Hit by a pandemic, the Indian bus market has seen its worst time in the last two years. However, as the manufacturing, service and tourism activity is gradually picking up, the bus market is reviving back. In the first four months, about 19,000 buses have been sold and “we extrapolate further the market will be somewhere around 60,000 buses by end of this fiscal year,” said Vinod Aggarwal, MD and CEO, VECV
It was the year FY2019 when the bus market hit the 65,000 units mark. Aggarwal added travel is back in full swing. People who have not travelled in the last two years are travelling and economic activity is fully restored. There are small companies that cannot afford air travel because of rising costs and are opting for inter-city bus travel for their employees.
Moreover, schools have reopened and more infrastructure is coming up and replacement demand will further add to the numbers, he pointed out.
In 2021, the bus market was among the worst hit segments as sales fell to 19,000 units. This was a rather drastic fall from the 1,00,000 buses retailed in FY2017, as per data from SIAM.
Akash Passey, President, Bus Division, VECV, said, “Bus operators are now looking to address the aspirations of inter-city passengers for safe, luxurious and globally contemporary coaches”.
To further address the market needs, the company launched its Volvo 9600 platform. The first offerings on this platform are factory-built sleeper and seater coaches in 15m 6×2; and 13.5m 4×2 configurations.
Volvo 9600 platform is powered by Volvo D8K (8-litre) engine, delivering power of 348.66bhp at 2200 RPM and a torque of 1350 Nm @ 1200-1600 RPM.
The joint venture between the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors, VE Commercial Vehicles is currently working on a fuel agnostic solution in order to cater to the growing demand of the ecosystem.