Daimler India, which unveiled its all-new range of BS 6-compliant BharatBenz brand of trucks and buses on Monday, said it expects MHCV segment to clock 2.20 lakh units this year as against 2.49 lakh units in 2019.

The company also said that though the January-March quarter of the 2020 is expected to do a little bit better for the segment, the market may be on a lower trajectory once the BS 6 norms come into effect from April 1.

"The Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle market went down by 34 per cent to 2.49 lakh units in 2019 as compared to 2.78 lakh units in 2018. That is a massive drop. We are looking the market of the size of 2.20 lakh this year," Daimler India Commercial Vehicle Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Satyakam Arya, said at the event.

The 10 per cent expected contraction in volume will be on account of the BS-VI implementation. There is as much as 25 per cent excess capacity in the market as per the fleet owners and there will be some advanced buying in the January-March quarter, he added.

If all the measures which the government is taking and the budget is really friendly for boosting consumption, "We expect that the market will then return to recovery somewhere in the July or October quarter," he said.

He, however, sounded confident that the full recovery will take place in 2021.

Arya said that BharatBenz has lined up 42 launches for the Indian and other markets as against 52 variants last year.

"Year-on-year, we look at which variant do we have, which don't make sense any longer and which ones we need to add. We slowly expanding our portfolio and we will continue to do," he added.

He said BharatBenz is hopeful that the finance minister will bring up a budget which is friendly for boosting consumption and investments.

"We have also seen a lot of emphasis on infrastructure, investments in infrastructure and we have already started to see that on ground. Of late, the fleet owners have come back to buy trucks. So, all in all looks positive," Arya said.

The company plans to expand the dealership network to 300 this year from 237 at present, he said.

The new BS-VI compliant product portfolio is available for pre-bookings and will be introduced depending on the fuel availability in each region, the company said.

"BharatBenz's new commercial vehicle range offers customers the solution they need for the future, setting new benchmarks for medium and heavy duty trucks with improved fuel efficiency, safety and connectivity," Arya said.

Arya, however, did not disclose the prices of the new offerings and left it for the launch time, they are likely to be 10-15 per cent higher compared to existing range.

Going forward, BharatBenz will move away from tonnage and focus on customised solutions for different applications, he said, adding its trucks are 10 per cent more fuel-efficient and offer up to 20 per cent longer service intervals, there by giving an up to six per cent cost advantage over other trucks.

Besides, the new range of trucks will come with a standard warranty of up to 6-years and an extended warranty of eight years.

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Daimler AG of Germany.

Its plant at Oragadam near Chennai manufactures trucks with a payload of 9-49 tonnes besides buses and coaches under the brand name BharatBenz trucks and Mercedes-Benz buses.

DICV has already begun receiving orders from customers, the company said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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