Chennai: The transition to BS-VI norms in India has opened up more opportunities for Daimler India's Chennai plant to export fully-built vehicles, engines and parts. It is likely to start export of Oragadam factory-built vehicles and parts from 2021. Initially, it will export to Mexico, Chile and New Zealand besides explore possibilities for exporting to the Europe later.
Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) will launch its BS-VI-compliant trucks and buses during the first quarter of 2020 as the truck and bus manufacturing arm of Germany's Daimler AG hopes that BS-VI fuel will be made available from February next year. The company also announced that its Oragadam manufacturing operations near Chennai will become a hub for the export of BS- VI trucks and buses.
The market conditions for trucks in India would be challenging during the next couple of years. "2020 will also remain low key with a likely decline of 10-15 with volumes in the range of 2.3-2.5 lakh units," according to Satyakam Arya, Managing Director & CEO of DICV.
From 2014 to 2018, sale of trucks doubled to 3.78 lakh units from 1.80 lakh units. But, in this calendar year, it is likely to fall by about 25 per cent to 2.7-2.9 lakh units due to prevailing market conditions. During January-August, the industry had sold 1.94 lakh trucks, a decrease of 24 per cent.
Daimler has sold 1.4 million Euro-VI trucks and buses in more than 40 countries globally. "While BS-VI fuel is available in the NCR (National Capital Region), the industry has requested the government and oil companies to ensure the availability of BS-VI fuel from February 2020 onwards instead of pushing it to April 1. The discussions are on," Mr. Satyakam Arya, said while showcasing DICV's readiness for the new emission norms of BS-VI, which will kick in on April 1 next year.
Public sector oil companies had earlier indicated that they would start their work relating to BS-VI fuel supply at their petrol pumps from January 2020 in order to make it available on April 1. Most of the truck and bus makers in India have showcased their readiness for BS VI, but wait for the availability of fuel for the market launch of such trucks.
DICV has invested about Rs. 500 crore in its preparatory works, which include 2 million km of testing, development of new facilities and more than 1,000 new parts. Arya said the DICV's BS-VI-compliant BharatBenz trucks will be superior in technology and more fuel-efficient as the company will bring in its globally-proven Euro-VI technology, an emission standard equivalent to BS-VI, to India with high local content (now 80 per cent, which will increase to more than 90 per cent soon) and customisation to suit Indian road conditions....