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Daimler plans to launch Actros trucks in India
Parvathy Ullatil in Mumbai | November 19, 2003 09:24 IST
Automobile giant DaimlerChrysler has decided to turn the heat on Swedish rival Volvo in India, by foraying into the premium truck segment.
DaimlerChrysler India, which manufactures Mercedes cars in Pune, will roll into the Indian commercial vehicle segment with its flagship Actros range of trucks.
The company is obtaining local certification for its trucks to ensure compliance with domestic automotive norms--called homologation in industry jargon.
"We have brought the Actros range of trucks in India, and are now in the process of homologating them," said a company executive.
It is not clear whether DaimlerChrysler will bring the trucks as completely built units, or get them as knocked-down kits and assemble them here. It could also go the Volvo way and manufacture the trucks locally, importing only some key components.
The German major has chosen the 320-456 HP Actros range to enter the Indian truck market. The Actros range of trucks and tractor trailers is DaimlerChrysler's best-selling product globally, with sales of 260,000 since its launch in 1996. The company launched a new range of Actros trucks, the V6 and V8, in March this year.
Volvo seems to have paved the way for DaimlerChrysler by creating a market for premium trucks in India, selling 400 of them last year. Volvo launched a new range of trucks, the F12 and F9, earlier this year.
With Bajaj Tempo collaborating with German commercial vehicles maker MAN for its proposed foray into the premium truck segment, the market is showing signs of aggressive competition.
Riding on various favourable factors, Indian truck sales grew 38 per cent in the first half of this financial year.Local players like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have waiting lists for their vehicles for the first time in three years.