'India is more exciting market'

'India is more exciting market'

'India is more exciting market'
It was in 1998 that Volvo Trucks rolled out its first truck in India. It will be completing two decades of Indian operations next year, and the truck manufacturer sees the country as one of its potential growth markets going forward.

Interacting with media at Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo Trucks International Senior Vice President Helene Mellquist says that India is a more exciting market for Volvo Trucks. “We have a strong foothold in coal mining. If you take heavy duty truck business in India, it is around three lakh, and this market is just at 2,000. It’s very very small, and that’s where we have found our foothold. We are about 1,200 in that market every year,” says Mellquist.

As India is still importing lots of coal, Mellquist says that it is better if the country uses its own coal. In India, Volvo Trucks has 23 sales sites, and is active in three markets — one JV company and three private importers. The global manufacturer is also looking into new segments like construction, irrigation and quarrying.

“In construction, we have made a couple of breakthroughs in the premium segment. Irrigation and quarrying are other markets that we are looking at. In the construction sector, we have a target to sell 100 units by the end of this year, and we have already delivered 70 units. We are actually exceeding our target. We are also strengthening our marketing team in the construction area,” she says.

While In India, in 2016, Volvo Trucks delivered 1,025 trucks, in China, it delivered 2,534. Mellquist says that China managed to have a network of roads pretty quickly, but in India, infrastructure is a big hurdle. “Many trucks remain at standstill, waiting to get somewhere. India needs a good logistics corridor,” she adds.

Talking about Make in India, Mellquist says, “We are assembling in India right now, and we do as much as we can so that it makes sense business-wise.”

A JV between the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors, VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) came into effect from July 2008. The company feels that the joint venture is complementary to each other.

Mellquist says, “The JV is one of the few in the industry that has been very successful. Our collaboration is very good.” In 2020, India will move to BS VI norms directly from BS IV. “It’s excellent. We are ready for BS VI. We are a global company and we already have technology, and it’s a competitive advantage for us,” she says, adding that GST is really good for the country.

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