VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV), a joint venture between Eicher and Volvo, is set to take on competitors in a big way with a new range of Skyline Pro Series buses which are in line with the code prescribed by regulatory authorities.
“As per regulations, bus manufacturers will have to comply with new Bus Body Code AIS 052 for all new buses to be launched from April 1, 2015. As part of this, VECV has started implementing the new code in its latest Skyline Pro Series light duty buses and will start making heavy duty buses with the new code soon,” said Shyam Maller, senior vice-president (sales, marketing and aftermarket).
Speaking to FE, he said that in order to lay down a standard procedure for bus body fabrication, the bus body code has been formed. The provisions of this code are applicable to buses with a seating capacity of 13 passengers or above, excluding the driver. Some of the critical areas being addressed by the code include categorisation of buses based on seating capacity, minimum comfort levels and type of operation.
“VECV is geared up for the regulatory changes at its Pithampur plant in Madhya Pradesh and would be in a position to launch new Skyline Pro Series buses (at various tonnage points from 7 to 15) to target schools, colleges and corporates,” Maller said.
In fact, the company has gained additional market share in light duty buses since it launched Skyline Pro Series buses a few months ago. “In the 5 to 12 tonnage category, VECV not only maintained its leadership position but also gained 2% share to take its market share to 21.4% for the period between January and November 2014, while the industry saw a degrowth of 7.2% in the same period,” Maller pointed out.