Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, will now be responsible for selling Mercedes-Benz India buses across the country. With effect from April 1, 2013, responsibilities for Marketing, Sales and After-Sales Service have been taken over by Daimler India Commercial Vehicles. However, these buses will continue to be assembled at the current Chakan facility in Pune.
Since Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. was being set up in Chennai, Mercedes-Benz India was selling the buses so far. More than 300 units of these buses have already been sold in the country since 2008. In fact, customer expectations have risen since the introduction of Mercedes-Benz Inter-city luxury coaches. These coaches are being manufactured by M/S Sutlej.
In the current phase, servicing of buses would be carried out by select dealers of brand BharatBenz. However, only nine dealers, seven of which are new, would take care of servicing in the initial phase of operations. Such dealers have been appointed based upon the regions where Mercedes-Benz India buses are being run. Brand promotion would be taking place through different state-of-the-art BharatBenz dealerships.
Speaking on the shift of responsibilities, Markus Villinger, Head of Daimler Bus Division in India stated, “As the Global leader in Buses, Daimler sees India as a market with growing potential. However, the Luxury Coach segment is still very small in comparison to the total market. We will initially focus on this segment. The integration of the Daimler Bus division with DICV while creating greater synergies will also open several business opportunities in future”.
Eberhard Kern, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for Mercedes-Benz India also voiced his opinion with respect to the new development. He was quoted to be saying the following- “We have nurtured the bus business since its launch in India and are happy that our sister company will take over this business and continue to offer superior products and brand experience to our customers. We will continue to support by assembling the Mercedes-Benz buses at our facility in Chakan, Pune.”
Another subsidiary of Daimler AG, namely Daimler Financial Services (DFS) would also be supporting the bus business with a specific financial product called ‘Mercedes-Benz Financial’. Currently Daimler Financial Services provides captive finance solutions for Daimler customers. Additional partnerships between Daimler India Commercial Vehicles and reputed financial institutions would be explored. Only time will tell how successful the new venture would turn out to be, for the German auto manufacturer.