'India' platform to deliver VBC products worldwide

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Bangalore, Jan 30 (UNI) Volvo Bus Corporation (VBC), a subsidiary of the Volvo group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, will develop India as a platform to deliver its products and services worldwide, its President Hakan Karlson said here today.

Speaking to newspersons, he said VBC had floated Volvo Bus Body Technologies India Pvt Ltd (VBT), a joint venture with an Indian company, Jaico Automobiles, and had set up a world-class body building plant at Hoskote, near Bangalore, with an investment of Rs 80 crore.

He said the plant which would be inaugurated tomorrow, was one of the most modern plants in South Asia with a manufacturing capacity of 1,000 buses annually.

He claimed that Volvo enjoyed over 20 per cent market share in the luxury bus segment in the country and sold over 1,600 buses during the last five years. ''India is a big market for luxury buses and has a potential of over 25,000 buses, it is increasing annually,'' he said.

With its new plant, VBT would have the flexibility to further enhance its production capability, quality and product development to meet evolving customer needs. ''The company has identified its newly set up company VBT in Bangalore to fuel its growth across the region by supplying fully built buses for Asian and African markets,'' he said.

He said Volvo would have 70 per cent equity share in VBT while the rest would be bought by its partner, a subsidiary of the Azad group, he said.

Volvo would also roll out its new version Volvo 9400 inter city buses in the first quarter of 2008 for the domestic and export markets.

Elaborating on the new plant Mr Karlson said it was set over 11 acres of land, adjacent to the current Volvo facility and would produce 400 units this year. The plant would realise its full capacity of 1,000 units and provide employment to 1,000 people by 2010.

UNI MV RM GKT1800

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