Volvo – the Swedish luxury car manufacturer will launch plug-in hybrid cars under ‘Make in India’ in late 2019. The company is also looking to tap the tier 2 and tier 3 markets under their India expansion plans. Volvo already has a CBU plug-in hybrid in its India offering and most probably the XC90 will be the first vehicle to be assembled locally in its Bengaluru plant.
Indian government recently lowered the customs duty from 15 per cent to 10 per cent on imports of electric vehicles’ parts and components and a number of international manufacturers have started to leverage this development. Volvo also started acting in this way and now they will be introducing battery operated electric vehicles in Indian market. If everything goes as per the plans, Volvo will become the first automobile manufacturer in India to introduce a plug-in hybrid under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Another element of the Swedish brand’s India expansion plan is increasing the localization of their product line-up. They started the Bengaluru plant in October 2017 with assembling the XC90 and after that, Volvo added other models like X90 and XC60 to be assembled in the plant. Volvo’s Bengaluru plant is responsible for 60 per cent of the Volvo cars assembled in India. Volvo announced Artemis Volvo Cars (Volvo’s dealer) as the certified Volvo Personal Service Dealer. The Personal Service Dealer initiative will help the customer to get a 50 per cent reduction in overall waiting time and technicians can now directly contact the customers as well.
As mentioned above that Volvo is also eyeing to tap the rural markets, Charles Frump – Managing Director – Volvo India said, “Recently we added a dealer in Indore and Raipur. We opened a showroom in Calicut. Volvo has good representation in Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam and so there is good opportunity for us in some of the smaller growing markets.” A number of brands are now relying on hybrids & EVs and the ongoing auto-extravaganza, GIMS 2019 also witnessed unveils of plug-in hybrids by manufacturers.