Daimler opens manufacturing plant in Chennai

Daimler opens manufacturing plant in Chennai

After two years of construction, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, a wholly-owned Daimler subsidiary, has opened its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Oragadam-Chennai, India. The plant is one of only three Daimler truck plants worldwide to combine truck assembly and components production at one location.

After two years of construction, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (DICV), a wholly-owned Daimler subsidiary, has opened its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Oragadam-Chennai, India.

The opening ceremony for the 160-hectare manufacturing site, which includes an integrated research and development center and test track, was attended by members of the Daimler AG board of management and J. Jayalalithaa, chief minister of the state Tamil Nadu in South India.

The plant, an investment of roughly 44 billion Indian rupees (over 700 million euros) is one of only three Daimler truck plants worldwide to combine truck assembly and components production at one location.

“Our new Oragadam-Chennai plant shares Daimler’s stringent quality standards with its sister plants around the world and is unique at the same time,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management for Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “It is the only Daimler plant in the world that houses products which combine Indian engineering with German and Japanese DNA under a single roof. This way, we are optimally positioning ourselves for one of the world’s strongest and fastest-growing truck markets.”

The facility will produce the versatile BharatBenz product range for the Indian volume market. While some BharatBenz truck models are based on the Mercedes-Benz Axor platform, others are built on the Fuso Canter series. The plant in Chennai has an initial production capacity of 36,000 units per year and is designed to allow an increase up to more than 70,000 commercial vehicles per year. BharatBenz production is scheduled to begin the third quarter of 2012.

BharatBenz trucks are robust and reliable vehicles for the modern domestic segment, which currently accounts for 4% of all trucks in India, but this figure is expected to rise to almost 80% by 2020, according to the company. DICV will have a product portfolio of 17 BharatBenz commercial vehicles by 2014.

Marc Llistosella, CEO and managing director of DICV, said the company’s focus on localization has resulted in more than 40% of its suppliers being located within a 40-km radius of the plant. Daimler’s Indian commercial vehicle subsidiary cooperates with over 450 suppliers who were selected after stringent quality and due diligence tests, the company said. In cooperation with local car and commercial vehicle dealers, DICV has built up a nationwide retail network that will encompass around 70 locations by the end of 2012. The retail network will be expanded to more than 100 dealerships by 2014.

The Daimler subsidiary Daimler Financial Services will offer financing and insurance products for dealers and customers in support of BharatBenz vehicle sales.

Daimler AG
www.daimler.com

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