The world's largest truck maker Daimler has taken over the post-production businesses of its group firm Mercedes-Benz's premium trucks -- Actros, in India to consolidate its position in the commercial vehicle segment.
The company, which is investing Rs 4,400 crore through its wholly-owned subsidiary -- Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), for a new facility at Oragadam in Tamil Nadu, may also consider assembling the Actros at the upcoming plant.
"As the DICV project started materialising, we felt that Actros is better handled by the truck team (of Daimler India), so the decision was taken to transfer Actros operations to DICV," Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Vice President (Marketing, Sales & After Sales) V R V Sriprasad told PTI.
"...And effective July 1, marketing, sales and after- sales are now being handled by DICV," he added.
Actros, the premium range of trucks from Mercedes-Benz's portfolio, is assembled at the firm's new facility at Chakan in Maharashtra. The plant has an installed capacity to produce 1,200 units of buses and trucks every year.
Mercedes-Benz was so far responsible for overall business of the Actros and it sold 215 units of these premium trucks in 2009-10, most of which went for off-the-road operations.
When asked if the production of Actros would also be shifted to DICV's new facility once it gets ready, Sriprasad said: "When we streamline our operations here, I think it will make sense (to shift production). We will take a call at the appropriate time on shifting of Actros production."
He said DICV will at first establish its own operations in the country and depending upon availability of capacity, "all this could happen" at a later stage.
DICV has planned to introduce a range of trucks in 6-49 tonnes category under a completely new brand for its proposed entry into India's commercial vehicle market in 2012.
The 400-acre upcoming facility at Oragadam will have an installed capacity to produce 36,000 units per annum.
"We are completely aligned with this market requirement and the future market requirements will also define on which way to go. I don't think it (shifting of Actros productions to DICV) as an issue," Sriprasad said.
He, however, ruled out the possibility of the company introducing any new high-end products other than Actros in the near future.
"Our focus primarily and very clearly is the volume segment of India, for which we are making these products. So, I don't think, we are going to allow any primary level of distraction for our objective here," he said.