India will begin exporting fully-equipped Mercedes Benz buses from November in a lucrative two-year Middle Eastern deal.

This is the first time Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) will supply its 9 tonne buses fully-equipped, and also plans to introduce a 16 tonne platform next year, confirmed by Daimler Bus India boss Markus Villinger.

“Middle East is the second-biggest market for school buses. We got this two-year contract from the state government through a tender process,” Villinger said.

DICV has been exporting chassis to Africa, South East Asia and Latin America for 18 months, but the new deal will see it supply complete models to Dubai, Jordan and Oman.

Parent company Daimler AG also unveiled a semi-autonomous city bus in Hannover, the urban eTruck.

“We are reinventing transportation for goods and people, on highways and cities,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the board of management.

“In the coming 10 years, there will be more changes in our vehicles than in the past 120 years. We are on the edge of new era. A new era we all can look forward to as Daimler will be inspiring.”

According to Bernhard, electric vehicles are on the radar from 2018 and city buses by 2020. It is the brand’s goal to have 70 per cent of the matured market electrified by 2030.

With a focus on urban vehicle development, Bernhard also said connectivity is an emphasis for Daimler, both on a passenger and commercial level.

“We go way above and beyond hardware. We will offer our customers comprehensive mobility concepts, by continuously adding intelligent and connected services and solutions to our portfolio,” he said.

“We are not in a race with Daimler passenger cars. We will be complementing each other and helping each other,” he said.