Busworld India 2016, an international expo for bus and coach sector, was kick-started in Bengaluru amidst much fanfare.
India’s largest bus and coach expo was inaugurated just after a day of the Indian government taking a major economic measure to curtail black money by abolishing higher denomination currencies – Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
Although the government’s step has jeopardized the routine lifestyle of the general public and industrial sector, it has not affected the Busworld India as the first day of the event witnessed huge footfalls.
This trend clearly shows that the bus market in India is booming and stakeholders are very much interested in knowing about the new technologies in the bus and coach sector through Busworld India 2016, a cross section of visitors at the expo told Automotive India News.
More than 70 participants from India and international markets have participated in the three-day event, showcasing their latest products range for the Indian bus market. The show runs between November 10-12, 2016.
In his inaugural address, Didier Ramoudt, President Busworld International, said, “India is a huge market for the bus and coach sector. The Indian market is growing for various reasons including government policies and expansion of public and private sector bus operating systems.”
Ramoudt said, “The goal of Busworld is to bring together on the same platform: the constructors-bus builders, their suppliers and the operators bearing in the mind that the passenger is the central person for us and for who we care.”
The philosophy of Busworld is that every person has right on mobility and this mobility should be offered in comfort, safety and sustainable transport with respect for the environment.
Busworld is very pleased that the Indian authorities are contributing and supporting the global concern to respect environment, taking steps to ban outdated and polluting engines within reasonable terms.
There are big challenges for the coach and bus industry waiting in the forthcoming years. All market surveys are confirming that the growth of the public and tourism transport in India will become the second largest in the world next only to China.
The export market for the Indian bus industry is expanding. There are several European and Indian players have capacity to export their ‘Made-in-India’ bus and coach products to international markets.
He said the government policies on safety and emission standards will push up the technology offerings in the bus industry.
The first day of the event witnessed the launch of new products from MG Group and Volvo buses.
The top European brands Volvo and Daimler have showcased their latest ‘Made-in-India’ buses in the expo.
MG Group, one of India’s largest Bus Building Companies, unveiled its first special application coach ‘Columbus’ at Busworld India 2016.
‘Columbus’ is the first-of-its-kind, fully Monocoque Ultra-low Flat-floor Tarmac coach developed currently for international markets with a passenger entry floor height at as low as 290 mm. The Group also launched its Flagship Premium Luxury Coach ‘Mammoth’ for the Indian market.
Volvo Buses has unveiled its new Intercity Coach range at Busworld India 2016 in Bengaluru. The range includes the Volvo 9400, 12.0m coach with the new 8 lt. engine sourced from VECV’s Pithampur facility.
The Volvo 9400, 13.8m multi-axle coach gets a boost with the engine being upgraded from 9lt to 11 lt. In the Volvo 9400, 14.5m coach, the 11lt engine is upgraded to meet the upcoming BSIV emission regulations, besides improvements for enhanced performance.
Earlier during inaugural session, Jan Daman, Director Busworld Academy, Belgium, said the bus industry has started growing in tremendous phase from 1990s. While the public sector has been expanding its network, Daman said the private sector operators started offering more attractive services. As a result, the bus and coach industry has been growing in India.
Bus remains the mode of transport for majority of the people in India and hence, the safety and comfort levels should be increased in the sector. Recalling the introduction of air-condition bus in Mumbai in 1990s, he said that Bangalore is the first city in India to introduce high technology-backed Volvo buses, a top European bus brand in the international market.
Oleg Kambersaki, Head Passenger Transport, IRU, spoke in detail about how IRU is helping the government and industry to chalk out various strategies for the betterment of public transport and related infrastructure.
Addressing the gathering, Prasanna Patwardhan, President, Bus Operators Confederation of India, said the cities in the country have grown with cross section of area exceeding of 30-40 kms. The travel time of general public has been increasing day-to-day and to address this, he said the public transport system should be effective. There is a healthy competition prevailing between private and public sector bus operators that inturn will improve the bus sector.
Patwadhan said the two-wheeler and four-wheeler segment is witnessing lot of innovations as compared to the bus industry, which needs a push from all quarters.
Dr Bart De Groof, India’s Consul-General, Consulate General of the Kingdom of Belgium, has compared his country with India in terms of public transport. Both the countries are densely populated and facing acute urbanization issues. Transport is fundamental part of the city, he said and added that India is now in the phase of promoting smart cities, which should have integrated transport facilities that needs lot of combined effort and some of Belgium companies are ready to work in this area.
Rajan Sharma, Director, Inter Ads Exhibitions, said, “India produces over 50,000 buses and coaches every year and recognized as the world’s second largest market in the world.”
Sharma said the Indian bus industry has witnessed major transition with highly-advanced facilities and services such as Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), Global Positioning System (GPS), hybridization and so on to create a sustainable and balanced transportation system in India.
For the first time, Busworld and its Indian partners, Inter Ads Exhibitions, are conducting the expo at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC).
The new venue has attracted some new vehicle manufacturing exhibitors like Daimler and Volvo Buses. Also the loyal exhibitors like MG Automotive, SML Isuzu and other OEM’s are presenting their latest products to the professional visitors.