Stockholm: World number two truck maker Volvo posted a deeper-than-expected second-quarter operating loss on Tuesday and stood by its forecast of sharp declines in its main markets this year.
The Swedish company skidded to a quarterly operating loss of 6.9 billion crowns (USD 885.7 million) versus a mean forecast for a loss of 4.7 billion seen in an agencies poll of 15 analysts. Volvo made a profit of 7.2 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Volvo to expand footprint across India
Volvo Car India, the Indian arm of Swedish car major Volvo Car Corp, is upbeat about the Indian luxury car market and is gearing up to expand its footprint across the country.
Volvo, which entered the Indian market in 2007, is planning to introduce new models in India from its global line-up, but is looking for right partners in big cities.
"Our biggest objective is to make Volvo brand available in major markets across the country and get new models here," Sudeep Narayan, marketing manager of Volvo Car India, told reporters.
The firm will soon extend its dealership base to Bangalore and Ahmedabad. It currently has presence in seven cities and plans to take the number to 12 by next year.
"We are currently not in a position to give numbers of the units sold. But these numbers are decent. We are able to give the volumes and talk of market share when we have footprint on a par with our competitors, who have 12 to 14 dealers across the country," Narayan said.
"Dealership for luxury cars is not easy. We are looking for partners who understand our brand and philosophy, which is safety."
He added that the company was "upbeat about the Indian luxury car market, which will grow rapidly after a few years.
"The segment will grow at the current rate till 2012 but the growth will be much higher from 2012 to 2015 as many customers in the Rs.20-25 lakh (Rs.2-2.5 million) bracket will buy luxury cars."
According to Narayan, India's luxury car market was not badly impacted by the global slowdown. It registered 25 to 30 percent growth, selling 8,000 units last fiscal.
The growth is likely to continue this year with an expected sale of 10,000 units.
Volvo's value proposition is safety and customer satisfaction, he said. "We offer two-year free maintenance of cars, which otherwise costs Rs.20,000-30,000. We also offer on-board satellite navigation system covering 200 cities across India."
Narayan added that Volvo was a pioneer in safety technology and had several innovations like the seat belt to its credit.
All its models in India have latest safety technologies, including the collision detection technology.
Known as "city safety", the collision detection technology calculates the distance and speed of the vehicle immediately ahead of the car and engages the brakes if the system detects that a crash is imminent.
Adaptive Cruise Control is another technology being used in Volvo cars. It prevents collision by automatically slowing down the car if an accident is imminent.
Bureau Report with IANS inputs
First Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 12:25