VOLVO BUSES INDIA has bought out the Azad Group’s share in its joint venture set up in 2008 to make buses for the Indian market. Volvo’s stake has now gone up from 70 percent to 100 percent.
The company said it hopes this move will help it cater to increased demand from both private and institutional customers. The future includes an increase in production by close to 100 percent by 2012, catering to more export markets and to bring in products for new segments.
The company also announced the bulk order of 100 Volvo 9400 multi-axle buses to 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, a customer experience lounge, New Integral production principles, a Competence Development Centre and Expand the paint shop. The Hosakote facility will thus expand almost 100 percent and will also result in a 30 increase in manpower in the coming two years.
Akash Passey, managing director, Volvo Buses India, said, “The buoyancy in the market for buses is reflected in the sale to 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,” said Mr Sankeshwar of VRL Logistics.
Earlier this year, Volvo Buses launched a CNG-powered bus, introduced Euro IV regulations in its new facelift Euro IV city bus and set up the first Volvo Bus Centers.
Volvo Buses is eyeing a growth of 15 percent to 20 percent overall and the soft services to give 50 percent of the revenue in 2013-14.
Rune Lundberg, Sr. vice-president, Volvo Bus Corporation and chairman of the board of Volvo Buses in India, said: "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 is also stepping up exports from 2011. Exports will account for 25-30 percent of total volumes from India over the next few years, over the current five percent.
There are an estimated 3,500 Volvo buses operating in India, both in the city and inter-city segments.