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Last Updated : Jul 17, 2018 04:54 PM IST | Source:

Eicher Motors to make low-cost AC buses, increase production capacity

VECV is said to be developing a new range of light and heavy duty buses meant exclusively for the middle east and African markets

Swaraj Baggonkar @swarajsb
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VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV), the joint venture company of Sweden’s Volvo and Delhi-based Eicher Motors, is working on a series of projects including development of low-cost AC buses, electric mobility solutions and setting up of assembly plants outside India.

VECV is said to be developing a new range of light and heavy duty buses meant exclusively for the Middle-East and African markets. The country's fourth largest commercial vehicle maker is also readying investments to increase production capacity even as retail level demand continues to outpace supply.

Volumes in the June quarter for the company jumped 43 percent to 14,153 units from the same quarter last year. Last financial year, VECV clocked 13 percent growth in volumes to 55,872 units, as per data compiled by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

“To further boost numbers, major initiative of developing light and heavy-duty buses exclusively for the Middle East and Africa markets with a high growth potential is underway. Development of low cost AC buses is in the pipeline as demand for AC buses is increasing with climatic changes”, said the company.

Last year, VECV recorded its highest volumes in exports. It exported 9,001 vehicles, fueled by 134 percent growth in the Middle East and 24 percent in Africa, along with a 9 percent growth in South Asia. Rival Ashok Leyland is also following a similar pattern of setting up satellite plants outside India.

VECV said it has commenced operations of its Skyline Pro Electric buses in Kolkata. The company said it has plans to have a complete range of electric-mobility solutions for public transportation in the coming period. Its peers such as Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are already supplying electric buses to operators in several states.

Further, on the back of opening assembly plants in Kenya and Nigeria, VECV is now expanding in the ASEAN market, with sales starting in the first quarter of 2018-19. It has started with the setting up of assembly operations in Bangladesh.

“VECV is focussed on a few key segments like construction, mining, e-commerce, fruits & vegetables among others, and continue to invest significantly in developing the market for these segments to drive future growth”, the company said.

“We continue to retain an 88 percent market share in the high performance trucks segment (400+ horsepower) and are focussed on targeting mining segments besides quarrying, road construction, and irrigation to continue to drive growth”, the company added.

VECV is looking to set up a new plant which would cost a minimum of Rs 300-500 crore over a period of two years. The company said that it is close to taking a final decision for the new plant.
First Published on Jul 17, 2018 04:46 pm
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