Unleashing a huge new wave in trucks, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) has recently unveiled the Pro-Series û 11 trucks in the 5 to 49 tonne categories.
Over three million engineering hours, 77 lakh km of testing, 3,200 new parts/sub-assemblies and over 50,000 hours of engine test development, the new series with the tagline ´Go Pro´ is Eicher`s way of reinforcing its commitment to professionalism.
According to Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eicher Motors, who was part of the event, more than the hardware, it is the promise that is important; the promise of peace of mind and the kind of support the user does not get today. Siddhartha Lal said, ¨We are ready to unleash a new level of professionalism in the trucking industry. There has been a duopoly which has for decades taken the customer for granted. The time has come to change heavy-duty trucking.¨ He then added, ¨Trucking is the lifeline for many transporters and it is only professionalism that will lead to productivity improvements and prosperity. VECV wants to become the top truck-maker from the business model point and that includes top-class processes, technology and service. It is not about price but value.¨
In a special message relayed during the event, Olof Persson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Volvo Group, said, ¨The trucks launched are the embodiment of our joint efforts over the last five years. The vital combination of Volvo Group´s world-class technology and the frugal cost expertise and management of Eicher has created a range that will set new standards amongst customers with high demands on profitability, flexibility and driver effectiveness.¨
Siddhartha Lal added, ¨Volvo Group and Eicher Motors came together five years ago with a vision to modernise the Indian commercial vehicle industry; and we are here today to present the most professional, holistic and progressive approach to Indian trucking. Our philosophy of ´Go Pro´ implies that our customers can truly work with and rely on a professional partner. Eicher´s products, service and attitude are truly professional, and this enables our customers to become more productive, profitable and prosperous in their work and life¨. While continuing to address the large sized value segment, the new range also marks the entry of Eicher brand into the emerging premium segment that requires higher power and torque combination as well as a greater degree of refinement and sophistication.
The all new product range has been named the Eicher Pro series. Adopting the most professional and holistic approach to modernise the Indian trucking industry, the new brand philosophy is to ´Go Pro´; that is to give Indian trucking a truly professional offering which will lead to higher productivity, profitability and prosperity for the customer. Eicher´s new Proseries trucks and buses promise to deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency, higher loading capacity, superior uptime and overall vehicle life time profitability.
With a completely new Pegasus-based front styling across the product family, the new range of vehicles are a quantum leap in each and every aspect, from exterior design to engine technology to cabin features. The new heavy-duty range of trucks revealed will be powered by new generation engines adapted from Volvo Group technology with power capacity of 180-280 hp with high fuel efficiency, reliability and long life. VECV, a joint venture between Sweden´s Volvo Group and the home-grown Eicher Motors, has created a manufacturing powerhouse at its Pithampur plant near Indore. Nearly 80 per cent of the strategic plans are complete and Rs 1,800 crore has been invested. The facility is also a medium-duty engine hub for Volvo worldwide.
In addition to other senior executives from Volvo Group, Joachim Rosenberg, Executive Vice President, Volvo Group Trucks Sales & Marketing and JVs, Asia Pacific and Philippe Divry, Senior Vice President, Trucks Joint Venture India were also present on the occasion. Joachim said, ¨Eicher is considered as the 5th brand in the competitive portfolio of Volvo Group brands. It is an integral part of the Volvo Group´s strategy to expand in Asia and other growth markets. With the launch of the Pro series of trucks by Eicher, our strategy in Asia gets further strengthened.
According to him, the Swedish auto maker´s strengths lie in its technology, which has taken the joint venture business to a completely new level. The processes have also played a key role in laying down a strong base. ¨With the improvement in infrastructure and road network in India, there is a requirement of more effective transport chains. The new Pro series of trucks being revealed is in a prime position to meet these requirements,¨ Joachim added.
Philiipe Divry, said the commercial vehicle industry was cyclical in nature, which meant that better times were ahead. It is also during a downturn that market operators become aware of the need for modernisation, he added.
Vinod Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer, VECV said, ¨Today marks an important milestone in our journey to become a significant player in the commercial vehicle industry and these new products will play a very important role in reaching our goal. The entire VECV team is extremely excited today.¨ He added, ¨The Eicher brand has got a strong foundation with the most advanced manufacturing facilities and product quality, backed by an all-India dealership and service reach that is highly capable. In addition, the new Pro series will provide our customers the best end-to-end solutions for their commercial transportation requirements.¨
¨Our main growth potential will come from heavy-duty trucks where we have just 4-5 per cent market share. It will definitely go up; we see it going up to the double digits as we launch products from the new range in the next 12-18 months,¨ Vinod added.
Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles looks to nearly double its market share in the heavy-truck segment in India, even as it readies to launch a new range of products from February next year. The company, which has around five per cent share in the heavy-duty segment, expects its market share to grow to double digits in the next 12-18 months, when it completes the launch of 11 new products under Pro Series range in the country. The new heavy-duty range of trucks will be powered by a new generation engines adopted from the Volvo group technology with power capacity of 180-280 hp. The JV firm currently has an overall market share of around 13.8 per cent in the country. In operation since July 2008, it includes the complete range of Eicher branded trucks and buses, VE Powertrain, Eicher´s components and engineering design services businesses, and sales and distribution business of Volvo Trucks.
According to Vinod, the four pillars of the joint venture were quality systems, revamping/modernising, Volvo´s processes, products, sales and service and the combination of its technology with Eicher´s strength in frugal engineering. Vinod added, ¨We will be able to jack up capacity considerably, as and when the market comes back. Capacity is not a constraint at all. Here in Pithampur, we are ready to take the capacity to one lakh units per annum from the present 66,000 units per annum. So, it can be enhanced at a very small incremental value.¨
¨We have already invested Rs 1,800 crore over the last five years on product development, engines and enhancing the existing manufacturing facilities. Another Rs 700 crore will be invested by the end of 2014 ,¨ he concluded.