The FINANCIAL — Daimler is further expanding its bus business in Latin America: the wholly owned subsidiary Daimler Colombia S. A. is opening a new bus plant in Funza near Bogotá with an installed capacity of 4,000 units per year.
To this end, two million U.S. dollar are being invested in the bus plant in Colombia that occupies 11,000 square metres. As such the company is preparing for the growing demand for regular buses as well as efficient mobility solutions in the metropolises of the region. This includes the innovative bus rapid transit system for public bus transport in large cities, according to Daimler.
Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses: “In a currently challenging market such as Latin America, we are investing in the future viability of our locations and in modern vehicle technologies. With the new bus assembly, we want to further tap into market potentials in the Latin American bus vehicle business.” The Latin American market is the second largest bus region in the world. The bus market is expected to stabilise at a level of over 40,000 units in the long run.
“With our modern bus portfolio featuring BlueTec 5 technology, we are meeting the growing demand of the Colombian market and our neigh-bouring Latin American countries for clean and efficient vehicles”, says Mathias Held, President of Daimler Colombia S.A.
With a market share of over 30 percent, Mercedes-Benz buses already have a strong presence in the urban traffic of Bogotá today. The modern emission technology, which fulfils the environmental standards of the local linked transport system “Sistema Integrado de Transporte Público” (SITP in short) and with that also the standards of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system “TransMilenio”, plays a significant role in this context. The TransMilenio BRT system in Bogotá is the textbook example of a successful transport solution for a metropolis that is home to millions of people. More than 2,300 buses from Daimler are running in the SITP and TransMilenio system in Bogotá. Due to the large number of passengers and the high transit speed, the TransMilenio is one of the world´s leading bus transport systems.
Production network for commercial vehicles in Latin America
Daimler opened its first bus assembly facility in Bogotá in 2012. Due to its limited production capacity, Daimler Colombia is now opening the new plant in Funza. To this end, the company will create more than 220 new jobs. The bus assembly facility is supplied by the Brazilian Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz do Brasil with headquarters in São Bernardo do Campo. The bus chassis are delivered as disassembled CKD (completely knocked down) kits to Funza where the final assembly takes place. Daimler Colombia will initially offer six different bus chassis featuring BlueTec 5 technology for the Colombian market. In future, the buses are also to be exported to surrounding neighbouring countries such as Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Central America.
With the new bus plant in Funza, Daimler strengthens its production network for commercial vehicles in Latin America which is managed by Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. They include the three production plants in Brazil located in São Bernardo do Campo, Campinas and Juiz de Fora. The integrated production network also comprises the Argentinian plant in Buenos Aires as well as the new Colombian plant in Funza near Bogotá. With a total of five production sites, Daimler is thus the largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in Latin America.
In the difficult market environment of 2014, the Daimler Buses division was able to secure its leading market position in Latin America with a market share of 48.6 percent and sales of 17,600 units.