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Volvo launches multi-axle bus

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Volvo Buses India Pvt Ltd (VBIPL), a part of Swedish bus maker Volvo Bus Corporation, today launched India’s first luxury AC coach with a multi-axle configuration. With a 9-litre rear engine and a 6x2 configuration, the Volvo 9400 6x2 (B9R) will be fully-manufactured in its Bangalore plant and marketed in the domestic market.

According to , managing director, VBIPL, “With the launch of this model, Volvo now has three standard offerings — 4x2 inter-city bus, city bus and 6x2 inter-city bus — for the Indian market. With this new model’s launch Volvo is broadening its product offering and choices for the customer and the passengers.”

Volvo has already bagged orders for 40 multi-axle buses, of which three were delivered today and another 20 buses will be delivered in the next two weeks, he said. Volvo has priced this bus at Rs 85 lakh (ex-factory). The bus features Electronic Brake System, a technology that ensures the highest safety for passengers and driver along with various safety features like frontal impact safety, roll-over protection among others.

For the year-ending December 2008, Volvo is likely to register 120 per cent jump in sales to 450 units over 2007 and for 2009, it is expecting a growth of 25 per cent. It plans to ramp up its production capacity to touch 1,000 buses by 2010, he said.

Presently, Volvo has a capacity to produce 50 buses per month at its Hoskote plant, which was opened in January this year as a joint venture with the Azad Group of Bangalore.

Passey said the company expects a significant growth in its sales over the next five years from the Bus Rapid Transit System being implemented in over 60 cities in the country. Volvo’s plant in Bangalore will initially cater to the requirements of domestic customers and will start meeting export orders from customers in West Asia and Africa by end of 2009, he said.

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