The product was launched keeping the emerging customer requirements in view. P. P. Basistha
In a bid to reinforce its position further in the heavier premium tipper truck business and tractor trailers, Volvo India unveiled its new range of FM, FH tractor trailers, and FMX tippers in Bengaluru recently. Top officials including Philippe Divry, President Volvo India; Mr. A.S Rama Rao, Sr. Vice President- Sales & Mktg, After Market Volvo Trucks; Mr. Vinod Aggarwal, CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles; Mr. Kamal Bali, MD, Volvo India; and Mr. Siddharth Kirtane- Head Marketing Volvo India were present during the launch event.
The new products launched are claimed to deliver higher productivity based on the engineering improvements as compared to the previous series. The new FMX 440 8x4 claims of delivering higher productivity with increased body capacity of 19.5 cum, which according to the company allows to carry additional bucket of payload. The truck is equipped with 'I-shift' gear box for mining as an option. FMX 440 is fitted with six cylinders, 12.8 litre inline direct injection diesel engine delivering maximum power of 440 hp@ 1400-1800 rpm and maximum torque of 2200 nm@ 15050-1400rpm. The laden weight of the vehicle is 12,000 kg for the front twin axles, 19,000 kg for the rear axles amounting to the gross vehicle weight of 31 tonnes.
The new FM 6x4 tractor trailer comes with an improved power rating of 400 hp-440hp. The products come with 125 tonnes of gross vehicle weight. The truck has an option of I-shift gear for special applications. Fitted for on-road transportation tasks, FM440 is fitted with standard 6 cylinder engines delivering similar output of FMX 440.
Intended for the project engineering sector for moving over dimensional cargo, the new Volvo FH 520, 6x4, according to the company, comes with an increased load carrying capacity by 33% to 200 tones. The tractor trailer is fitted with six cylinders, 12.8 liters inline direct injection diesel engine delivering 520 hp@ 1500-1800 rpm, and maximum torque is 2500 nm @ 1050-1450 rpm. According to Volvo, for improved stability and handling precision, the new FH has enhanced roll stability and well balanced damping cab and chassis.
The increased stability of the cab combined with new geometry and improved design of front and rear suspension also result in better directional stability for the new truck. The tractor trailer is fitted with front and rear tow hook certified for 50 tones more gross carrier weight i.e. 200 tonnes for overweight applications.
Attuned to Newer Customer RequirementsSpeaking during the event Mr. Divry mentioned, "The new technologically advanced products have been introduced after close interaction with our customers to understand their future requirements. Attaining superior fuel efficiencies, increased uptime and yet having cost competitiveness towards owning and operating are the key priorities of the customers. We have reinvented the new products to meet the requirements. We have invested more than $3 billion in the past six years and 14 million engineering hours in this project to develop the new trucks. Just to make perfectly sure about the outcome, we have tested the vehicles for 21 million kilometers."
Mr. Rao said, FMX range of trucks has been marketed in almost 140 countries and the product is best in 8x4 segments. The all new Volvo FMX tippers were developed after close consultation with customers ensuring high level of fuel efficiency and productivity. It is upto 10% more productive than the previous variant. The product is best suited for moving heavy construction aggregates and deep mining. The prominent new features of the vehicles involving 'intelligent- shift gear box' goes on to improve vehicle uptime and reduce driver fatigue. The product comes with a robust body and ergonomic dashboard. The added features incorporated in the new product line are Volvo's unique Dynafleet telematics system which allows following up on fuel consumption."
Speaking at the event Mr. Aggarwal mentioned, "Volvo has been driving progress for the last 16 years in India. The new three products will lead to enhanced productivity. Volvo India is providing value, through end-to-end deliverables in its trucks in the form of total cost of ownership to the customers, through complete product support and company owned dealership network across the country, onsite support through more than 150 centers, varied packages of annual maintenance contracts, and drivers training for optimum utilization of the machines. Till date we have trained more than 55,000 drivers. With the project engineering sector seeing revival, the heavy duty truck segment will grow at 10-15%. The revival in mining will also ensure increased off-take of the medium and heavy duty tippers."
Focussed on the Long CycleMr. Divry mentioned that ensuring total cost of ownership is our focus; we refrain from focusing on the short cycle, so as to strengthen our brand. In accordance with this, we make the products cost competitive by undertaking the assembly of the trucks at our Bengaluru facility. We have introduced significant local content in the trucks. One of the key initiatives has been equipping the trucks with bodies sourced from local sources. We can evaluate to increase the local content in the tipper trucks in future."
Responding to a query from NBM&CW about how Volvo proposes to make its services competitive as contractors in construction aggregates and mining continue face increasing pressure on margins, Mr. Divry and Mr. A.S Rao said, "We have responded to the challenge of compressed margins by providing a product which is highly productive characterized by higher uptime as compared to other contemporary product offerings. The 19.5 cum body of the new FMX tippers has been built to haul higher loads. Our continuous engagement with the customers through our well packaged product support initiatives will ensure the customers get cost competitive services."
On being asked whether Volvo sees competition among its new tipper and tractor trailer brands, given the fact that it was not too long back that the company unveiled Volvo Eicher 'GoPro' series of tipper and tractor trailers, Mr. Divry and Mr. Aggarwal replied, "Our varied brand of trucks has been engineered to suit different applications and the Indian market opportunities are quite large for all the range to establish their presence."
Volvo Trucks product range in India includes the FMX range of tippers and FM rigid trucks for application as fire tenders, sky lifts, boom pumps, and concrete mixers. Its other range includes the FM and FH tractor trailers for the movement of petroleum, chemicals, bulk cargo and over dimensional cargo transportation for the project engineering sector. The company has a 50-50 joint venture with Eicher Motors. Volvo Trucks possess more than 65% market share in the heavy duty truck segment in India.