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Daimler eyes small trucks in India

Daimler India Commercial Vehicle may not limit itself to trucks above six tonnes and may even enter the mini-truck segment dominated by domestic players such as Tata Motors.

autos Updated: Mar 05, 2012 22:41 IST
Manu P Toms

Daimler India Commercial Vehicle may not limit itself to trucks above six tonnes and may even enter the mini-truck segment dominated by domestic players such as Tata Motors.


"We do not limit ourselves, said Marc Listosella, MD and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles. "We will go for these kinds of segments in terms of us taking it seriously."

The small commercial vehicle segment has already witnessed competition with Mahindra's Maxximo, Ashok Leyland's Dost and Piaggio's Ape looking to quell the fist-mover advantage of Tata Ace. The segment has an annual volume of 3,50,000.

Responding to a shift in demand for trucks — growth in Asian markets vis-a-vis decline in Western Europe and North America — Daimler is looking to cash in on the Indian option. The company's Rs 4,400-crore Chennai unit, boosting of an annual capacity of 36,000, is Daimler’s largest outside Europe.

Daimler's Bharat Benz brand of trucks, modified to suit India's price competitive market and rugged terrain, will hit the market before Diwali. While refusing to give any target for market share the company is looking at in the medium and heavy truck segment, he said, "In the Indian trucking industry there was a clear allocation of marketshare."

Listosella said that the trucking industry should adopt fuel-efficient technologies since diesel subsidy is not sustainable on a long-term basis. "The longer you wait (to lift subsidy) the bigger will be the deficit. Therefore, it is much better to take little steps."