On the eve of its 10th year in India, Volvo announced a new momentum to its operations in the country announcing approximately Rs. 400 crore investment plans for the next 5 years. In the first phase of this plan, the company will expand its current industrial establishment to 2,500-unit capacity and introduce a range of new products in the coming years – starting, as soon as 2012. This announcement now backs Volvo Buses earlier announcements to become a US$ 1 billion company selling 5,000 buses in 2015, which also envisages a new industrial establishment in the following phase.
Hakan Karlsson, President & CEO, Volvo Bus Corporation, said, “Just as we enter the 10th year of our operations, I also see India ready for its next phase in progress. As we go forward and reach new scales of operations, Volvo Buses in India will extend its presence wider in the market, while also becoming our global hub for various selected models. We see the country becoming one of our largest markets globally. Volvo Group has built a strong footprint in India and we have the unique advantage of leveraging our synergies. A most enduring part of our success in India is that our success is measured not merely in numbers, but the way we have impacted quality of life for people in cities and travelling between cities. We will continue to drive our core values of safety, care for the environment & quality and plan to reach out to even more people in the country.”
This is a landmark for Volvo Buses’ journey in India, which started in 2001. Over the last decade the company has emerged as a leader in its class with a dominant market presence and in the process re-defined how people see buses. The Indian market has witnessed a paradigm shift in the bus business. While earlier, coaches built on truck chassis were the norm of the day, the entry of Volvo introduced the concept of a true-bus chassis with rear engines & also brought in a new purpose to bus-based public transport systems. Today, the company has presence in the inter-city luxury coach and low-floor air-conditioned city bus segments.
During this period, Volvo has also evolved from offering just buses to becoming a complete bus transport solutions provider.
Rune Lundberg, Senior Vice President – Business Region International, Volvo Bus Corporation, said, “Volvo Buses’ success in India lies not merely in offering products, but the fact that we could join hands with the market to establish new concepts, ideas and expectations – both with long-distance travel & in public transport. India has one of the fastest growing cities and with an aspiring population the country will be an engine of our growth in Asia. I will not be surprised that our solutions created for India have an impact not only locally, but even in the global bus industry.”
Akash Passey, Managing Director & CEO, Volvo Buses in India, said, “The 10 year milestone is symbolic of the association that Volvo Buses has with the society at large and of course our partnership with customers and all stakeholders. We have grown with our customers and are proud that we have as our partners private operators, state corporations who are today are role models for the bus industry in India. At the advent of this ride we got to meet true visionaries who had the courage to choose our buses in a market where the concept of a true bus was absent. In the last decade we have introduced products and concepts, which were the first-of-their-kind in India – the true bus concept, the low-floor bus, rear engines, a new way to approach public transport and of course the recent high performing multi-axle bus. At each step, we worked towards bringing in a change that would redefine the way people travel and the way they see a bus.
Passey added, “The need for buses as sustainable transport solutions is high in India and we aim to grow multifold in the years to come. From 1,000 buses to 5,000 buses and from 1,000 people to 5,000 people and become a billion dollar company. With the support of all our stakeholders, we will continue to drive the change and open up new applications & segments while consolidating our current position.”