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Volvo looking for partners

August 14, 2007 09:59 IST

AB Volvo, the $43 billion Swedish truck and bus manufacturer, is looking for partners to expand its truck business in India.

The company, which manufactures and sells heavy duty trucks in the domestic market, is planning to expand its portfolio of trucks by entering the entry-level truck segment.

Said Jorma Halonen, executive vice-president and deputy CEO, AB Volvo, "We are aiming at achieving higher volumes in the Indian truck market and we need a partner to achieve this goal. We are also looking at sourcing various components from local partners for our global requirements."

Stating that the company is in talks with several truck makers in India, he said Volvo also aims to increase the localisation levels in its present operations through a new partner.

He, however, did not specify as to when the company will finalise the new partner. "As the Indian market is looking towards Euro-III, Euro-IV and V emission-compliant engines there is a need for us to meet those emission regulations and this is possible with a new manufacturing facility," Halonen said.

Talking to reporters here today, he said the company is also looking at setting up a manufacturing plant to produce engine and transmission for its trucks in Asia.

"Asia will play a greater role in the future for Volvo group. We are expanding our truck business worldwide and there is a new focus on Asian markets. We need to set up an engine plant in Asia. For this, we are looking at various places, including India,"  he said. At present, Volvo produces around three lakh engines per annum.

He said the company is investing $10 million in Bangalore to set up a new bus body building plant in a joint venture with Jaico Automobiles, which will produce 1,000 buses per annum.

This plant will start commercial production by end of 2007.

BS Reporter in Chennai/Bangalore