The Indian arm of Volvo, a well appreciated Swedish premium car maker, has decided to take competition in the domestic market to an all-new level this year. The company hopes to increase its sales by 50 per cent to around 1,200 units, for which it has lined up its much awaited V40 Cross Country for a June 2013 launch in the country. Further, the Swedish auto major has roped in Jeev Milkha Singh, the recipient of Padma Shree and India’s highest ranked golfer in the world, as its new face in the country. In a special ceremony held in New Delhi, Jeev was announced as Volvo Auto India’s first brand ambassador on April 8, 2013.
As per reports, the domestic arm of Volvo sold around 800 units in the 2012 calendar year, which is far below the sales numbers witnessed by its German rivals namely BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Tomas Ernberg, Managing Director (MD), Volvo Auto India, has affirmed that the company is looking at achieving a sales target of 1,100 to 1,200 units during the 2013 year. As per Tomas Ernberg, Volvo Auto India has witnessed sales of 276 units during the first three months of the current year, a sharp 140 per cent jump as compared to the sales recorded in the year-ago period.
When enquired about the company’s localised assembly operations in the country, Ernberg was quoted as saying, “We will continue to import completely built units. Yes, in the long run, we would need to assemble here. Our target is to sell 20,000 units per annum by 2020 in India, by then it will be good to have assembly operations.” The yet-to-be launched V40 Cross Country crossover is expected to play the role of a game changer for the Swedish auto maker in the Indian auto market. The stunning model will be pitched against the likes of BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer and Audi Q3, amongst others in the country.
Expressing his views on becoming the company’s first brand ambassador for the Indian auto market, Jeev Milkha Singh, was quoted as saying, “I have a long standing relationship with Volvo, it is not just a luxury car but an emotion. I am excited to be a part of the Volvo Family and today I stand proud to be representing Volvo Cars as its brand ambassador. I redeemed my career by winning the Volvo Masters in 2006 making my country proud by being the first Indian to win in Europe and since then have not looked back.”
Speaking on roping in Jeev as the company’s new face in India, Tomas Ernberg, said, “The association came in very naturally to both of us and we came in to the synergy. Both Volvo Cars and Jeev Milkha Singh represent perfection and continual growth. Volvo and Jeev share enduring association since April 2006 when he won the Volvo Master and became the second Indian player to win on the European Tour. Further strengthening our relationship we are extremely proud to announce Jeev Milkha Singh as our brand ambassador. As a part of this association Jeev will be driving the Volvo XC90 that will provide him safety, comfort, luxury and ample boot space for his Golf sets.”