Daimler India aims to break record as commercial vehicle sales rise

Daimler Trucks’ Indian subsidiary is aiming to beat the sales peak of 2018 this calendar year as the commercial vehicle (CV) market recovers after three difficult years, a senior company executive said.

Launching new models in the heavy-duty segment and aggressive expansion would fuel growth, Satyakam Arya, managing director and CEO of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), told ‘Business Standard’. “The CV market has a very solid recovery cycle after three very difficult years. We will come across the 2018 figure, which was the peak. Our aspiration is to go above and beyond even if the market doesn’t,” Arya said.

The Indian arm of the German truck maker saw its sales peak at 22,000 units in 2018, and Arya hopes to surpass it thanks to strong demand from e-commerce companies, construction, mining and the transporter segment. long-distance goods. Domestic sales of Bharat Benz-branded truck and bus maker jumped 48% to 14,222 units in calendar year 2022, the year that completed a decade in India.

CV sales in India rose to 716,566 units in the year ending March 2022 from 568,559 units a year ago, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam). , most CV makers are bracing for a bullish cycle and expecting the industry to top fiscal 2018 volumes, when total industry volumes were close to 856,916 units.

DICV, which entered the CV market as a challenger to Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland a decade ago, is charting its next phase of growth, Arya said.

While dealership and sales growth will be central to the overall strategy as it enters the second decade of operations in India, digitalization will be the second phase. This is the process of converting to a paperless business by the end of next year. This will manifest itself in all areas of functions, from the workshop and customer interface to virtual reality.

The company plans to increase its sales network from 275 to 330 -350 by the end of next calendar year. Meanwhile, plans are underway to fill “white spaces” in its medium and heavy-duty vehicle portfolio with new products. The third-largest heavy-duty truck maker by sales that operates in the 10-55 tonne segment is working on many alternative propulsion technologies, including liquefied natural gas, electricity, compressed natural gas and hydrogen, but Don’t rush to launch an electric truck or bus anytime soon. It will also stay away from government tenders on electric buses where rival Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and others have been aggressive.

“We have enough to do in the segments where we are present. As a company, we are always positioned on technology and TCO (total cost of ownership). When it comes to government procurement, the most important criterion is price, which does not meet our criteria,” he said.

Commenting on whether the company is looking to launch GNC options in the middleweight segment, he said the company “won’t be making any short-term decisions. We have something coming and we are going to launch it. Better than what is available in the market.

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