Daimler Buses is expanding its bus business in South-East Asia and will start selling Mercedes-Benz chassis in Vietnam. For this purpose, Daimler Buses is teaming up with the local automobile corporation Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO). THACO has been appointed the general distributor for Daimler's bus division in the Vietnamese market since June 1, 2020.
The buses sold there will be specially adapted to suit local conditions and will use chassis from the Mercedes-Benz São Bernardo do Campo plant in Brazil. The Brazilian Mercedes-Benz plant will supply Vietnam with components kits for chassis from the second half of 2020. In Vietnam, THACO will assemble the chassis, before equipping them with their bodywork at its Chu Lai Truong Hai Automobile Mechanical Industrial Zone, and subsequently selling them via their sales network in the Vietnamese market. To ensure that customers in Vietnam can select the optimum vehicle for their requirements, the chassis will be equipped with the Mercedes-Benz OM 457 engine in different power outputs (260 kW and 315 kW).
Till Oberworder, Head of Daimler Buses and Managing Director of EvoBus GmbH said: "In the South-East Asian bus markets, we're still seeing great potential for Daimler Buses. The market entry with our Mercedes-Benz buses in Vietnam is an important step for us in terms of further expanding our global market presence and using as best as possible the growth opportunities which the Asian bus markets offer. We are pleased that we were able to join forces with THACO – a company which is already well established on the market and which will be a highly competent partner for us. We are sure that our Mercedes-Benz products will serve the increasing demand for vehicles in Vietnam particularly well."
Targeting speedier growth in South-East Asia
The entry into the Vietnamese market is an important step for Daimler Buses in terms of further expanding its global market presence and thus continuing its growth course in the South-East Asia region. Back in 2018, Daimler Buses already successfully entered the Taiwanese market with heavy touring coach chassis from Mercedes-Benz in Brazil. In Indonesia over the past years, Daimler Buses has sustainably secured its market position thanks to a successful expansion of its product portfolio. The world's biggest fleet of Citaro urban buses is in operation in the city state of Singapore.
Daimler Buses says it sees great opportunities in the Vietnamese touring coach market. In Vietnam, buses are an important means of transport. With approximately 3,500 units, the Vietnamese bus market is, for example, bigger than those of Spain or Italy. Besides regular-service routes, buses also play an important role for the increasing numbers of tourists in the country. Potential customers are private companies operating regular-service and charter routes across Vietnam.
The entry of Mercedes-Benz buses in the Vietnamese market will be driven by the Regional Center for South-East Asia (RC SEA), one of six internationally operative regional sales centers for Daimler Trucks and Buses.
The business of the Daimler commercial vehicle division in the South-East Asia region comprises 18 markets which, besides Vietnam, includes Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines and Taiwan. With 622 million inhabitants, the region is more populous than the USA (> 300 million) or Europe (> 500 million) and, in the long term, offers a great amount of dynamism: more than 50 percent of the population is younger than 30 years of age.
In the South-East Asia region, Daimler Trucks and Buses operates a total of five CKD assembly locations (Completely Knocked Down) for commercial vehicles: in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. With the supply of parts kits for Mercedes-Benz bus chassis from Brazil, Daimler Buses is also making use of the advantages which its well-positioned international production network offers.