Volvo delivers truck No.10K, sees mkt boom

Volvo delivers truck No.10K, sees mkt boom

India’s largest premium European truck retailer, Volvo Trucks, on Thursday announced its vision to grow its market share and brand presence to new heights in the country.

Volvo Trucks, a pioneer in the over-400 HP premium heavy-duty commercial vehicle segment, handed over a new FMX 440 8x4 I-Shift vehicle to its customer, Mahalaxmi Infracontracts, which is the company’s 10,000th truck to be delivered in India, since 1998.

“With this milestone, our aim is to continue to develop more innovations, and remain ahead in the market race. We continue to work as an Indian company with a Swedish origin, and have understood ‘Make in India’ a long time ago. Our ambition is to explore new segments, applications and features in trucks,” Volvo Group Truck Sales (India) President Pierre Jean Verge-Salamon told Deccan Herald.

He said that the company has invested around Rs 800 crore towards its Hoskote facility, infrastructure, and other business needs.

Volvo Trucks has been constantly developing new features as part of making its products more sophisticated. Several improvements in the areas of gearbox development, new vehicles (the recent 10x4 configuration vehicle), and telematics for monitoring the fleet buttress this.

“The Indian market is buoyant, post the challenges posed by the previous recession. We realise that the demanding customer must get what he wants. The (unorganised and organised trucks) industry grew 55 per cent last year, while we also grew around 30 per cent in 2014, logging a sale of 900 trucks during the period, compared with 700 trucks in 2013,” Verge-Salamon said.

The government’s recent move towards coal block auctions has helped truck-makers to a great extent. “The aim of the government is to have a capacity of one billion tonnes of coal by 2020. There appears to be a strong political will to generate more electricity with more coal, which simply means that the capacity of the latter will be doubled. The development of allied sectors will help boost our prospects,” he said.

Volvo Trucks makes and sells many variants of tippers, long-haul trucks, over-dimensional and overweight trucks, among others, through three platforms of FH, FM, and FMX. It remains bullish on the mining sector, since over 70 per cent of the 10,000 trucks sold so far have been delivered to the said sector. The company states that its success in mining has motivated it to further make the sector a focus area for the next five years.

“Another fascinating area is ports and shipping. With export-import trade on the uptick, this sector, especially private ports, will also grow. We see big opportunity to replicate the success of our (private port) customers, and sell more of our products to them,” he added.

In value terms, a third of the company’s truck components are localised, while the trucks themselves are manufactured at its facility. “At a maximum single-shift capacity of 1,500 trucks, we are poised for greater supply, based on demand. With more customers, we can double or even triple our capacity,” Verge-Salamon said.

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