Swedish commercial vehicle maker Scania may be a new entrant into the Indian luxury bus segment, but it has been making news every other day with its sales strategies in Asia’s second largest economy. Anders Grundströmer, Managing Director, Scania India and Senior Vice President, Scania Group, discusses with Automotive India News about the company’s future plans in the truck and bus segments in India.
How do you see the Indian CV market for Scania?
For Scania, India is an important market. Hence we have set up our production plant in Narasapura industrial estate in Karnataka to manufacture both bus and trucks locally. Our products have been receiving good response in the Indian market. We have been present in India since 2007 through our partnership with Larsen Toubro in the off-road truck segment. In 2011, the company has established its 100 percent subsidiary Scania Commercial Vehicles India to strengthen its market presence in India as well as to popularise its offers in sustainable transport solutions.
Can you please explain about your product range for the Indian commercial vehicle market?
Scania has a good range of on-road haulage truck models for the Indian roads including powerful puller – R 580V8 6×4, the G410 6×2 and the G 460 6×4 in addition to the off-road products like P 410 8×4 tipper for mining segment. The company has released its Scania Metrolink buses in 2013 for the Indian market. Initially we were importing it from Malaysia. Now we are manufacturing our premium buses at our bus manufacturing plant in Karnataka.
With domestic manufacturing of buses, how do see your bus business growing in India in coming years?
We are bagging good orders both from private and public sector bus operators. We have bagged orders for 35 buses from Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) while Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has placed orders to buy 38 buses from us. We have already started executing bus orders to KSRTC with our locally made buses at our Narasapura manufacturing facility. We have healthy order book position for buses although we can not reveal the figures, but we are sure we will deliver one bus per day in India. So far the company sold around 100 buses with many of them going to private bus operators. We are hoping to sell another 300 buses in the next one year.
Scania is globally known for eco-friendly transport system. What are the steps that your company has taken to promote your green products in India?
We are keen in promoting eco-friendly vehicles driven by bio-fuel in India. Already we have given an ethanol driven green city bus to Nagpur Corporation to run it on trial basis. It is a successful one and it has created awareness among other public transport corporations too. We are suggesting the government and state transport corporations to promote bio-fuel driven eco-friendly buses as bio-fuel can be easily produced from waste. Public transport, in a longer run, will be cost effective with ethanol driven buses. Scania’s ethanol driven engines showcased at the recently held Busworld 2015 exhibition in Mumbai attracted attention of stakeholders.
What kind of support do you expect from the union government to promote eco-friendly transport system in India.
Currently the government is encouraging the electric driven vehicles to cut down carbon emission. The electric driven vehicles are covered under Fame India scheme (Faster adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles). Under this scheme, the electric driven vehicles are getting subsidies. The government should also consider including the bio-fuel driven vehicles under the scheme to get subsidies
What are your future expansion plans in India?
Currently we have around nine dealerships for its buses and trucks covering nine states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In the next five years, we are targeting to increase our dealerships count to 50. The company is also having service stations at mining sites, where Scania trucks are being operated. Currently we are operating around 25 service stations across the country including at work sites. We will expand the service station network too whenever it is required.
Recently ARAI has given puller certification to Scania R 580 model vehicle. Can you explain specialty about this certification?
Scania R 580 Puller is powered by V8 engine. This is the first on-road vehicle in India to get ARAI certification under Puller category. With this Scania emerged as the first commercial vehicle maker in India to get this reorganization from ARAI.