New Delhi: Sweden’s Volvo AG, which recently acquired the truck-making business of Nissan Diesel Motor Co. Ltd’s brand of medium and heavy commercial trucks, will start trying to sell them to the mining and construction sectors in India, the world’s fourth largest market for trucks.
Volvo is separately entering the Indian market for trucks through a partnership with Eicher Motors Ltd.
Another tie-up: Volvo India managing director Eric Leblanc. The firm is separately entering the Indian market through a partnership with Eicher.
India’s third largest commercial vehicles maker signed a letter of intent last December for an alliance whereby Volvo will take a 50% share in Eicher equalling $350 million (about Rs1,375.5 crore).
The two sides will sign an agreement in March, with the yet-to-be-named joint venture company coming into operations by June.
Construction in India is at an all-time high, fuelling demand for heavy and medium trucks for transportation.
It is still in the early stages, and Volvo has not decided whether these trucks will be marketed as Volvo, Nissan UD or Nissan by Volvo, said Eric Leblanc, managing director, Volvo India Pvt. Ltd. Nissan Diesel trucks are sold as Nissan UD in Japan, its home market, and as UD in other markets. “Nissan Motor is the actual owner of the Nissan brand name. That’s why we are debating on what kind of badge to use for these trucks in a new country like India. We also have to consider the long-term (strategy) and brand positioning of Volvo in India,” added Leblanc.
The Indian truck market has annual sales of at least 400,000 units. Volvo, though, is a niche player with sales of just 800 units in 2007. International truck makers such as MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG, Navistar International Corp. and Daimler Trucks are also present in India through joint ventures.