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Caterpillars on Indian roads

Truck manufacturers from across the world are working hard to grab a sizeable slice in the Indian truck market pie, reports Samiran Saha.

autos Updated: Jan 13, 2008 20:59 IST
Samiran Saha

With infrastructure activity on an overdrive in India, truck manufacturers from across the world are working hard to grab a sizeable slice in the Indian truck market pie.



Be it Volvo of Sweden or Man of Germany or Kamaz of Russia or home grown new entrant Asia Motor Works, truck-makers are looking at the Indian market with renewed interest as was evident at the ongoing 9th Auto Expo 2008.



"With heightened activity in the infrastructure sector, better road infrastructure and the Supreme Court directive banning overloading of trucks, the demand for higher tonnage trucks has increased tremendously. We are focusing on Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV) in the 25 to 49 tonnes payload capacity," Anirudh Bhuwalka, managing director and chief executive officer of AMW said.



Looking at the growing market Bhuwalka said AMW will ramp up its production facility at Bhuj to 50,000 units by August-September from 10,000 units now.



"Increase in mining activity has opened up a large new segment of high capacity dumper trucks, the demand for the dumpers will remain very impressive in the next few years," he added.



Bhuwalka, said "AMW is the first company to launch the 49 ton (payload capacity) trucks in India. The HCV segment is expected to clock high growth with a potential market size of 300,000 units per annum. We expect to sell more than 1,000 units of our 31 ton capacity trucks in the next fiscal year."



With mining and infrastructure sector growing by 4.9 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively, truck makers take notice of the Indian market.



MAN Force Trucks, the joint venture project of Force Motors of India and MAN Nutzfahrzeuge of Germany is also looking to sell about 6,000 units in 2008-09 from 900 units now, according to Sanjeev Kashyap, general manager of the company.



Kashyap feels the demand for 500 horsepower trucks that can handle over-dimensional cargo (for ports, power-plants), which is about 500 units, is likely to go up to 800 units in the next two years.



Volvo's vice president sales, Somnath Bhattacharjee feels charged infrastructure activity would lead to improvement in truck technology in the Indian market.



"The demand for high performance trucks with the capacity of handling over dimensional cargo will definitely see an increase. Though it's a small market it is very significant," Bhattacharjee said.



Russia's leading truck manufactures have tied up with Hosur based Vectra to sell completely built units of 18-ton (payload capacity) tippers for the mining sector and 40-ton payload capacity tractor-trailer.