With car sales in India growing rapidly over the last few years, manufacturers are taking notice. Volvo is the most recent one to announce that they will begin selling to the Indian market. Sales will begin with 3 dealerships, being supported by the Ford support network. S80 and XC90 will be the first vehicles marketed and will be positioned as Swedish Luxury, alongside German competitors BMW and Mercedes.
Volvo press release after the break
|Volvo Car Corporation announced today it will begin selling the XC90 and S80 models in the fast-growing India market by the end of 2006 or early 2007.Although it launches with a modest sales forecast of fewer than 1,000 vehicles for that period, Volvo will be competing in the premium segment against Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen.”It is an important step for Volvo Cars to establish a presence in this market at a time when India is showing considerable growth in the passenger car market. Moreover, we believe that the timing is right in comparison with our closest competitors,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp.
The new Volvo Car India will purchase services from Ford India for human resources, custom clearance, shipping, dealer transportation, credit, accounting and IT.
The vehicles will be produced at Volvo’s Torslanda plant in Sweden. The company has no immediate plans for production in India.
India is experiencing very favorable economic growth with low inflation and a stable currency. Total new-car sales on the Indian market are expected to increase from 1 million cars per year to 1.6 million over the next four years. “This gives us an excellent foundation for starting sales of Volvo cars on this market,” says Volvo Car India’s Managing Director Paul de Voijs.
Volvo Car India will establish three dealerships in 2006 and the prestige models in the company’s range, the Volvo S80 and XC90, will be the first to be marketed.
“All these models represent modern Scandinavian elegance and we are convinced they will be highly successful on the Indian market too,” says Fredrik Arp. “Our objective is to build the already strong Volvo brand in India with quality prestige cars from Volvo,” adds Mr. Arp.
Between 2006 and 2009, Volvo Car Corporation is facing the most aggressive launch period in the company’s history with three all-new models: the Volvo C70, the Volvo S80 and the Volvo C30. Several additional models will follow during the next few years.
“Our objective is to build the already strong Volvo brand in India with quality prestige cars from Volvo,” adds Mr. Arp.
Ford opened its first vehicle assembly operation in India in 1999. Located near the city of Chennai in the south-eastern state of Tamil Nadu, the assembly facility initially produced the Ford Ikon; it now produces, in addition to the Ikon, the Fusion, Fiesta and Endeavor. Ford India also imports the European-built Mondeo. Ford India currently has 49 dealers and 115 Sales & Service centers across 79 cities in India. Sales of Ford vehicles, led in the most part by the successful new Fiesta, were up over 75 percent year-over-year through May 2006, well ahead of the industry growth of over 30 percent.