Volvo Strengthening Its Foothold in India

by : Rain Stockton

Despite the circulating news that Ford is likely to sell its Swedish-based subsidiary, Volvo on the other hand just doesn't want to be affected by it. As a fact, Volvo Car Corporation the producer of has recently appointed three dealers in India in preparation of its already delayed launching in one of the world's the fastest growing market.

The three dealerships will be provided with the same visual identity and design as the rest of Volvo dealerships around the world based on the global programme adopted by Volvo which is Volvo Next Face (VNF). This programme is specifically created to produce a modern and unified look for all Volvo dealers worldwide.

According to Paul de Voijs, Managing Director, Volvo Car India, the Swedish-based automaker plans to launch its S80 sedan and XC90 sport utility vehicle in petrol and diesel variants in India by the end of 2007 and will appoint another 7-9 dealers by the end of 2008.

Managing Director Paul de Voijs has told UNI via a telephone interview, "Currently both the cars are awaiting approval on the homologation process and the prices are expected to be announced in the next two to three weeks."

Volvo will initially import vehicles and distribute them through dealers in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Chandigarh. Volvo Car also plans of sourcing auto components from India, added by Paul de Voijs.

Voijs further said as quoted by Reuters, "If we do decide to manufacture here at a later date, then we will obviously consider manufacturing with Ford." But he refused to give any comments on the specific investments or sales targets of Volvo for India.

Ford has started manufacturing vehicles in India at its Chennai plant in the year 1995 wherein it produces 60,000 vehicles annually.

Volvo for its part has earlier announced that it would launch dealerships in India scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2006. Unfortunately due to some problems encountered in obtaining necessary approvals have delayed Volvo's plans said de Viojs.

The plan of Volvo for India is modest compared to what it has in mind for China where it was able to sell more than 7,000 units last year. Volvo has also announced that China just might as well become its number two market in the next 10 years.

Volvo Car is joining a competitive Indian market wherein it has forecasted nearly double yearly sales that will reach 2 million units by 2010. De Viojs has also expressed his confidence on the company saying that it will be able to achieve its objective. He said, "I think there is no better time to enter the market than now, as the economy is still booming, GDP is growing. There's still growth to be had."