Swedish automaker Volvo Cars plans to locally assemble two more models XC 60 and V 90 Cross Country in India to strengthen business in the country.It currently assembles XC 90 and S 90 models at the Bangalore-based manufacturing plant.The company is also in the final stages of opening a parts warehouse in India to help it supply spares to dealers at a faster clip."We are looking by mid-year for some addition of SPA (platform) cars in India," Volvo Car India Managing Director Charles Frump told PTI in an interview here.
The cars on SPA platform, which are yet to be localised in India are V90 Cross Country and XC 60, he added.Volvo Cars began local assembly of XC 90 model from Bangalore plant in October last year. This month it started local assembly of S 90 model from the facility.Both, the models are also based on the company's scalable SPA platform.With an aim to enhance speedy parts supplies to service centre, Frump said the company will be investing in central parts warehouse in India and expand Bangalore plant as well."Overnight we can get parts to all our dealerships instead of getting them shipped from Sweden. Its a huge advantage," he added.He, however, did not share location and investment details about the project.
When asked about new launches he said the company would drive in XC 40 model in India by July-August this year."The biggest gap that we have here (India portfolio) is that we don't have a small SUV and XC 40 fills that gap," Frump said.Volvo Cars also plans to expand its sales network in India with plans to open one dealership every month this year.
"Right now we have 21 dealerships and we will get to 29 stores by the end of this year. So that will give us full coverage of India," Frump said.Volvo has been able to position itself in India as a clear alternative to German companies such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, he claimed."People who have owned a German car have now also started looking at us for their second car," Frump said.
With enhanced product portfolio and sales network the company aims maintain double-digit sales growth this year as well in the country.Volvo Cars India sold around 2,000 units last year. Sales grew by 28 percent in 2017 as compared with 2016.In India, the company has set an aim of garnering a market share of 10 percent in the luxury segment by 2020. It currently has over 5 per cent share in the segment which is pegged at around 40,000 units per annum.Globally, the company sold a total of 5.71 lakh units last year.