Volvo Construction Equipment to triple excavator production in India by 2012
Written by Arjun   
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Bangalore: Volvo Construction Equipment, part of the SEK 265 billion Volvo Group, rolled out the first excavators from its new Indian assembly line in September - an EC210B Prime and an EC290BLC Prime (21-ton and 30-ton crawler excavators). Plans are in place to ramp up excavator production significantly next year, and this new development will see factory total capacity tripled in 2012.

"With demand for excavators set to rise by 30% in 2011 the time is now ripe for Volvo CE to introduce production of these products to our Bangalore plant," says Muralidharan, managing director of Volvo India Pvt. Ltd. in Bangalore.

"These machines are intended for Indian customers, as today the construction equipment market is healthy – particularly for excavators. With this investment, Volvo CE has shown its dedication to India, one of the world’s fastest rising economies, and we in turn are ready to take on the challenge of delivering quality machines that are ideally suited to the local Indian market," he said.

"Our factory in Bangalore plays a significant role in our global industrial system to better serve the Indian market – which has a high strategic priority for us," says Executive Vice President Operations Jean-Marc des Courieres. "By investing in new facilities and deploying our Volvo Production system and core values, we are introducing the latest international production techniques, ensuring we offer customers in India the high level of quality and performance that they expect of Volvo CE."

The locally produced EC210B Prime and an EC290BLC Prime subsequently underwent an extensive testing and validation regime, ahead of a full-scale production launch of the machines. The expansion also benefits the existing road machinery range of products, with production doubling of the company’s soil and asphalt compactors, pavers and pneumatic tire rollers. It is envisaged that this investment will also have a positive impact on employment at the facility.

The new excavator line is part of an SEK 144 million (Rs 90 crores) upgrade and refurbishment of Volvo CE’s Bangalore plant. The local production of excavators will mean greater machine availability for Indian customers, as well as shorten delivery lead times and respond to customer requirements more quickly. Begun in June 2010, the upgrade includes a complete overhaul of the existing assembly area, as well as new assembly lines, warehouses and paint shop. Much of the 33-year-old plant was demolished or modified to make way for the new addition. All new areas of the factory have been built with Volvo Group’s site safety and security guidelines, waste reduction and environmental care in mind. This last point extends to a reduction in energy consumption, waste reduction and – by harvesting rain water and employing recycling techniques – the facility’s water requirements have been reduced by some 20%.

The company has introduced six new products to the Indian market. These include the locally produced EC210B Prime and EC290BLC Prime excavators, the 70 tonne EC700C crawler excavator, the DD100 and SD110 compactors, the award-winning L220G wheel loader and the P6820 asphalt paver.

"With demand up 20% in 2011 alone, the Indian market is both expanding rapidly and maturing rapidly," Regional President, Vincent Tan said.

"Customers are not just demanding quality products that are tailored to their needs; they also want rapid parts and servicing support – and are becoming more confident in new technologies, such as CareTrack remote telematics. The country has a tremendous need for infrastructure development, and there has never been a better or more optimistic time to focus on India for those companies willing to invest in products and distribution. Volvo CE has a product range that is ideally suited to the infrastructure needs of the country, it understands the demands of its customers and remains utterly committed to India," said Vincent Tan.

According to data from 'Off Highway Research', the Indian CE market set to double by 2015 from an annual average of 32,868 units in 2006-2010 to 66,900 units in 2011-2015.

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