Bharat Benz introduces new Commercial Vehicles; targets Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland
The Commercial Vehicle (CV) segment of Indian auto industry is likely to witness a boost as the world's largest truck maker, Daimler AG, has introduced its first set of vehicles under the brand name of Bharat Benz. New models from the end of Bharat Benz are based on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform and thus, they are believed to be more economical than the ones offered by Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland.
The new line-up is introduced by the company after preparing aggressively for four years and covering a distance of 6.2 million km over Indian roads, so that it can meet the exact demands of Indian CV fleet owners. However, Bharat Benz has tagged its new vehicles with a price more than 3 to 9 per cent against the models offered by current market leaders. But the company has claimed that with a higher price, the fleet owners will be provided with an improved fuel efficiency of 10 to 15 per cent, which in-turn will be lucrative for the operators.
The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), Marc Llistosella, quoted, “With increasing diesel prices, the fuel efficiency is going to be ever so critical. Today fuel cost contributes 60 per cent of total cost of running, and if diesel prices go up, it could even touch 70 per cent; therefore, despite the premium pricing, our truck offers better value to the customers over competitors.”
Presently, the auto maker has launched three Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV), namely 2523R, 3123R and 2523C, and all of them are available at the official dealerships of the company. 2523R and 3123 R are exclusively designed for the transport section, whereas the 2523C model will target the construction sector. Reportedly, 2523 range is placed between a price bracket of Rs. 15.7 lacs to Rs. 17.2 lacs, whereas the 3123 line-up is tagged with price of Rs. 18.7 lacs to Rs. 20.2 lacs.
The mentioned three models are a part of company's proposed line-up of 17 vehicles, which will eventually mark its presence in the Indian auto industry in the coming 17 months. These heavy duty vehicles are powered by a six-cylinder diesel engine, which has the potential to belt out a maximum power of 227 bhp, followed by a decent performance.
Llistosella further said that the auto maker is charging a premium on the engine, which comes out as the 50 per cent cost of the entire model. He asserted, “However, at that price, the customer is also getting better cab, more safety and higher durability.”
Interestingly, even before the official launch, DICV has already reached out to more than 3,000 fleet operators. On this, Vice President (Marketing, Sales and After-Sales) of the company, VRV Sriprasad, said, “We are the worlds largest truck maker. With the range of trucks we have built and the value our trucks offer, I have no doubt why we cant be the same (No.1) in the Indian market in the long-term.”
On the other hand, the CV maker also has some other plans too. The company is looking ahead to manufacture and sell 36,000 vehicles before the end of 2015, at the time when CV market will be touching 350,000 mark. With these units, the company is eyeing a market share of 8 to 9 per cent, which will be quite significant for its future operations in the country.