Kamal Bali, President & MD, Volvo Group India, is happy and excited. And why not? The business growth for the Group over the last couple of years has been very encouraging. “In fact, last two years have been even better. In fact, we have the highest growth ever during this phase,” he shares with a warm smile. Although, due to the company policy, he did not share the overall share of revenue from the three different segments – trucks, buses and construction equipment – in terms of percentage, he did mention that ‘the growth trend is applicable across all the Group businesses’.
The group has also been quite active with regards to its exports business. Volvo Construction Equipment exports to South America, Asia and Volvo Buses to South Asia, South Africa. “Additionally, India is an important base for supporting the Volvo Group across the areas of product development, IT and process support. India is also the hub for medium-duty engine for the Volvo Group,” Bali says.
The Group’s manufacturing strength in India is also significant. Volvo Group in India has three factories near Bangalore - Volvo Buses; Volvo Trucks & Volvo Construction Equipment. “Additionally, we have four industrial set ups in our JV company – VE Commercial Vehicles. In India, we have been a serial investor over the last 20 years and we are positive with regard to the future growth scenario in India. While we cannot communicate future plans, we can say if and when the requirement arises, we will not shy away to invest and expand further,” Bali adds.
Transition to Bharat Stage VI
The Indian government’s diktat of directly transitioning from Bharat stage (BS) IV emission norms to BS VI emission norms (equivalent of Euro VI) did cause a lot of consternation initially. However, most of the industry is gearing up to tackle with this challenge as it understands the environmental implications of the same. Volvo Group is also happily progressing towards the new norms. “We welcome the new emission regulations and are ready for the transition. In India, we already have our engine factory through the joint venture, producing and supplying Euro VI engines for Volvo Group Products globally. So, we are in a good position in this regard,” Bali informs.
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“Now, we will begin selling our electric trucks too. As for the future, we have already displayed our preparedness with driverless trucks in mining; platooning in highway trucks supporting the movement towards a more eco-efficient and safer mobility.”