Volvo has announced that it will start vehicle assembly operations in India this year. The assembly operations will be located near Bangalore in southern India and focus on models based on the company’s SPA modular vehicle architecture. The first Volvo model to be assembled there is the XC90 SUV. Additional models slated for local assembly will be announced at a later stage.
“I am pleased that as of this year we will be able to start selling Volvos that are Made in India,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo. “Starting vehicle assembly in India is an important step for Volvo as we aim to grow our sales in this fast-growing market and double our market share in the premium segment in coming years.”
In establishing its assembly operations, the Swedish automaker is working together with Volvo Group, the truck, bus and construction equipment manufacturer, and will make use of Volvo Group’s existing infrastructure and production licenses near Bangalore.
“We are delighted to announce the commencement of an assembly unit,” said Tom von Bonsdorff, Managing Director, Volvo Auto India. “It’s a sign of the company’s strong commitment to India.”
Volvo’s decision to start assembly in India and market its vehicles as ‘Made in India’ fits well with a similarly named initiative launched by the national government several years ago, which seeks to highlight and promote Indian manufacturing prowess.
While the Indian premium market is still relatively small, it is forecast to grow rapidly in coming years. Volvo currently has a premium segment share of close to 5% and aims to double this by 2020. In 2016, Volvo sold over 1,400 cars in India, an increase of 24% compared to 2015. Year-on-year sales growth in the first four months of 2017 amounted to more than 35%.