German auto major Daimler is betting big on the Indian bus market.
The Indian market, currently the second-largest after China, is expected to double by 2020, said Hartmut Schick, global head, Daimler Buses. India sold 46,000 buses, weighing more than 8 tonnes, in 2011.
Schick said this will touch 80,000 units by 2020.
“Currently the Indian bus market is larger than Europe,” Schick said. “North America and Europe are not growing while growth is slowing in Latin America. In the category of buses above 8 tonnes, every fifth bus sold worldwide will be in India.”
Daimler’s Mercedes Benz launched its low-floor city bus in India with a base price of Rs 90 lakh on Friday, about 50% more than Tata Motors’ buses in the same segment. Mercedes Benz will compete with Volvo to get orders from city corporations.
Mercedes Benz, which entered Indian bus market with inter-city luxury coaches in 2008, eyes the premium segment of Indian bus market. It has so far sold 300 luxury coaches.
Between luxury coaches and city buses, Mercedes Benz has an installed annual capacity to make 1,300 buses. Daimler’s Egyptian partner MCV builds bus body for its city buses at the Pune Mercedes Benz plant.