2019 will be a challenging year for bus market'

Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 04:27 Hrs
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2019 will be a challenging year for bus market'

The Indian bus market will be challenging in 2019, owing to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and also the migration to BS VI emission norms, a senior official of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles said here on Tuesday.

"The Indian bus market is expected to grow by four per cent. There are challenges for the companies like the elections and also the migration to BS-VI emission norms," Daimler Buses India Managing Director Thomas Fricke told reporters.

He said the elections may impact the bus sales initially.

Fricke said the migration to BS-VI emission norm poses challenge of balancing the price hike and the pre-buy by customers before the new norms kick in April 2020.

Queried about the need for price hike as Daimler has the technology to confirm to the new emission norms for a long time and no new investment had to be done for the development of the same, Fricke said the components have to be localised which may warrant price hike.

He said in 2018, the company sold 1,555 buses/coaches/chasis up from 906 units sold in 2017, while the company exported 616 units last year up from 405 units in 2017.

Daimler Buses India this year, he said, is focusing on the preparations to upgrade its entire portfolio to the BS-VI standard, including the BharatBenz, 9-tonne buses in the school, staff and tourist bus sub-segments, the Mercedes-Benz 15-metre multi-axle luxury coaches and bus chassis for the 9,16 and 24-tonne segments.

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