Origin of Volvo Buses and entry in India

“Guwahati – North Lakhimpur and Guwahati – Tezpur ASTC Volvo buses” by Abhinav (The Ludhiana Edition) is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Volvo Buses or the Volvo Bus Corporation, which is officially named Volvo Bussar AB, is a Swedish automobile manufacturer’s subsidiary and business sector that was established as an independent division in 1968. Its headquarters are in Gothenburg. It is the world’s largest bus manufacturer, offering a full line of heavy buses for passenger service. Complete buses and coaches, as well as chassis, are available, together with a broad range of services. Volvo India Private Limited was founded in 1998 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volvo of Sweden. The company’s manufacturing site is located in Hoskote, near Bangalore, and it assembles heavy commercial vehicles there. The plant, which cost roughly $70 million to build, now has a capacity of manufacturing 1000 units in a single shift. Increasing the number of shifts can help to improve this capacity even more. In 1998, the business launched its first bus model in the Indian market. However, Volvo had already initiated sales activities with its Volvo Penta and Volvo Construction Equipment business groups before the bus production. The company started with selling BR7 buses in India, bridging the gap in the luxury segment.

Volvo Buses India sold 20 coaches in 2001. By December 2011, there were 5,000 of them on Indian highways. Volvo did not achieve this by downsizing its products or lowering its prices, as many global corporations do. It created the market and then sat back and waited for it to mature. The organization altered the way Indians travel. As the competition closes in, it is prepared to offer items that could once again change the market. A decade ago, buses were primarily a byproduct of trucking. They were constructed on truck chassis. Body makers generally purchased chassis from Telco (now Tata Motors) and Ashok Leyland. The only difference between city and intercity buses, as well as standard and ‘deluxe’ ones, was reclining seats and a trendy paint job. The luxury Volvo 9900, which is the best-selling model and sets the standard for safe and comfortable travel, has heralded a new age in Indian short- and long-distance transportation. This type is distinguished by an appealing design, fuel-saving aerodynamics, and a high level of safety. The Volvo 8900 is a perfect coach for the city, that can handle changing circumstances in city traffic. It is available in two or three-axle configurations and seven lengths ranging from 12.0 to 14.9 meters.

The corporation is seeking to revolutionize the industry once more, especially with rivals such as Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors hot on its tail. Its 14.5-meter-long intercity bus is India’s longest bus, providing more space for passengers and luggage. Its 14.5-meter-long multi-axle city bus is marketed as a solution to urban traffic congestion. Volvo expects that the medium-haul bus (with distances less than 400 km) will make second-tier city connections economical. Because of a previous strategic decision, this maneuver will be beneficial for the brand, when the competition is closing in. Volvo began producing buses near Bangalore in 2001. It produces 1,100 buses per year and wants to increase output to 2,500 shortly. Would any other bus manufacturer have done as well as Volvo if it had entered India in 2001? Perhaps if its product line was equivalent, and it was patient enough to cultivate the market. After all, one of the key causes in Volvo’s success in India has been its investment according to the market situation.