New Delhi: Auto maker Eicher Motors Ltd and partner Volvo Group are gunning for a 15% market share in the heavy-duty truck segment by 2015, after maintaining a low 2% share of the commercial vehicle market for many years.
Eicher also plans to become an important supplier of buses, its representatives said while unveiling their trucks at the 10th Auto Expo in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The market for heavy-duty trucks, dominated for long by Tata Motors Ltd and Ashok Leyland Ltd, is likely to see intense competition in the coming years. Besides Eicher and Volvo, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd is also planning to enter the segment in partnership with Navistar Inc.
Increasing market share: VE Commercial Vehicles’ Siddhartha Lal (left) launches the VE Series of Eicher trucks in New Delhi on Tuesday. Mohd Zakir / HT
Volvo and Eicher tied up in 2008 in a 50:50 joint venture called VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd to manufacture and market trucks for the Indian market. However, their trucks are still marketed as separate brands.
Eicher, which plans to launch trucks in six different configurations, said there was room for heavy-duty vehicles that offered better features at a 3-5% higher price.
“Currently, there is too much focus on initial price and less on lifetime value,” said Siddhartha Lal, managing director of VE Commercial Vehicles.
Lal plans to focus on aspects such as fuel efficiency and driver comfort, for which he said there was growing demand.
While Eicher plans to cater to the mass market, Volvo would stick to the niche segment, according to Bertil Thoren, president of Volvo Group alliance office. Volvo plans to launch its trucks on Wednesday.
Lal also expects Eicher to garner a large slice of the bus market. “City buses is still not a mature market,” he said. “There is absolutely no saturation.”
India’s city bus market stands at nearly 15,000 units a year. State governments have placed orders for thousands of buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission Scheme, under which the Union government subsidizes the purchase of public transport vehicles.