Volvo Buses India Private Limited today announced the 100 pc buyout of Azad Group share, its JV partner since 2008. This increases Volvo Buses stake from the current 70 pc to 100 pc ownership. Volvo buses is witnessing increased demand from both private and institutional customers and this strategic move will provide Volvo Buses greater flexibility to expand and put in place ambitious growth plans in the coming years.
The future includes an increase in production by close to 100 pc by 2012, catering to more export markets and to bring in products for new segments.
The future potential that Volvo Buses is preparing for is symbolized in the bulk order of 100 Volvo 9400 multi-axle buses to Sankeshwar of Vijayanand Road Lines (VRL) Logistics.
To cater to the growing future demand and plans, Volvo Buses will augment its factory and establishment with new facilities for refurbishment operations, Customer Experience Lounge, New Integral production principles, a Competence Development Centre and Expand the paint shop. The Hosakote facility will thus expand almost 100 pc and will also result in a 30 pc increase in manpower in the coming two years.
Elaborating on the company’s expansion plans, Akash Passey, MD, Volvo Buses India Private Limited, added, “We have seen robust growth in 2010 in terms of order wins and production. Most importantly for us, we see the establishing of key concepts that will drive future progress – long-haul luxury travel is getting segmented with higher demands, the country is clear about its ambition of making public transport a key tool for sustainable cities and we at Volvo have built a strong base via a partnership with almost every key private, public and institutional customer. These new investments are aimed in not only fulfilling current expectations, but raising expectations and exceeding them in the near future.”
The buoyancy is reflected in the 100 Volvo Multi-axle Buses order from VRL Logistics. “We have taken as much time to decide on these 100 Volvo Buses just as much as we took to decide on the 1st bus we bought from Volvo in 2002. This reflects the amount by which our confidence has grown in Volvo, in the Indian passenger demands and of course in our business, as a Corporate Brand that provides top notch transport services. India is changing and its partnerships like we have with Volvo and our customers, that are leading this progress towards safer, friendlier and more efficient travel experience.”
Volvo's strategy to continuously re-invent and improve its products and features was kept alive in 2010 by bringing in the CNG bus, introducing Euro IV regulations in its new facelift Euro IV city bus and the step to Volvo Bus Centers across key cities, to provide a higher level of service and experience for our customers and their drivers. Volvo is focused in offering the entire gamut of support services along with the product and is the first company to be singularly focused on only one business – buses. Volvo Buses expects a growth of 15 pc - 20 pc overall and the Soft services to give 50 pc of the revenue in 2013-14.
Rune Lundberg, Sr. Vice President, Volvo Bus Corporation & Chairman of the Board of Volvo Buses in India commented, “The Asian dream is coming together and we are watching promising demand and critical movement by key stakeholders and customers in India. Covering 12 cities with our city buses in just 2 years, is one indicator of how fast change is taking place. We could well Indian cities replicate what Volvo has done in Shanghai already with 14000 buses in the city’s fleet. Everyone is looking at us in India and Asia and this is now our home market. We will now not only sell here, but develop new products, export them to distant places and make this a key hub for the group.”
Volvo Buses India will step up on its exports from 2011. Exports will account for 25-30 pc of total volumes of India over the next few years, over the current 5 pc. Volvo today has over 75 pc market share in the luxury inter-city AC coach segment and over 50 pc market share in the AC Diesel Low Floor City buses, which are present across 12 cities in the country. Last week Volvo City Buses entered its 12th city – Mumbai.
Currently, there are about 3500 Volvo Buses operating in India, both in the city and inter-city segments. The company is bullish on our growth in 2011 as the industry is buoyant about the future of the bus market in total and is stating a healthy growth level from 5-10 pc for the coming
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