Scania AB, the Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer, which is present in India through its company Scania Commercial Vehicles India (SCVI), on Thursday said it would start making luxury inter-city buses in India in the last quarter of 2013-14.
However, the buses will be imported as completely built units and introduced here in mid-2013. The Indian luxury bus segment is dominated by Volvo, Mercedes and Tata Motors.
Addressing a press conference to launch the new bus and coach range in India under the Metrolink brand, Anders Grundstromer, Managing Director, SCVI, and Senior Vice-President, Scania Group, which is controlled by German Volkswagen, said the company would invest Rs.250 crore in a plant outside Bangalore and “can invest more later”. He said the Indian market for premium buses was estimated at 1,000 units per annum and could grow to 5,000 in five years.
Deliveries to customers would start in June 2013 and assembly would commence in January 2014, he said. In the longer term, the facility would employ around 800 people.
The Metrolink range comprises three luxury buses, HD 45-seater, HD 49-seater and HD -3-seater. It is offered in two- and three-axle forms in the Indian market.
“Scania Metrolink is introduced exclusively for the Indian market at this point,” Mr. Grundstromer said.
Scania entered India in 2007 in partnership with Larsen & Toubro to sell trucks to the mining industry. The plant capacity will be 2,500-3,000 bus and truck chassis and 1,000 bus bodies in the first phase.
“We plan to double it in phase two,” Krister Thulin, Marketing Director, Buses & Coaches, SCVI, said adding that SCVI would consider entering the city bus segment later.