Less than five years after its introduction to India, Daimler’s BharatBenz truck has sold more than 50 000 units. In addition, the plant at which it is made has exported a further 10 000 trucks to other markets.

A spokesman for the company’s India Commercial Vehicles Division – which manufactures the vehicle alongside Mercedes-Benz and Fuso branded counterparts at a plant near Chennai – says this kind of ramp-up has never before been achieved by a market entrant in India.

BharatBenz was designed specifically to cope with the country’s rugged conditions, Daimler daring to challenge the dominance of established domestic brands by introducing a vehicle that could be customer-tailored to meet specific requirements.

Unveiled as a concept in February 2011, the truck was officially launched in September 2012, aimed at the medium and heavy segments of the market. More than 10 000 units had been sold by April 2014, with sales accelerating following an update of the medium-duty range in 2016 and the launch of an all-new heavy-duty range this year. The products are sold and serviced through a pan-Indian network of more than 130 outlets.

According to a statement issued by Daimler, India has become an important export hub for Daimler products, with sales to about 30 markets outside the country having doubled for several years in a row. The company intends to start exporting a new sub-nine-ton truck to the Middle East in the third quarter of this year.

Besides its strong domestic standing, India has begun to serve as an important export hub for Daimler’s products. More than 10 000 units have been exported from the company’s state-of-the-art production plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, since the start of the vehicle exports in 2013.

Fuso and Mercedes-Benz vehicles for export are manufactured on the same production lines as the domestic BharatBenz portfolio. The trucks are exported to markets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America and adhere to Daimler’s stringent safety, reliability and efficiency standards.

With the launch of the all-new BharatBenz heavy-duty truck range earlier this year, DICV has completed its update of the whole domestic truck portfolio. The new range is said to offer improvements in fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs.