The Indian automotive industry has been intensifying its ties with the Indian Railways and making quick progress in adopting more sustainable and faster modes of transporting newly-built vehicles.
After Kia Motors India's recent news of having shipped 5,000 SUVs on the 50th railway rake that left Penukonda junction in Andhra Pradesh on October 13, homegrown automaker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is now seen leveraging the expansive network of the Indian Railways that goes beyond borders.
The company loaded 87 Mahindra Bolero pick-up vans in Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra, outbound to Benapole in Bangladesh – a 2,100km journey. This is the first time the operation has been conducted.
Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, in a tweet on October 25, said, "Boosting automobile exports: Railways loaded 87 Mahindra Bolero pick-up vans from Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra to Benapole in Bangladesh. Offering safe, swift and economical logistics solutions, Railways has emerged as a preferred mode for automobile transportation."
Indian Railways bullish on automobile freight traffic
The Railways Minister had recently met representatives from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) as well as professionals from OEMs such as Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Motors, M&M, Honda Cars India and Ford India to announce several measures to make the railroad beneficial for the auto industry. He gave an assurance and committed to meet the industry's demands, including opening more loading terminals across the country as well as facilitating exports to Bangladesh and Nepal – two of the neighbouring markets for vehicle manufacturers in India.
With its efforts and expansion plans, the Railways is targeting a 20 percent share of automotive logistics by FY2021-22 and has a roadmap to grow it further to 30 percent by FY2023-24.
Demand for Mahindra Bolero picking up
The hardy Bolero, which is M&M's flagship pickup brand, has been soldiering along for over two decades now. In August 2019, the company crossed the milestone of producing 1,500,000 units of the rugged pickup which is available in four-wheel-drive pickup, CBC pickup, CNG as well as customised forms.
The Bolero pickup is used for diverse applications including the delivery of agricultural products, dairy products, consumer goods, construction equipment, logistics, fisheries, cash vans and some vans are also deployed in Swachh Bharat initiatives. With a 58 percent market share in FY2019, it continues to enjoy a leadership position in the pickup segment in India.
Images: Sr DCM, Central Railway, Mumbai/Twitter
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