productive machines with high reliability. BharatBenz offers a wide range of choice for the construction and infrastructure segment.

The DICV product portfolio includes the 2523C, 2528C, 3123C, 3128CM, 4023TT, 4028TT and 4928TT. These are powerful workhorses that provide maximum productivity, superior power and torque that make them capable of handling any tough terrain condition.



Tell us about the USP’s of your products vis-à-vis your competitors.

BharatBenz continues to modernise the Indian commercial vehicle sector. Safety, fuel efficiency and driver comforts are some of the vital transformations that our products have addressed.

Our trucks offer best in class fuel efficiency, featuring for instance the intelligent unitized fuel- injection system, CTV engine brake, Variable green band, balance-type rear suspension and inter-wheel differential locks in the haulage trucks and inter- wheel/interaxle differential locks in the construction trucks, the unique “Engine-Brake” system, to name a few.



How smart and efficient are your machines. What is your company’s focus on technological innovations and what are your strategies to market your firm’s product and services going forward across India and overseas markets?

We have set new standards in offering premium trucks with total cost of ownership (TCO), high-quality and driver convenience features. Our trucks offer the best fuel efficiency in the market, making use of localised versions of Daimlers best engines, transmissions and other technical

All other “new technologies” like electric stability control, automatic distance control, lane assists and other state of the art technologies are available off the Daimler technology shelf and could be introduced relatively quick and without much development, but we don’t see demand and willingness to pay for these technologies in India yet.

DICV’s ‘Modern trucks’ drive has led to trigger the need of transformation in the Indian truck industry.



Give us an understanding of their key features in terms of operating of your machines, cost efficiency etc their specific advantages and the post sale services offered?

The Total Cost of Ownership for our customers is at the core of everything we do at BharatBenz. We are convinced that you will not find any better products on the market with regard to TCO than ours. To start with, we offer our customers the products with the best reliability – and more uptime means more business. Some of our customers have clocked up more than 500,000 km in just over three years - with minimal maintenance cost. So we are very confident about our quality.

It allows us to offer increased service intervals, making for lower maintenance cost, and a best-in-class warranty of up to five years.

With regard to technologies, we pull all levers to get there, and there is obviously a particularly strong focus on the powertrain. Just to give some examples, we use unitized injections pump in our engines, variable green band and engine brake for better fuel efficiency. Backed by world-class customer services at reasonable prices, this illustrates how we put the TCO at the center of the BharatBenz brand’s hallmark value proposition.



Could you offer information about your manufacturing units, location of plant, their current capacities, investments and planned upgrades?

We have a state-of-the-art test track and manufacturing plant in Oragadam, Chennai set up with an investment of Rs. 4.400 crore and have recently inaugurated our bus plant within the premises with an additional investment of Rs. 425 crore.

Our truck plant has a capacity of 36000 units scalable to more than 70000 units. The bus plant has a capacity of 1500 units scalable to 4000 units.



Plans for the future and outlook?

We will remain committed to our original vision to transform the Indian CV industry. BharatBenz stands for world-class products and world-class service.

The outlook for the Indian market is very promising, all experts agree on its huge potentials. So we are very optimistic, and we have all needed capacities at hand with our plant at Oragadam/Tamil Nadu which is designed for a capacity of up to 72,000 units.

Beyond the growth of our domestic sales under the BharatBenz brand, we will also continue to increase the number of exports. Under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia, we produce FUSO-branded vehicles for exports to important growth markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. So altogether, it is a clear growth path for DICV along which we are sustainably developing our business.

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