Volvo may drive in Japanese, Chinese big truck brands to India

New Delhi: Swedish commercial vehicle maker Volvo is evaluating options to expand its Indian operations, including joint venture options with local players, or the acquisition of an existing truck manufacturing facility to drive in its recently acquired Japanese and Chinese truck brands here.

Volvo plans to become a significant player in the two-lakh unit heavy-duty truck market, according to managing director Eric Leblanc. The Swedish company is reported to be in talks with various parties for joint ventures, alliances or even acquisitions for expanding its trucks business in India.

In August, it had made known its intentions its intention to secure a strategic partner to enter into the high-volume, light commercial vehicle (LCV) business in India.(See: Volvo may introduce Nissan trucks to India)

It is also toying with the idea of bringing in the two acquired brands - Nissan Diesel from Japan and DongFeng from China. Volvo at present sells off-road 25-49 tonne trucks, in a niche of about 1,000 units per year in the 16 - 49 tonne market of two lakh units per annum.

The Swedish company is keen to expand its presence in India in the commercial vehicles and the passenger car segments.

In August it announced its plans to introduce two premium passenger car models, the S80 sedan and the sport-utility vehicle XC90 by next month through its subsidiary, Volvo Cars India. Both models will be available in petrol and diesel variants, with a 3.2-litre and 4.4-litre engine for the petrol variant, and a 2.5-litre engine in the diesel variant. (See: Volvo to launch S80, XC90 in India in September 2007)