In the presence of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamilnadu J. Jayalalitha, and members of the Daimler AG Board of Management, DICV inaugurated its state of the art plant in Oragadam built over an area of 160 hectares. The plant has been completed in a record 24 month period and will also house the integrated research and development center and the state-of-the-art test track. Daimler says the plant is one of only three Daimler truck plants worldwide to combine truck assembly and components production at one location. The total investment of DICV is 4400 Crore Indian Rupees (over €700 million) including the manufacturing facility for BharatBenz brand trucks as well as research and development.
Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, explained, “Our new Oragadam-Chennai plant shares Daimler’s stringent quality standards with its sister plants around the world and is unique at the same time. It is the only Daimler plant in the world that houses products which combine Indian engineering with German and Japanese DNA under a single roof. This way, we are optimally positioning ourselves for one of the world’s strongest and fastest-growing truck markets.”
The start of production of the BharatBenz heavy-duty trucks are scheduled already for the 3rd quarter of 2012. The plant in Chennai has an initial production capacity of 36,000 units per year and is designed to allow an increase up to more than 70,000 commercial vehicles per year. Some of the BharatBenz trucks are based on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform, whereas some on the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter platforms.
The huge investment by DICV in India is justified by the numbers presented by Daimler. The company says the modern domestic segment, which accounts for four percent of all trucks in India, is expected rise to almost 80 percent by 2020. With a product portfolio of 17 BharatBenz commercial vehicles by 2014, DICV is preparing for the promising Indian truck market with a volume of more than 330,000 vehicles in the weight classes of 5 to 49 tonnes in 2011.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles has pulled out all stops in India, and intends to localize 85% of components to benefit from the expanding market in India. Marc Llistosella, CEO and Managing Director of DICV, declared, “Filled with pride and joy, I dedicate today’s plant opening to the employees of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles. Our work-force is primarily Indian and has steadily increased to include more than 1,400 employees today.Our focus on localization has resulted in more than 40 percent of our suppliers being located within a 40-kilometer radius of the plant. Overall, our BharatBenz trucks will have a localization rate of 85 percent in India.”
DICV cooperates with over 450 suppliers who were selected after stringent quality and due diligence tests. In cooperation with local car and commercial vehicle dealers, DICV has built up a nationwide retail network that will encompass around 70 locations by the end of 2012. The retail network will be expanded to more than 100 dealerships by 2014.
Andreas Renschler, Daimler Board of Management member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, emphasized at the plant inauguration in India, “DICV is an outstanding example of Daimler Trucks’ Global Excellence strategy. Our worldwide production network and our global research and development efforts enable us to develop, manufacture, and sell trucks in India, for India. We do all of this in close proximity to our customers, for our customers.”
The Daimler subsidiary Daimler Financial Services will offer financing and insurance products for dealers and customers in support of BharatBenz vehicle sales.
Good times ahead for DICV, we think.