German auto-maker Mercedes-Benz has said it would roll out its line of city and luxury buses from its manufacturing facility in Pune by the end of this year.
The company had announced it would foray into the segment at the Auto Expo in January in New Delhi. It would be sinking an investment of Rs 300 crore into this venture.
The company is setting up a dedicated assembly line that will cater to the production requirements of the city buses as well as the already available 2-axle and 3-axle inter-city luxury coaches.
The company may also offer integrated body-building facility for city buses from the present premises at Pune. “We have already launched the prototype and once the consumer responses start coming in we’ll be in a position to fix the prices,” said Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India. “We see the market for high-end city buses as a lucrative opportunity.”
The Indian bus market is estimated at approximately 500 units per annum and expected to grow by 20 per cent each year.
The company declined to reveal the exact capacity of its new plant. “We see sales coming in from the north, west and the south. The capacity will be evaluated according to demand,” Aulbur told the Hindustan Times.