Volvo CE drives out on highway demand

Volvo CE drives out on highway demand

Volvo CE drives out on highway demand
Swedish construction equipment major Volvo CE is looking at catering to the demand emanating from India’s mega push towards highway development and upgradation, apart from a host of other large infrastructure projects.

Expressing the company’s vision, Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President and Head of Volvo CE India, told DH: “There are mega projects coming up in India, such as four-lane highways being upgraded to six-lane and new expressways, while within cities, metro development is seeing rapid pace. All these projects are focus areas for us.”

The Centre has committed Rs 3,96,000 crore towards highway construction in the Budget. There is tremendous emphasis being laid on industrial corridors, railway corridors, airport infrastructure and upgradation and ports as well, which is a blessing for CE manufacturers.

Explaining the sector’s turnaround, Krishnan said, “The CE industry is growing fast in India, and if we chart the journey of 18 years, it has seen two big demand spikes during 2007-08 and 2011-12. After 2012, the slump came with slowdown in mining and construction. Fortunately, there was a rebound last year, with the industry growing at 40%, primarily driven by road construction, and to some extent, mining.” Last year, the Indian CE market stood 57,000 units, across all (earth-moving) categories, with the biggest demand coming from highway and road construction.

Volvo CE India, which began sales in 1998, with domestic production in 2007, has over 15,000 machines in operation today. “Our largest sellers are hydraulic excavators at around 9,000 units, then compactors at about 4,000 units, followed by other equipment like excavators, motor graders, pavers, and so on,” he said.

Meanwhile, in India, the largest-volume product in the industry is the backhoe loader, which Volvo does not offer, and has been withdrawn from even its global portfolio.

“In December, we launched five new products, of which three were from the Volvo brand, and the remaining two were from (subsidiary) SDLG. This year, we are looking to launch new pavers, while new excavators will be rolled out through 2018 and 2019. In 2020-21, with emission regulations for CEs heading to BS-IV, we will plan products adopting that norm,” he concluded. 
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