VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd, a joint venture between Sweden’s Volvo Group and Eicher Motors, is entering the small commercial vehicle (SCV) market as it has unveiled an electric product in the fast-growing pick-up segment.

The 2-3.5 GVW (gross vehicle weight) pick-up market, which is currently served by six players, is dominated by Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, and Tata Motors.

“The time is now ripe for VECV to enter the SCV market as we are more confident after establishing our brand in other segments,” Vinod Aggarwal, MD & CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd (VECV) told businessline.

VECV believes that the pick-up segment offers strong potential for growth on the back of growing urbanization, booming e-commerce, increased personal consumption, and the rise of hub-and-spoke distribution.

“We are entering this market with a battery-powered vehicle first, while diesel and CNG variants will come later,” he added.

The electric small truck was unveiled at the Bharat Mobility Global Show 2024, New Delhi. The customer trials will commence in April 2024, while commercial launch is expected during the first quarter of 2025.

“We will build the ecosystem and the associate support services for the new small truck before the launch,” he added.

The electric pick-up, which was developed by the in-house R&D team with support from Volvo Group, will focus on both B2B and B2C categories. It will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Bhopal.

“It will completely be a new platform, powered by a new engine,” said Aggarwal.

The SCV market (sub-3.5 tonne) comprises mini-trucks [0-2 tonne GVW (gross vehicle weight)] and pick-ups (2-3.5 tonne GVW). The pick-up category has been recording faster growth due to customer’s shift towards higher payload vehicles and the 2-3.5 GVW category has become the largest category not just in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment, but also in the entire CV market.

In FY23, the pick-up segment reported a 31 per cent increase in volumes at 3.32 lakh units when compared with 2.52 lakh units in FY22. Mini-trucks grew to 1.93 lakh units from 1.71 lakh units.

However, in this fiscal, total sales of Small commercial vehicles (including both pick-ups and mini-trucks) reported a decline of five per cent at 3.67 lakh units (3.86 lakh units) for the first 9 months.