To be priced at Rs 40-60 lakh

Volvo Bus Corporation has chosen India to launch a new brand that will cater to the value segment following the success of its premium brand in the country.

In another development, the company said the target of reaching $1 billion revenues from India by 2015 might get delayed because of the “poor economic environment.”

Hakan Karlsson, executive vice-president for business areas, AB Volvo, told newspersons that the brand will be launched first in India. “We will follow the dual brand strategy for emerging markets,” he said.

The value segment will be priced between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 60 lakh and stands between the premium (Rs 80 lakh-Rs 1 crore) and the traditional (Rs 15 lakh and Rs 25 lakh) segments.

Akash Passey, senior vice-president for business region at Volvo Bus Corporation, said the value segment would grow to around 10,000 units in a few years. Volvo wants to have about 25 per cent share of this emerging market,” he said. The new brand will cater to the tier two and three cities as well.

The new offering is part of the Rs 400-crore investment the company had earmarked for India last year. It has also doubled the bus manufacturing plant to about 1,800 bus units per year. Volvo posted a 10 per cent increase in sales of its buses in India to about 700 units in 2012. It increased its market share to about 85 per cent from 73 per cent during the previous year.

Passey said the launch of the new brand does not mean the premium segment had got saturated. “The new offering shows the potential the country has as it is the second largest market for buses in the world,” he said.

Hakan said Volvo’s hybrid buses have done well in Europe and if there is a demand from India, it is ready to have them launched here.

(This article was published on February 20, 2013)
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