After its successful entry into long-distance inter-city bus segment with its 2-axle and 3-axle coaches, Mercedes-Benz on Friday announced its entry into the city bus segment in India by launching the City Bus. Mercedes-Benz India (MBIL) also inaugurated its City Bus manufacturing facility at Chakan in Pune. The 37-seater, low-entry bus base version is priced at Rs.90 lakh, ex-factory Pune.
Powering the City Bus is a robust 6-cylindr, vertical in-line turbocharged and inter-cooled OM 926 LA BlueTec diesel engine that generates 252PS of max power and 900Nm of max torque and comes mated to an automatic tramission. The City Bus hands on the Mercedes Benz bus-type air suspension that is seen on all the existing company coaches in the country. The fuel tank capacity is 280 litres.
The MB City Bus features low ingress and exit that is coupled with a wheel chair ramp to facilitate passengers with restricted mobility to get onboard without any difficulty. On the inside, the City Bus wears attractive and comfortable cushioned seating, multiple charging points, powerful air-conditioning and a destination board for the convenience of the passengers. The 37 seats are well spaced out with enough room to move about and a separate chunk of space is reserved to keep heavy luggage.
The company had announced a capital investment programme of Rs.600 crore at its Chakan facility to house its passenger car, commercial vehicle production and paint shop. The passenger car line has a capacity of 10,000 units per annum while the commercial vehicle line can make 1,200 trucks / buses per annum. The paint shop would be completed this year.
Mercedes has tied up with its global body-building partner MCV to jointly build the City Buses. MCV will build the bus bodies at the new facility, set up next to MBIL’s Chakan plant. The bus body building plant has an annual capacity of 900 units.
Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, said, “Our entry into city buses will enable more and more people to ‘Travel with the Star’. We will participate in the Indian market growth by expanding our bus business with a superior-quality low-entry city bus for the Indian market.”
Daimler also announced the appointment of Markus Villinger as the head of Buses for India. According to Mr. Villinger, “India is a fascinating market and there is a rising demand for robust, reliable and efficient city bus transportation. Our production line at the Pune plant combined with body-building from our captive partner, MCV, will ensure our uncompromising standards of quality are maintained in India.
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Image Credit – Team-BHP