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Daimler, Munjals to tie up for CVs

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

German auto maker Daimler Trucks has zeroed in on the Munjals of Hero Honda for a joint venture to make commercial vehicles in India. The announcement is expected before Christmas.
According to sources, Daimler has been directly involved in talks with the Munjal family.
A company spokesperson said, "The declared objective of Daimler Trucks has been and continues to be to substantially enter the Indian market, which, besides China, is the highest priority for us. We have said that we have identified a potential partner but are still in negotiation. We will soon announce the details of the finalised plan."
Daimler's move has been widely anticipated as it has already expressed its intention to move beyond luxury cars in India. It now sells the Mercedes Benz brand of cars and the Actros range of high-end trucks.
Daimler was earlier in talks with Eicher Motors but negotiations fell through over ownership issues.
On Monday, Sweden-based Volvo AB and Delhi-based Eicher Motors announced a joint venture.
Daimler will bring its expertise in manufacturing and its huge technological assets to the joint venture. Hero, on the other hand, will bring in knowledge of the local market and marketing and distribution muscle.
The growth projections for the Indian commercial vehicles market are healthy, mainly due to improving infrastructure and new emission and safety rules.
India is the world's fifth biggest commercial vehicles market, and has been growing at 20 per cent in the past three years.
Nissan Motor has formed ventures with Ashok Leyland for light trucks, engines and transmissions. MAN AG and Navistar International Corp formed joint ventures in India in the past year.

First Published: Thu, December 13 2007. 00:00 IST