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10-year-old in India and Volvo is rolling better than ever


It is just 10 years ago when a commercial vehicle with air-conditioning would be looked with doubts or a high-end bus would be considered unsuitable for a price-conscious market. These are perceptions of the past now. Its clear that the Indian customer, passenger, driver aspires for a better quality of life and the right transport solution is a key to tackle some of the key issues that face us today – congesting cities, rising transport & fuel costs, people mobility, on-time deliveries, polluting vehicles. Today, Commercial vehicle industry’s demands are focused on the bigger picture, seeking bigger contracts, meeting deadlines – and are increasingly concerned about life time costs as against prices.

It is clear that the commercial vehicle industry cannot remain isolated from the change and the development we see in the country.Volvo has been fortunate to be at the forefront of this change and is today poised to play a bigger role in the country.

For long, Volvo has been the only global manufacturer in the CV segment. Nonetheless, the segments created by the company are today defined as the future of the industry – multi-axle trucks, tractor-trailer concept, Euro III trucks, luxury inter-city AC coaches, low floor city buses, Articulated Haulers, Online engine diagnostics tools for trucks  & construction equipment, Euro 3/ Tier III engines in construction equipment, ergonomical designs for operators, Marine propulsion for high speed crafts  and more.  

The Volvo spirit
At Volvo it has never been a question as to whether or not the Indian CV industry will change or not. The question however can be ‘by when and how fast.”. When Volvo entered the Indian market it was aware of the limitations and the opportunities ahead. The aim was always to establish the right segments that allow the company to create value, good business sense and set the foundation for a long-term participation in the growth and aspirations of the Indian economy.

Starting with just one product line in trucks with one factory, Volvo in India today is an organization with 2000 employees, 3 factories, 170 support points and a market leadership across all its chosen segments in the truck, bus & construction equipment, Industrial Power system & Marine segments. In 2008, Volvo will deliver over 5000 high-perfroming vehicles, equipment & power system packages to the market.

Building valuable segments
However, numbers do not tell the story. It does not explain the profound manner in which inter-city bus travel has changed in India; how the city bus concept is ready to repeat the same experience or how truck customers with over 200 Volvo Mining Trucks in their fleet continue to buying more and more. Neither has it reflected on how Volvo Construction Equipment has a built a strong market share in Excavators, road compaction machinery, Motor Graders, Articulated Haulers. Also, Volvo Penta enjoys a dominant  market share in High Speed Craft.

Volvo has effectively developed segments such as the luxury inter-city bus; articulated haulers, modern city bus and multi-axle truck, port equipments & luxury yatchs  – that are the segments which will define the change we will see in the industry towards better people mobility and logistics efficiency.

However, what one can be sure that in each of these segments, whenever you see a Volvo, be sure it is doing its work with far lesser fuel consumption, reduced environmental impact, fewer vehicles on road, and with greater care for the driver and other passengers on the road. Whenever this takes place, we believe we have contributed to progress of the industry.

Sticking to core values
Whatever Volvo product has been introduced in India it is the same we sell globally – which also means it conforms to the safety, environment & quality standards we keep elsewhere.

Volvo Trucks & Construction Equipments are amongst the very first automobiles in India to introduce Euro III engines.

We understood that safety in India incorporates a key component – the driver. Hence Driver training became the very first condition, even before Volvo sold its first truck or bus in the country. Today, over 15000 drivers have been trained by Volvo to become even better – economically, as safer drivers and as responsible drivers.

Quality has paid back handsomely. Volvo Trucks produced in India are exported to one of the most demanding markets in the world – South Korea. The reason – customers in Korea find they receive the same quality from a Volvo factory in India as they do from any other Volvo Factory.

Now, Volvo Buses is on the road to export its buses to a range of countries.

Using India as a competitive sourcing base
Not only is Volvo using India as an important market, but India is now a key sourcing hub for the group.
In 2000, Volvo commenced global sourcing from India which continues to develop and expand.
In 2001, Volvo established its IT sourcing business in the country which has grown manifold over the years.
In 2006, Volvo established its product development centre in Bangalore which already employs over 200 people working on projects that are focused both, on our global products and Asia projects.

Increasing Relevance to India
The last couple of years, have witnessed steps from Volvo to expand its relevance in India. These steps also make Volvo a complete supplier of products.

Early 2007, Volvo acquired the Ingersoll Rand business in India adding not only a manufacturing footprint to its portfolio, but also expanding its range of Excavators, Motor Graders, Articulated Haulers, Wheel Loaders with a wide range of locally produced Road Machinery equipment. Today, Volvo has an over 25% market share in this new segment.

Early 2008, Volvo Buses added a new factory into their portfolio for Bus Body building and thus become the unique company in India to provide a range of services from – chassis, body, after-sales, advisory on bus solutions from a single window. This new factory already employs an additional 500 employees and is now ready to cater to export markets too.

In Mid 2008, Volvo have now singed an agreement with Eicher to set-up a new JV which provides Volvo a platform to address the large Indian truck market of over 250,000 trucks besides exploiting synergies between the two companies.

Together, these steps expand the canvas Volvo operates in.

Creating Value
The most important aspect of our operations is the way Volvo positively affects the lives of people associated with Volvo. 10s of 1000s of drivers today enjoy driving a truck, bus, construction equipment or luxury yatch. Like one driver comments, “Earlier my life used to pass by, but today, with Volvo, it moves forward.

There are millions of passengers who see Volvo Buses as a means of better mobility between cities and now, within cities – inspiring them to consider transportation as a motivation to travel and not an impendiment in their desire to progress.

With Volvo Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Penta Engines & Propulsion system, customers find that they not only complete their products well in time but they do with far fewer vehicles & boats, lower operating cost per tonne and with the satisfaction of caring for the environment, their staff, drivers and themselves.

Transport is about people. There is no way that this aspect can be ignored. Safety, Care for the environment and quality will continue to be key factors for anyone associated with the business. The sensisstivity will only grow.

Taking on the future with confidence
During the last 10 years Volvo has shown the courage to lead, introduce new concepts successfully and expand its presence in India.
The progress of India is closely entwined with the progress of the transport industry.
Volvo faces with considerable confidence a future characterised by major opportunities & challenges in the Industry, not least the demands & aspirations placed by its citizens.. Volvo is all set to roll with confidence towards many, many decades of operation!
For more information,
please contact: Sohanjeet Randhawa,,
+91 98453 97336

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