Volvo to decide on synergies with ford in 2009

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New Delhi, Feb 6: Swedish car-maker Volvo today said it it was still looking at possibilities for a collaboration with its parent Ford Motor for starting assembly operations in the country, since Ford's current expansion of its manufacturing facility in Chennai did not involve assembly productions.

''We have earlier said we need around a year to decide on such possibilities and at the moment the Ford expansion plans does not involve Volvo,'' Volvo India Managing Director Paul de Voijs said. Mr Voijs said by the year-end Volvo and Ford headquarters can take a call on the issue.

The company already has assembly operations in China where they share a factory with Ford and Mazda. Similarly, in Europe, extensive synergies exist with group companies in terms of purchasing and R&D.

The company is now looking to gain experience and stabilise its sales in the current fleet of cars in the country. Going ahead Mr Voijs said the company will like to bring in the crossover XC60 and XC70 into the country.

However, the Managing Director ruled out a possibility of getting the compact car XC30 into the country, despite a large demand for such cars. He attributed his skepticism to the car being a three door car coupled with a high price tag of about Rs 24 lakhs.

''Trends change and if the demand for a three door car develops, we will look to get the car into the country along with our estates,'' Mr Voijs said.

Volvo has received orders for 100 cars from India and expects to close calendar year 2008 with sales in excess of 500 units. It is also expanding its dealership network to have a pan-India presence.

As fuel prices rise, so do the prevalence of hybrid cars and Volvo is open to bringing such cars into the country.

''A hybrid car is expensive and at the same time we need different stakeholders to come together to operate such cars,'' Mr Voijs said.

A hybrid is cross between a fuel-power car and an electric car.

It reduces tailpipe emissions and improves mileage; saving energy and the environment.

He informed that the company has invested heavily in cleaner technology and and most of its cars in the country is capable of using 10-15 per cent of Ethanol as fuel and most other cars in its company's portfolio can use 80-85 per cent ethanol on small modifications.


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