Daimler India Commercial Vehicles opened its new truck test track in Oragadam, near Chennai (formerly Madras) yesterday. The company-owned, state-of-the-art test track, which is located on the grounds of the DICV truck plant currently under construction in Oragadam, represents Daimler Trucks’ first important milestone as part of its strategy to develop and manufacture trucks for the Indian volume market. The trucks are scheduled to be launched on the market beginning in mid-2012.
Construction of the DICV test track began in April 2009; truck testing has already commenced. Construction of the new DICV production plant is also on schedule. DICV has planned a total investment of Rs. 44 billion (roughly €700 million euros) over the next five years. The company will manufacture light, medium, and heavy duty trucks at its roughly 160 hectare facility in Oragadam.
“The Indian truck industry has been steadily progressing toward modern generation products in line with the requirements of the market,” says Marc Llistosella, CEO of DICV. “Keeping in mind the Indian customers’ need for high-quality and reliable trucks, we are confident that we will fully meet their expectations with our products. Our trucks offer high quality and an outstanding price:performance ratio. Our new test track, which is one-of-a-kind in South Asia, is an important step towards ensuring this commitment,” adds Llistosella.
Daimler Trucks now has the ability to thoroughly test trucks in South Asia at the state-of-the-art Indian test facility spread across approximately 19 hectares. The test track has two different tracks. The three-lane outer track has a total length of 1.55 kilometers and is specially designed for testing the power train and driving noise. The two-lane inner track is1.16 kilometers long and includes a variety of India-specific poor road features. This track offers special testing opportunities, including a water trough, a dusty road and poor road surfaces. Facilities for testing gradeability and steering will be added in the near future.
Llistosella sees the test track as the successful product of German and Indian collaboration. “Numerous customer studies and measurements were considered during the construction of the test track to ensure a realistic simulation of the road conditions in India. Our trucks will have to undergo a variety of tests to offer our customers high standards of product performance.”
DICV currently has roughly 400 employees from both India and Germany. Production of the light, medium, and heavy duty trucks at the Oragadam plant is scheduled to begin in 2012 and will have a maximum capacity of 70,000 units.