Six years after setting foot in India, Daimler AG’s truck and bus making company recorded yearly profits for the first time last year. With sales growth of 35 percent, 2018 was also the best year for the company since starting sales operations in 2012.
This turnaround comes at a time when two of Europe’s biggest truck and bus brands — MAN and Scania — shut operations in India after unsustainable losses. Volkswagen Group firm MAN shut India operations while another group company Scania halted its bus making operations, both in 2018.
Daimler India sells BharatBenz range of medium and heavy (MHCV) trucks besides Mercedes-Benz range of intercity luxury coaches. Two other brands Mitsubishi-Fuso and Freightliner also get manufactured in Chennai. India hosts Daimler’s only plant in the world where the four brands are manufactured.
In the domestic market, DICV recorded growth of 35 percent with sales of 22,532 units as against 16,717 units sold in 2017, which is when the company had recorded 28 percent growth. Continued focus on new launches and expansion in retail touch points has helped DICV beat the industry.
Satyakam Arya, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles said, “Last year, we did 27 launches. This year we will do 52. We increased our touch points to 182 last year from 134 in 2017. We want to double it to 350 which will allow us to have a touch point every 100 kms up from the current 250kms”.