Volvo eyes 10% market share, rolls out first India-assembled car

Volvo Cars has introduced two models in India, Volvo XC90 (in picture) and Volvo S80 and has plans to unveil more models.

Volvo Cars has introduced two models in India, Volvo XC90 (in picture) and Volvo S80 and has plans to unveil more models.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Volvo Cars, 100% owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding of China since 2010, rolled out its first XC90 model assembled in India at a factory in Karnataka on October 10 as it plans to increase its dealer network and introduce new models in the country to increase its market share to 10%.

“The parts are coming originally from Sweden,” Charles Daniel Frump, managing director, Volvo Auto India said in an interview. “Volvo is making a commitment to India. So we are starting with local assembly. We are doubling our dealer body here. Another big investment is on building a local parts warehouse here.”

“That warehouse will be up and running next year. With that, we will be able to serve our existing customers. So it is a part of a long-term strategy to invest in India and be competitive in India. This assembly will improve how quickly we can repair our customers' cars. In all the top16 markets we have this investment and this one will be new for India.

“Last week in Ludhiana we opened up our 17th dealer. We are targeting 30 dealers in the next couple of years. By 2019 every new model car we introduce will be electrified. So, be it a hybrid or other models. We are the first major automobile maker to make this statement. It is a major strategic shift towards electrification. This fits extremely well with the Indian government announcement. It is a really nice position for Volvo,” Mr. Frump said.

Volvo Cars opened its first dealership in Chandigarh in March 2008 and has set up dealerships in metros such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Pune. It has introduced two models in India, Volvo XC90 and Volvo S80 and has plans to unveil more models.

“We will cut the lead time for the delivery of vehicles, which is currently at about 6-8 weeks when we assemble here. We can serve the market as per the demand. As and when we make a global announcement we will see if we want to assemble electric cars here, Mr. Frump said.

This calendar year the company is on track to sell 2,000 cars — a growth of 25% compared to the last year, he said.

“From a longer-term perspective, we are now at 5% market share in the premium segment. We are looking to grow that to 10% by 2020. One is the assembly, second is the dealer network doubling, and third is the product rollout," Mr. Frump said.

“We are bringing our new SUVs. like XC60 is coming. That has been unveiled in Geneva last year. It is two weeks since we showed the new XC40. That is the first time we have been in the small segment. Eventually, that will make its way to India.

“We are taking a leadership position in autonomous cars as well. We are pushing the boundaries and have test pilot with Uber, primarily in the U.S. We have promised the customer to save one week a time per year. So looking at that perspective we have autonomous cars solutions to deliver that promise," Mr. Frump said.

Before Geely Holding took over, Volvo Group was bought by Ford Motor Company. As of December 2016, the company had 31,000 employees and is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Its car production plants are located in Gothenburg, Ghent (Belgium), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 2:24:51 PM |

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