Calcutta, July 16: Volvo will start the local assembly of its cars at the company's Bangalore plant by the end of this year. Volvo Cars India shares the plant with sister concerns Volvo Trucks India and Volvo Buses India.
"Local assembly will bring down prices of our cars as the duty will come down from 60 per cent (for completely built units) to 28 per cent (completely knocked down units) and we will be close to our British competitors," said Tom von Bonsdorff, managing director of Volvo Auto India, at the launch of the V90 Cross Country in New Delhi on July 12.
Volvo Cars wants to garner a 10 per cent share of the luxury car segment by 2020.
This year it hopes to increase sales by 25 per cent over last year. The company sold 1,600 units in 2016.
"The Indian economy is doing well, the government is taking steps that are beneficial for the sector. We hope to do well this year. In 2016, we faced a setback because of demonetisation. But this year looks good. By the end of 2017 we hope to sell 2,000 cars," said Bonsdorff.
If it was the XC90, Volvo's flagship sports utility vehicle that fuelled growth for the company in 2016, the sedan S90 will do the trick this year, said Bonsdorff.
"The largest and most expensive car, the XC90, was the best-seller. This year too we expect the XC90 and the S90 to sell well," Bonsdorff added.
The company will be bringing in new products in interesting segments next year, promised Bonsdorff, which would include hybrid vehicles.
"We are disappointed not to have government incentives on hybrids. We hope the government changes its stance on this," said the Volvo chief.
Hybrids and electrification are the only solution for pollution, he added.
"Our plug-in hydbrids do 30km in pure electricity," he said. The company will also open 25 showrooms across India by the end of the year.
Volvo has launched the estate wagon V90 Crosscountry in a single trim option priced at Rs 60 lakh. It is positioned between the S90 and XC90 and is based on the same Scalable Architecture Platform (SPA) as are all the 90 series cars.
It is powered by a new D5 engine that is a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel motor. Retaining the same eight-speed automatic gearbox from the older D4 mill, the new motor churns out 235PS and 480Nm of torque.