Daimler Truckâs Indian Strategy
March 11, 2011
Although the rapidly expanding Chinese vehicle market is of considerable interest to global vehicle manufacturers, India, too, is a place with tremendous opportunities for growthâassuming that the vehicle manufacturers have good market understanding of whatâs required on the ground there. (E.g., although Buick is a big brand in China, in India, well. . . .)
What may not be known by many in the U.S., Daimlerâas in the company that produces Mercedes-Benz carsâis the worldâs largest manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are the things of commerce, construction and development.
So, Dieter Zetsche, once affectionately known in the U.S. as âDr. Zâ when he ran Chrysler, went to India and announced that the company has established an India-specific truck brand in the Daimler Truck portfolio: âWe are sending a clear message with our new truck brad: Daimler is at home in India. Our BharatBenz trucks are the right combination of Daimlerâs DNA and Indiaâs market know-how. These trucks will be developed and built in India, for India, and by specialist employees from India.â
Prototype BharatBenz trucks
Andreas Renschler, head of Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses (hereâs an interesting fun fact to be taken into account vis-Ã -vis his position with big trucks and buses: from 1999 to 2004 he headed smart GmbH, the purveyor of cars that could probably fit inside the cab of a heavy-duty truck), noted, âIndiaâs macroeconomy has been on a growth track over the last years and is estimated to grow between 7 and 8% in the next 10 years. Additionally, India has become the worldâs second largest market for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. By 2020, we expect the Indian truck industry to double.â
Whatâs interesting is that as many vehicle manufacturers try to create âworldâ products that they can sell everywhere, Daimler is pursuing a specific on-the-ground strategy for development and production.
Bharat, incidentally, is another word for India.