Friday, 9 March 2012

Mercedes Benz launches City bus in India at Rs 90 Lakh, ex-showroom

Having entered the bus market in India with the launch of inter-city buses a couple of years ago, Mercedes Benz India is now foraying into the city bus segment with a low-entry bus that will be manufactured at its plant at Chakan near Pune.

The company has also established Daimler Buses India as an independent division to take the bus business forward and appointed Mr Markus Villinger to head its operations.

Observing that with 46,000 buses sold during 2011, the Indian market was the second largest in the world, Mr Hartmut Schick, Head, Daimler Buses, said the new low-entry city bus was the key to their strategy here. “In 5-10 years, the market will develop (from low entry) into the premium segment,” he added.

With the engine and transmission coming from overseas, the city bus will have around 40 per cent localisation in the initial stages, with a plan to indigenise to a greater degree subsequently. The current installed capacity at the plant is 900 units per annum in two shift operations.

To build the body, Mercedes’ partner MCV has set up a unit within the premises of the Chakan plant.

Priced at Rs 90 lakh (ex-factory Pune) for the base version, the 37-seater city bus is powered with a 252 HP, BS IV complaint, 7.2 litre, 6-cylinder engine with auto transmission. The key features include use of fire retardant material, Blue Tec Technology for environmental protection, banana suspension, two passenger doors, 3 destination boards and a wheel-chair ramp.


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