More to come: - new truck is first of planned 6 to 49-tonne BharatBenz line based on Mercedes and Fuso technology

More to come: - new truck is first of planned 6 to 49-tonne BharatBenz line based on Mercedes and Fuso technology

Daimler Truck’s subsidiary Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) has launched its new BharatBenz brand heavy duty truck.

DICV's first locally made truck will will take it into the medium heavy duty and heavyduty commercial vehicle segments. India is now the world’s third largest truck market with 2011 volume over 300,000 units, according to the automaker.

Daimler truck/bus head Andreas Renschler said: “Our strategy for the new growth markets is to operate as globally as possible, on the one hand, and as locally as necessary on the other.

“The trucks are based on existing Daimler commercial vehicle platforms. Indian specialists developed the trucks for the local market, where they are also built,” he said. “This is the most effective way for us to participate in the growth of India’s volume segment.

On 2 March BharatBenz will show its entire truck line in the six to 49-ton range. The heavy-duty models will be built on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform and future light and medium-duty models will be based on the Fuso Canter and Fighter series. They will all meet India’s BS III emissions standard [comparable to Euro III].

The new models have been tested over 4m km on DCIV's test track in Oragadam (near Chennai in Southern India) and will be made at the adjacent new plant. Construction on an area of 160 hectares is almost complete and production trial runs for engines and transmissions have already begun. About EUR700m has been spent on initial production capacity of 36,000 units a year that can be boosted to 70,000.

DICV has set up a network of around 450 Indian suppliers plus dealerships in the last few months. BharatBenz trucks will have a localisation rate of 85%.

By the end of the year, the dealership network will have about 70 locations throughout India will expand from there. The company said "some of India’s leading car and commercial vehicle dealerships [are] on board".

Last July, Daimler launched a financial services subsidiary in India which will offer financing and insurance products for dealers and customers.