Volvo has a special plan for EVs in India, expects surge in demand to persist

  • Volvo is backing its young car-buying audience to lead the EV charge in India.
Volvo C40 Recharge electric car is based on the CMA platform, much like the XC40 Recharge SUV or the Polestar 2.
Volvo C40 Recharge electric car is based on the CMA platform, much like the XC40 Recharge SUV or the Polestar 2.

Volvo Car India is doggedly determined to play the electric vehicle (EV) game with vigour and sees a clear potential for its products to strike a chord with potential buyers. Basking in the strong demand for the XC40 Recharge which was launched last year, Volvo is expecting the acceptance for - and adoption of - EVs to only increase in the years to come.

With a global vision to be an EV-only company by 2030, Volvo is ready for a niche game even as most of its rivals in the luxury car space continue to - also - persist with petrol as well as diesel engines. So while Mercedes and BMW have a diverse range covering petrol, diesel and electric powetrains, Audi has a portfolio which covers petrol engines as well as fully-electric vehicles. Volvo, on the other hand, offers mild petrol hybrid technology and the XC40 Recharge. On Tuesday, the company confirmed that it will double its electric portfolio to two by bringing in its C40 Recharge coupe-styled SUV in Q4 of 2023. “India is a key market for us and is now the third largest in the world. The demand for our vehicles has been on the rise and will continue to in the coming years," said Nick Connor, Head of Volvo Cars in Asia Pacific. “The strong response for the XC40 Recharge shows us that the shift to electric is truly on here."

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Volvo strategy for the Indian market is simple - underline sustainability as a focus area while continuing to highlight its time-tested priority for safety. “Around 70 per cent of Volvo buyers in India are between 24 years and 40 years of age. The level of awareness is strong and while safety is in our DNA, is our core, we would like to now also stress on sustainability," said Jyoti Malhotra, MD at Volvo Car India.

Nick Connor (L), Head of Volvo Cars in Asia Pacific with Volvo Car India MD Jyoti Malhotra.
Nick Connor (L), Head of Volvo Cars in Asia Pacific with Volvo Car India MD Jyoti Malhotra.

What may potentially help Volvo's case vis-a-vis many of its rivals is that the XC40 Recharge comes into India via CBU or Completely Knocked Down route which means all of the components are then assembled here. There are obvious tax benefits to this vis-a-vis entirely imported units or SKD or Semi Knocked Down units. The incoming Volvo C40 Recharge will also follow this same route and the company is confident it will help it against those rivals who are having to import units in their entirety.

But both Malhotra and Connor continue to stress that for now at least, the mild-hybrid models are not going anywhere. The company offers XC40, XC60, XC90 and the S90 in the Indian market at present.

First Published Date: 14 Feb 2023, 15:30 PM IST

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