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The Indian automotive industry has undergone a revolutionary transformation. There has been an influx of top-tier global automotive brands and the market has welcomed these with open arms. Adding further attraction to the list of global brands in India, Volvo – the darling from Sweden is already here with a focus on establishing the India connection. There has been a series of launches by the company coupled with niche marketing exposure and its setting the theme right for its growth in this complex-yet-exciting market. To further understand the position and game plan, Carkhana’s official blog folks decided to meet the Volvo India team based out of Gurgaon for all the action. On a hot summer day, the team met none other than the MD of Volvo’s India operations – Mr. Tomas Ernberg.
Since the Geneva Motor Show just passed by, the initial questions revolved around the same. Mr. Ernberg stated the following views on the motor show - “We did not go to Geneva from the India Office but Volvo was surely represented at the show. There has been a tremendous interest in Volvo cars. We have a new CEO Stefan Jacoby who has set a target of 800,000 cars. We have been in the 400,000-450,000 cars for many years but the current targets looks achievable. We have 2 new factories coming up in China & a lot of investment is being done to meet the targets that have been set”.
XC 60 Hybrid has been the talk of the town in the latter half of 2011. On being questioned about the current status of the program, Tomas added, “Most car brands are focusing on Hybrids and smaller engines which are more efficient. Our CEO Mr. Jacoby is dedicated for the same and we are the only company which will work on small engine in coming future. Hybrids and Full Electric vehicles are also part of future development. We already have a full electric car, the C 30 Electric”
Brand ambassadors add to the brand appeal especially in a country like India where hero admiration further up boosts brand recognition. On the interesting proposal of having a brand ambassador of Volvo in India, this is what Ernberg has to say, “It’s in topic of discussion for us but we also have to look at the costs. We do have a list of names but we have not agreed on anything yet. Although we did our bit in sports and Sachin Tendulkar received a Volvo Car as man of the series last year!”
India Auto Industry has quite high expectations from Volvo and in anticipation of seeing India roads gleaming with Volvo Cars in the near future, Carkhana team expressed its inquisitiveness about the expected new launches in India to which Tomas replied, “No Comments as of now. The current line-up of cars has been doing very well. The XC60 sold more than a 100,000 units last year globally and the current agenda is to satisfy this demand“
In a quick round of personal chat, the Carkhana team discovered that S60 V6 and Porsche 911 Carrera are his personal favorites and that this inspiring man himself takes inspiration from Sir Richard Branson. And the interview ended on a pleasing note for all Indian fans, given Tomas loves the famous Indian delicacy - Butter Chicken.
For the complete interview, log on to http://www.carkhana.com/blog/tomas-ernberg/
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