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Volvo MD says Sweden ‘opening up its eyes to India’, hints at local assembly in future

Volvo Cars sells a range of luxury cars and SUVs from the hatchback V40 D Kinetic to SUV XC90 T8 Excellence priced between Rs 26 lakh and Rs 1.28 crore.

autos Updated: Apr 17, 2017 14:23 IST
Volvo Auto India,Volvo Cars,Volvo India assembly
Volvo Auto India MD Tom von Bonsdorff at the launch of the new S60 Polestar in Coimbatore on Friday.(Volvo Auto India handout)

Swedish luxury car maker Volvo Cars will consider assembling its vehicles in India, where it is looking to garner 10% market share in the high-end segment by 2020.

The company is also gearing up to enter into pre-owned car segment with its global programme Volvo Select in India as it looks to widen customer base here.

Volvo Cars sells a range of luxury cars and SUVs from the hatchback V40 D Kinetic to SUV XC90 T8 Excellence priced between Rs 26 lakh and Rs 1.28 crore. It has been witnessing double digits growth for the last two years.

“India is among the fastest growing markets for Volvo cars globally. This year also we are looking at double-digit growth,” Volvo Auto India managing director Tom von Bonsdorff told PTI here.

The headquarter of the company is “really opening up its eyes to India”, he said, adding that the top management was also confident about the country’s potential considering its economic growth thus giving impetus to the talks of setting up assembly plant here.

When asked about Volvo’s plans for assembling in India, von Bonsdorff said: “While no decision has been taken yet on starting assembling our vehicles in India, it is no longer a question of if but it is about when.”

The company is also looking at the possibilities of partnerships for such a step, as and when a decision to assemble in India is taken, he added.

Volvo currently sells fully imported cars and SUVs from parent plant in Sweden and another in Belgium.

Elaborating the company’s ambitions in India, he said: “While we are still behind the big players (Mercedes, Audi and BMW) in the luxury segment in absolute numbers, we are the fastest growing brand.

“We currently have about 5% market share and our target is to double it to 10% by 2020.”

The Indian luxury car market stood at around 34,000 units, down over 5% from about 36,000 units in 2015.

Volvo Auto India sold around 1,600 units last year. In 2015 the company had sold 1,423 units while in 2014 it stood at 1,202 units.

Commenting on plans to enter the pre-owned cars segment, von Bonsdorff said: “With the growing car parc we have in India, it is time for us to look at it.”

So far the company has sold a total of around 7,500 units in India.

Globally, the company sells used cars under the Volvo Select initiative.

“We may try out with one dealer initially and gradually roll out nationwide depending on the response,” von Bonsdorff.

This will be a good platform to reach out to aspiring customers who are unable to buy a new Volvo brand with the assurance of the company and thus help in widening customer base, he added.

First Published: Apr 17, 2017 14:00 IST