Yesterday, the first BharatBenz bus has rolled off the production line at the Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) plant in Oragadam.
BharatBenz buses manufactured at the Oragadam plant will be front-engine for short distance travel targeting school, staff and tourist transportation. The premium segment will be addressed with Mercedes-Benz rear-engine buses for inter-city transportation. The new plant will manufacture buses with gross vehicle weight of 9, 16 and above 16 ton range. The first to roll off the line was a BharatBenz school bus.
With the new multi-axle coach, DICV is introducing the first 15m bus in India, to be used primarily for intercity applications.
Speaking on the Occasion, Mr. Markus Villinger, Managing Director, Daimler Buses India said, “It is a significant occasion for us as we start production of Made in India buses for the Indian market at our Oragadam plant. The buses are engineered to provide value to our customers and offer them suitable products with our two brand strategy. We see enormous potential for growth in the market as the volume of the Indian market for buses weighing over eight tons is set to double by the year 2020.”
After today’s start of production of buses, the DICV plant is the only Daimler Trucks plant worldwide to produce trucks, buses and engines with three brands – Mercedes-Benz, BharatBenz and FUSO – under one roof. The bus chassis are rolled out from the same assembly line as that of BharatBenz trucks, as they are technologically similar to the medium-duty BharatBenz trucks, showcasing the flexibility of DICV’s assembly lines.
Before the local bus production started, DICV has already started to export its bus chassis from India to Egypt in February, other markets to follow in future. Because the chassis are technically similar to those of the medium-duty BharatBenz truck, export activities from Chennai started even before the bus plant opened.