Volvo Auto India’s Managing Director Mr Tomas Ernberg took out some of his time for us as we tried to understand Volvo’s future plans for India. The Swedish automaker is happy with its current growth and Volvo is now exploring the Indian market for more opportunities. Volvo has been growing with double digit percentages and soon, we can expect some exciting products to enter India including the most awaited new-generation XC90.
1) Was the hike in Diwali sales as good as Volvo and expected?
Tomas: This Diwali, Volvo Cars gave its customers a special reason to cherish the festival through providing offers and services for Delhi/NCR, Gujarat, Vizag and Hyderabad. We provided offers such as insurance at Re. 1, basic one year service, accessories worth Rs 15,000, two years unlimited warranty, airport lounge card, etc.
Volvo Cars secured a robust growth and we are on track to achieving our calendar year target. This festive season (September – October) Volvo Cars posted 45% growth over last year’s festive season. Overall YTD sales are up 44% as compared to previous calendar year.
2) One answer everyone wants to know: When is XC90 coming to India?
Tomas: Globally, the all new XC90 deliveries will commence in Q2 2015. Since India has a homologation process we will not be able to confirm the dates yet.
It is expected to be unveiled in the first or the second quarter of 2015 with deliveries commencing in the latter half of the year, in India. Closer to the date, VAI will officially announce the same. We are very proud that India is been prioritized by Sweden on the timing and number of cars that will be allocated to India. This is due to the fact that the previous 3 years Volvo Cars has been the fastest growing luxury car brand in India and hopefully we will be so again this year.
3) How have the sales of the new D4 engines, as it has now been a while since its launch?
Tomas: The new engine-gearbox combo has not only resulted in brisker performance for Volvo cars, but have made the models significantly more fuel efficient as well. We are now able to offer customers 4 cylinder engines with power output of 6-8 cylinder cars but still have low fuel consumption and emissions better than normal 4 cylinder cars. The developed of the new VEA(Volvo Engine Architecture) is developed inhouse and is part of a 11 billion USD investment along with the SPA Platform in the last 2 years. We believe this engine combined with the 8 speed gearbox will be one of the best offers the market has seen.
We launched the D4 engine before festive season. The sales have picked up during the season and the customers are extremely happy with the performance of the D4 engine.
4) Does the luxury hatchback hold or will hold a good market share in India?
Tomas: Its seems to be a difficult proposition to me. A luxury hatchback in India is priced above 25 lacs, however at the same price point the customer has an option to buy a premium sedan or an SUV. They would go for a Premium spacious car instead of a luxury hatchback. I don’t see things changing for another 4-5 years at the least, the luxury hatch is more a lifestyle offering and a 3rd maybe a 4th car in the family for children and young adults.
5) Is there any new segment, that Volvo becomes the first to get it India?
Tomas: Yes, for India, we are exploring a new segment offering that will be launched globally very soon. However it’s too early to disclose this.
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