Volvo's Indian research and development team are working on a global truck which will be only sold outside India. The Bengaluru-based R&D centre is the third biggest in the world for the Swedish manufacturer.
Volvo India accounts for only four to five percent of the group's global revenue of $42 billion, but according to Volvo, India is more important than these figures. The Indian research and development unit has a responsibility of developing global value segment trucks.
The Indian unit has also developed the Pro 8000 heavy-duty truck platform which was also launched in India through Volvo's partner Eicher.
This Pro 8000 truck was also launched in Indonesia and Thailand a couple of years ago. The next project will be the medium-duty truck for the global market.
Kamal Bali, Managing Director, Volvo India said, "We design global trucks in India. A lot of R&D work on truck technology is done here. We are very proud that India is involved in a big way there. Volvo also has an IT wing that has 1,500 people doing global IT work for the Volvo group. There is also an accounting team of 300-400 people."
The Indian research and development centre for Volvo was set up in 2009 with 100 engineers, but now it has grown into a big team and is the third largest unit in the world.
Bali added, "Concept to design to execution is done by the Indian team. Of course, they may take some help when it comes to engines. But, they are leading the show. Some of the products this team will do will never be sold in India."
Bali stated that the Volvo group finds a product gap in its portfolio and decided to develop new products. A particular R&D centre is given the responsibility depending on the competencies and past experiences.
Volvo, which manufactures trucks, buses and construction equipment and is looking to grow Indian revenue from $1.5 billion to $2 billion in next two years. Bali stated that Volvo will be aggressive in the Indian market to improve its market share in the country.