India's SML To Build Mercedes-Benz Buses

Posted on September 26, 2007

German vehicle giant DaimlerChrysler AG has signed a contract with India’s Sutlej Motors Ltd (SML) to manufacture bus bodies in India. The two companies intend to build bus bodies on Mercedes-Benz chassis that will be produced by DaimlerChrysler India Ltd (DCIL), which is based in Pune. It is understood that the initial order for SML will be for manufacturing 100 buses.

“The chassis will be made at our facility in Pune, initially at Chikhali and later at Chakan once the new plant is ready, while the bus body will be made at Sutlej Motors’ facility in Punjab,” said Suhas Kadlaskar, director, corporate affairs & finance of DaimlerChrysler India. He said the two companies will soon sign a formal MoU for technical collaboration with SML adding that details like the kind of bus models to be made, the brand under which they will be sold, initial capacity and the investment in the venture are still being finalized.

Based in Jalandhar city of Punjab state, SML, founded in 1935, is a manufacturer of coaches and application vehicles in India. Currently, the company produces luxury coaches, inter-urban buses, modern low-floor buses, and mini buses.

According to the announcement, the first vehicle will roll off the line in the first quarter of 2008. DCIL will also handle sales and aftersales activities of the coaches.