Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) today announced achieving a financial break-even in the 2018 business year. The company achieved this feat in just over six years, from the market launch of the BharatBenz brand in India, making it one of the fastest manufactures in this segment to achieve this feat. The announcement was made at the company’s Annual Press Conference, which is also where the company officially introduced its new Managing Director and CEO, Satyakam Arya, who also spoke about Daimler’s sales performance in 2018.
In 2018, Daimler India also announced achieving a 35 per cent growth last year in the domestic market, with total truck sales reaching 22,532, compared to the 16,717 units sold in 2017. Talking about the company’s growth, Arya said, “2018 was the best year in the young history of our company and for BharatBenz – our focus on profitable growth continues to pay off.” The company credited this growth mainly two aspects, the strong product portfolio of BharatBenz and to the expansion of the brand’s pan-India sales and service network. In fact, in 2018 alone the company introduced 50 new touchpoints, growing from 130 to 180 outlets.
At the event, Satyakam Arya also spoke about the company’s plans for the year 2019, during which the focus will be on three key areas – Digitalisation, Network Expansion, and New Product Launches. Elaboration on this, Arya said, “We are talking about digitalising the entire customer ecosystem, which means all interactions they do with us will be digitalised. This will take us to a new level of customer management and satisfaction. When it comes to network, we have a very aggressive plan to further expand our network. We are talking of, in fact, doubling our network in the next 2-3 years, which means, once we do that, customers could find a BharatBenz outlet within 100 km or within 2 hours.” Talking about product plans for 2019, Arya added, “At this moment we are working very aggressively on touching each and every model in our portfolio and further looking at how we can enhance value to the customer. This is also driven by axle load norms and preparation for BS-VI).”
Currently, the company is also working on the development of BS-VI vehicles for the Indian market, for which the company says it’s combining Daimler’s Euro 6 experience and customer and market insight to build products suited for the Indian market. Adding to this Arya said, “Our full attention is on India’s transition to BS-VI in just over a year, and we are confident to add the next chapter to our success story.” With regards to axle load regulations, DICV is upgrading the entire domestic truck portfolio and will launch models and variants in a staggered approach. In fact, the first vehicle of this new product generation, a 55-tonne tractor, will be handed over to a BharatBenz customer on Rajasthan soon.