Motoring moves: Volvo Car India to begin assembling plug-in hybrid by year-end

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Updated: March 9, 2019 4:21:49 AM

Swedish luxury car major Volvo has said that 2019 will be a challenging year and it expects the to be flat or in lower single digit.

The company also said that it will assemble the plug-in-hybrid model of its premium car XC90 in India by the end of 2019.

Swedish luxury car major Volvo has said that 2019 will be a challenging year and it expects the to be flat or in lower single digit. The company also said that it will assemble the plug-in-hybrid model of its premium car XC90 in India by the end of 2019.

In an interview with the FE here on Friday, Charles Frump, managing director, Volvo Car India said, “After having posted 30% growth in calender 2018 to 2,638 units, the company expect the calender 2019 will be a challenging one and may report a flat growth (or at lower single digit) due to ensuing general elections, tight credit/liquidity in the market and subdued sentiment.

“Though it’s a challenging time, but Volvo Car sees India as the fastest growing market and will return back to the growth momentum no sooner than later. With the recent reduction of import duties on number of components to 10% to 15% as against 15% to 30% earlier, we will look at introducing more plug-in-hybrids in India in the coming years. We will be the first one to locally assemble plug-in-hybrid model of XC90 in India,” Frump said.

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To a question on EV, he said, “It takes at least 5 years to have a complete electric vehicle as hybrids give the comfort of both petrol and electric options. Given the travel conditions in India, it is wise to have more hybrids before a complete switch to EVs. Globally, we are introducing a new EV next year and if we need we can bring it to India.”

According to him, with majority of the cars running 30 km or little more a day, an ordinary charging station or chargers at residence will make things better for smooth roll out of hybrids.

According to him, with majority of the cars running 30 km or little more a day, an ordinary charging station or chargers at residence will make things better for smooth roll out of hybrids. He said currently 60% of the company’s line up is being assembled locally at the plant in Bengaluru and they are looking at increasing the same going forward.

On the ensuing Euro VI norms, that will come into effect from April next year, he said, “Volvo is always ready with models. We are ready to launch those models as and when required. We need to tweak our assembly plant in Bengaluru a little bit with minor investments to assemble Euro VI models.”

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In response to a question on the incentives announced under the FAME II scheme, Frump said, “It has been a disappointment on the non-inclusion of private players under this incentive scheme.

However, there is a paradigm shift in the way the policy has been announced. The government is on the right path and its vision is good. It’s a big step and we will definitely see traction in terms of moving towards greener vehicles in the years to come.”

According to him, the company has increased its dealership network from 15 in 2015 to 25 now. “We have reached a critical point now to ensure that every dealership is profitable with good growth. We will pursue adding more dealers as and when we see luxury car market grows fast,” he added.

In calender 2018, the luxury car market in India reported a tepid growth of 3% to end at little over 40,500 units as compared to 39,000 units in 2017.

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