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Daimler Trucks to invest Euro 700 m over the next 5 years in Oragadam facility Print E-mail
Written by Krishna Kumar   
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Chennai: Daimler India Commercial Vehicles has planned a total investment of Rs. 44 billion (roughly €700 million euros) over the next five years. The company will manufacture light, medium, and heavy duty trucks at its roughly 160 hectare facility in Oragadam.

It opened a new truck test track in Oragadam yesterday and truck testing has already commenced. Construction of the new DICV production plant is also on schedule. The trucks are scheduled to be launched on the market beginning in mid-2012.

"The Indian truck industry has been steadily progressing toward modern generation products in line with the requirements of the market," says Marc Llistosella, CEO of DICV.

The company-owned test track, which is located on the grounds of the DICV truck plant currently under construction in Oragadam, represents Daimler Trucks' first important milestone as part of its strategy to develop and manufacture trucks for the Indian volume market. Construction of the DICV test track began in April 2009. The company has spent about Rs. 25 crore in the test track.

"Keeping in mind the Indian customers' need for high-quality and reliable trucks, we are confident that we will fully meet their expectations with our products. Our new test track, which is one-of-a-kind in South Asia, is an important step towards ensuring this commitment," Llistosella added.

DICV currently has roughly 400 employees from both India and Germany. Production of the light, medium, and heavy duty trucks at the Oragadam plant is scheduled to begin in 2012 and will have a maximum capacity of 70,000 units. The plant will have an initial capacity of 36,000 units in the first phase and will be scaled up to 70,000 units finally.

DICV will produce a range of trucks in between 6 tonnes and 49 tonnes category from the plant. Initially the company will manufacture 25 tonnes and 49 tonnes heavy duty trucks, in the first phase. This will be followed by the manufacture of 9 tonnes and 15 tonnes trucks.

DICV has allocated Rs. 1,200 crore for its R&D centre within the plant and this will be one of the biggest in South-East Asia.

Daimler Trucks now has the ability to thoroughly test trucks in South Asia at the state-of-the-art Indian test facility spread across approximately 19 hectares. The test track has two different tracks. The three-lane outer track has a total length of 1.55 kilometers and is specially designed for testing the power train and driving noise. The two-lane inner track is1.16 kilometers long and includes a variety of India-specific poor road features. This track offers special testing opportunities, including a water trough, a dusty road and poor road surfaces. Facilities for testing gradeability and steering will be added in the near future.

Llistosella sees the test track as the successful product of German and Indian collaboration. "Numerous customer studies and measurements were considered during the construction of the test track to ensure a realistic simulation of the road conditions in India. Our trucks will have to undergo a variety of tests to offer our customers high standards of product performance."

The company is also looking for partners for its Indian venture and is open for multiple partnerships.

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