In a second coming of sorts, Swedish carmaker Volvo on Wednesday slashed the prices of its three luxury models in India by introducing new variants and announced its intention to break into the top three luxury carmakers by the end of this decade.
The company launched leaner and better equipped versions of its entry-level sedan S60, luxury saloon S80 and sports utility vehicle XC60 at introductory prices ranging between Rs 23.2 lakh and Rs 35.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). At present these models cost between Rs 27 lakh and Rs 39.5 lakh.
Though Volvo entered India in 2007, it has been at best a marginal player plagued by problems with its parent firm in Sweeden and the lack of a cohesive plan for the country, even as German rivals BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz raced ahead. With the financial support of China’s Geely, which bought Volvo in 2010, and the promise of more models, the company is banking on a comeback.
“Last year, India was one of the fastest markets around the world,” said Tomas Ernberg, managing director, Volvo Auto India. “We sold 320 cars during the year, an over threefold increase from 2010. By 2020, we intend to sell 20,000 cars and break into the top three.”
It is no mean target. The largest luxury carmaker in India, BMW, sells more than double the cars Volvo sold in a year — every month.
Volvo’s target for the whole of 2012 is to equal BMW’s sales for a month.