‘Truck industry to bounce back by 2021’

Sector sales dip 24% to 1.94 lakh trucks; India to be DICV’s export hub for BS VI trucks, buses, says CEO

The Indian truck industry, which has been hit by the current economic slowdown, is likely to bounce back to growth by 2021, said a top official of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV).

“From 2014 to 2018, sale of trucks [more than] doubled to 3.78 lakh units from 1.8 lakh units,” said Satyakam Arya, CEO and MD, DICV.

“However, from the beginning of 2019, truck sales have been on the decline, due to several factors such as implementation of new axle norms, liquidity crunch and switchover to BS VI norms,” he said.

Year-to-date, the industry had sold 1.94 lakh trucks, a drop of 24% compared with the January-August 2018 period. “The market dipped in 2019 and will remain low key in 2020. Our growth will be in line with the industry growth,” he said. According to him, the sector is likely to witness 20-25% dip in 2019 (2.7 lakh units to 2.9 lakh units) and a 15% decline in 2020 (2.3 lakh units to 2.5 lakh units). The year 2021 would see a growth of 15% (2.7 lakh units to 2.9 lakh units).

To a question, he said the implementation of a scrappage policy would go a long way in arresting the decline. But, it called for the setting up of an authorised scrap centre with a mechanism to trade in scrap certificates.

Pointing out that non-availability of BS VI fuel was a major concern while pushing sales, he said DICV had urged oil companies to ensure that the fuel was made available from April 2020 onwards.

Transition to BS VI

“Daimler’s experience of already bringing 1.4 million Euro VI trucks and buses on roads means we are easily ready to transition our BharatBenz trucks and buses to BS VI by the April 2020 deadline. With this headstart, we will begin exporting India-built trucks by 2021-22,” he said.

Mr. Arya said that DICV had invested ₹500 crore to localise its Euro VI technology for India, completed two million kilometres of testing, developed new facilities and 1,000 new parts, and had achieved localisation of more than 80%.

He also said India would become the global export hub for DICV’s BS VI trucks and buses.

Depending upon the availability of BS VI fuel in India, DICV would officially launch an upgraded range of trucks and buses during the first quarter of 2020, he added.

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