Eicher Trucks and Buses, a unit of Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV), unveiled India’s first BSVI-compliant line of commercial vehicles today. The Eicher Pro 2000 series of light and medium duty trucks was launched in two variants, the Eicher Pro 2049, a light-duty mini truck, and the Eicher Pro 2095XP, with a 7.2 tonne payload.
The trucks were also launched in BSIV variants, which will be available for sale immediately. The BSVI trucks, however, won’t be seen on the roads until after the new norms are implemented.
“We don’t think we can start selling the BS VI trucks immediately. They’ll be sold after BSVI-compliant fuel becomes available in fuel stations across the country,” Vinod Aggarwal, CEO and MD of VECV, told
"We expect pre-buying before BSVI implementation September onwards, which should help industry start growing again", he added.
Speaking of the higher costs of the new BSVI-compliant trucks, Aggarwal said: “The price increase for BSVI trucks can be in the range of 10-15 percent. The increase in price will also differ from variant to variant. Higher tonnage trucks, for example, will have a lower price hike, but the increase for lower tonnage trucks can be high.”
However, for the BSIV variant, the price increase will be marginal as compared to the older Pro 1049 models, according to Vishal Mathur, Senior Vice-President, LMD trucks, VECV.
VECV also has plans to export the Pro 2000 trucks to advanced South Asian markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and South Africa.
“Since these trucks are developed in line with our vision of modernisation of commercial transport, they can compete with any Japanese trucks and can be easily sold in markets where so far only Japanese trucks are sold. For this, we will also leverage our Volvo Group network,” Aggarwal pointed out.
Export sales for Eicher Trucks and Buses (ETB) and Volvo Trucks India (VTI) fell over 50 percent for the month of May year-on-year. Domestic sales for the same month were down 19.7 percent year-on-year.
However, Aggarwal is optimistic and hopes the market will revive as economic activity picks up again. “There is a strong central government in place now and although the rate of growth right now is only 5.8 percent, there is no reason to doubt that the economy will grow in the 7-8 percent range in the future. We are clear that the CV industry will do well in the medium to long term, and since truck sales are always linked to the state of the economy, we are quite optimistic,” he said.
VECV has also extensively leveraged its experience in manufacturing Euro VI engines for Volvo to launch the new range of trucks. “We have six years of experience in making Euro VI engines, and we have incorporated those learnings in making this BSVI-compliant line of trucks. Considering that, we are at an advantageous position with respect to our competitors,” Aggarwal noted.
He added that fast-modernising logistics technology will also quicken replacement cycles and boost sales, as there will be more focus on productivity. “Demand for trucks will also increase as the popularity of the hub and port model grows,” he said.
Bharat Stage – VI or BS VI emission norms will be implemented in India from April next year. The government decided to upgrade directly to BSVI norms from the BSIV norms that are currently implemented in the face of rising vehicular emission.The new line of trucks are primarily meant to cater to the e-commerce and logistics industry, with a focus on low turnaround times for faster deliveries and intra-city distribution.