German truck maker Daimler AG took the wraps off its ‘Asia business model’, a far-reaching strategy that will see its FUSO range of trucks, which rolled out from the company’s plant near here on Thursday, exported to nearly 15 countries across Asia and Africa. The FUSO trucks have a local content of over 80 per cent. The FUSO range of trucks, which was produced by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, Japan (MFTBC), consists of five models that span medium/heavy-duty and light/medium-duty. These trucks will be exported and sold through the FUSO network to markets such as Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

“The new strategic FUSO truck range is meant only for the export market. We plan to export nearly 1,000 trucks this year,” said Albert Kirchmann, President & CEO, MFTBC, while addressing reporters.

According to Dr. Kirchmann, the new Asian model will leverage on two Daimler outfits — Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, and MFTBC.

Not only will a strong focus be placed now on an integrated ‘Trucks Asia’ product portfolio, DICV’s supplier base will be used to provide a co-ordinated procurement strategy that will ensure greater cost efficiencies.

Responding to a media query, Marc Llistosella, Managing Director and CEO, DICV, said that Daimler’s Asia strategy was not planned to counter-balance the excess capacity in India.

“This is not because capacity is lying idle here. If you remember, we said we would eventually do exports four years ago. This is only to leverage the existing production network of FUSO, which is sold in over 150 countries,” Mr. Llistosella said.

The Oragadam plant, near here, will now complement Mitsubishi Fuso Truck’s Kawasaki plant in Japan, and the combined target of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and DICV is to double the annual sales of Fuso trucks to 290,000 units by 2020. Company officials, however, refused to divulge the expected geographic contribution of this target.

The completely built units of Fuso trucks will first be exported to Sri Lanka next month, following which they will be exported to Kenya, Brunei, Zambia and Bangladesh this year.

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