DaimlerChrysler India is gearing up to launch its buses in India by 2008-end, Business Line reported.
In preparation for its forthcoming product entry, the company is now in talks with Jalandhar-based bus bodybuilder Sutlej to manufacture the bus bodies for them, said a company official.
The company spokesperson in an e-mail response stated, “We do not comment on any speculation about future investments, partners or alleged plans regarding brands, products and production locations of the DC Truck Group in India. We are currently examining different options and are in discussion with various potential partners in India. We will announce details as soon as a decision is made.”
It has recently acquired land (100 acres) near Chakan, Pune, where it would establish its new plant that would cater to car, truck and bus manufacturing. The company would manufacture the chassis of the commercial vehicle, while the bus body would be supplied by the local builder. It is currently evaluating Sutlej’s existing manufacturing capabilities said the official.
This practice has been followed by several commercial vehicle manufacturers in the country. Volvo India recently tied up with Jaico Automobiles (Azad group); the new joint venture will manufacture 1,000 bus bodies annually that will cater to Volvo’s local and overseas bus market. Tata Motors, on the other hand, has partnered with Brazilian-based bodybuilder Marco Polo to manufacture complete buses for the local market.
While DaimlerChrysler is in talks with the local bus bodybuilder, it is simultaneously working on establishing a chain of service outlets in the southern and western regions initially. The company is looking at opting for service outlets with existing commercial vehicle dealers in the market who have the necessary expertise and know-how.