By Erich Nesselhauf
BharatBenz stands for world-class products and world-class service. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for our customers is at the core of everything we do at BharatBenz. We are convinced that you will not find any better products on the market with regard to TCO than ours.
To start with, we offer our customers the products with the best reliability, and more uptime means more business. Some of our customers have clocked up more than 500,000 km in just over three years with minimal maintenance cost. So we are very confident about our quality. It allows us to offer increased service intervals, making for lower maintenance cost, and a best-in-class warranty of up to five years.
With regard to technologies, we pull all levers to get there, and there is obviously a particularly strong focus on the powertrain. Backed by world-class customer services at reasonable prices, we put TCO at the centre of the BharatBenz brand’s hallmark value proposition.
In 2015 we launched our construction and mining trucks and our buses. This year the focus is on major renewals of our truck product portfolio. In February we launched the new generation of our medium-duty vehicles, and later this year we will present the new generation of our heavy-duty trucks. We continue to raise the bar. And the fact that we renew our portfolio three years after the initial launch shows our commitment to offer our customers the best products for their money.
I expect these new vehicles to give us additional momentum in the year. We had a good start with our strongest first quarter on record, actually the ninth quarter of consecutive sales growth. Besides that, you can expect from us at this year’s IAA commercial vehicle trade fair in Germany some interesting product presentations, and ideas on connectivity.
Preparations for BS 6
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), as a part of Daimler AG, has access to full technological firepower of its parent. That includes proven global technologies up to Euro 6. So whatever target the government will eventually set for the introduction of BS 6, we will be there. Right now, we offer BS 4 throughout the BharatBenz portfolio, and we are ready to offer BS 5 when there is sufficient demand in the market. We have been exporting Euro 5 vehicles under the FUSO brand to selected markets for some time now. Going forward, we remain committed to our original vision to transform the Indian CV industry. The outlook for the Indian market is very promising, all experts agree on its huge potential. So we are very optimistic, and we have all needed capacities at hand with our plant at Oragadam/Tamil Nadu which is designed for a capacity of up to 72,000 units.
Beyond the growth of our domestic sales under the BharatBenz brand, we will also continue to increase exports. Under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia, we produce FUSO-branded vehicles for exports to important growth markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. So altogether, it is a clear growth path for DICV along which we are sustainably developing our business.
Erich Nesselhauf is Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles.