What is Bharat Benz? Is there any relation between Bharat Benz and Mercedes Benz?
BharatBenz is a brand of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the German manufacturer Daimler AG.
The brand is known for its range of modern trucks and buses. The headquarters of BharatBenz is at Oragadam, Chennai, India.
In 2008, Daimler AG planned to enter the Indian market in a joint venture with Hero MotoCorp to build medium and heavy commercial vehicles.
A joint venture named Daimler Hero Commercial Vehicles (DHCV) was formed under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in July 2008 with 60% holding of Daimler AG and 40% holding of Hero Group.
Daimler AG and Hero Group announced they would dissolve the Daimler Hero Commercial Vehicles Ltd. joint venture on April 15, 2009 because of an economic downturn in India.
Hero group decided to focus on core operation and return the 40% stake in DHCV joint venture to Daimler AG. With 100% stake Daimler AG renamed DHCV as Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV).
The launch of the BharatBenz brand was announced on February 17, 2011 at Chennai by Daimler AG Chairman Dieter Zetsche and the first BharatBenz truck was unveiled on January 4, 2012 at the Delhi Auto Expo.
The decision to launch the brand was prompted by Daimler’s determination to compete in the fast-growing Indian truck market against existing Indian brands such as Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors and Indian ventures of other leading global truck manufacturers like VE Commercial Vehicles (Volvo-Eicher Motors-Joint Venture). The entire proposed truck line-up in the 9 to 49-tonne range was unveiled on March 2, 2012.
Early 2014 BharatBenz launched the tractor trailer models and a construction model making itself a full range player in the segment above 9T category spanning across medium and heavy duty truck segments. Product range: 914, 1214, 2523, 3123, 3128, 2523 (6×4), 1217, 2528(6×4), 3128 CM, 4023 and 4928.
In May 2015, BharatBenz inaugurated its new bus manufacturing facility in Oragadam, Chennai and unveiled its second wave of products – BharatBenz and Mercedes-Benz buses as well as a new range of BharatBenz trucks and BharatBenz heavy duty tractors.
On May 27, 2015, DICV inaugurated its new bus manufacturing facility in Oragadam, Chennai. The new state-of-the-art bus manufacturing plant, constructed within the existing premises of DICV spread across an area of 27.91 acres, will manufacture and assemble buses under two brands: Mercedes-Benz and BharatBenz.
With an investment of Rs 425 crore, the bus plant is set up for an initial capacity of 1,500 units which can be further expanded to 4,000 units subsequently.
In January 2017, the 5000th bus chassis was rolled out of the Daimler Buses India plant. Currently available bus models from this facility are Mercedes Benz SHD 2436 (multi axle), Bharat Benz & Mercedes Benz 9Ton.
In April 2017, a new model of front engine 16ton buses was launched in the Indian market (seater and sleeper versions).