Known for its luxurious sedan cars in the world and also the largest entry level bus maker of the world, Mercedes Benz has come up with city buses which will cost Rs.90 lakh (ex-showroom Pune). The buses have disk brakes with air suspension on a body which is pulled by a 256 PS, 7200cc,926 diesel engine equipped with automatic transmission. Air-condition is a standard feature for all the models. It has already been tested in seven Indian cities including Pune over the past year.
Inter-city buses were launched in 2008 with sales of around 150 buses in the year 2011. These long distance buses were brought into the market in 2-axle and 3-axle coaches. The buses were being manufacturedby Jalandhar, Punjab based Sutlej Motors, who has built the bodies of the buses of the for Mercedes Benz India.This setup will continue. The recently built Chakan Plant near Pune, built in collaboration with the Egyptian bus maker Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles (MCV), will produce the city-bus for the Mercedes-Benz customers. Although MCV and Mercedes have joint investment in theChakan plant, they will operate separately here. Mercedes Benz has invested Rs 50 crore up till now in the new plant. In more than a decade old association, MCV has manufactured 15,000 buses for its associate Mercedes Benz since 1995.
Head of Daimler Buses, Mr. Hartmut Schick,made a comment on the current market scenario of the bus segment in India. He said that with the large population of India the scope of this particular segment is really bright. The need for road transport vehicle for public has increased. Indian customer is becoming more demanding in terms of quality of the buses and they do not mind spending extra money to buy it either. Hence the launch of this low-entry superior-quality city bus for the Indian market. The 2-axle and 3-axle long distance buses have been appreciated very much by the Indian market. With the city buses a lot of people will be able to travel on a local route within their city. From 1stApril 2012, Markus Villinger will act as the new head of Daimler Buses.
The prospective buyer which Mercedes Benz is targeting for its city bus is the Local/City Transport Corporations as well as the forthcoming Public Private Partnership Projects. Finally time for a luxury ride in public transportation has come to India.