Report – Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles inaugurates new powertrain plant in Pithampur
Nithyanandh K, As a toddler, those wheeled machinery fascinated me even before I knew what they’re called as! So here I'm, petrolhead by birth, Mechanical engineer by qualification and automotive reporter by profession!
Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles today inaugurated a new powertrain plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh.
The new plant will act as a global hub for Volvo’s range of 5- to 8-litre base engines which would cater to an array of products from Volvo and Eicher.
The base engines will be supplied to Volvo’s plant in Venissieux, France, where the Euro6 peripherals will be assembled for compliance to local norms. For Asia, the engines will be configured as per BS3/BS4 norms depending on the markets. The power outputs of the engines made at the facility range from 180hp to 350hp.
The new powertrain plant carries an investment of Rs. 375 crore and has an initial capacity of 25,000 units per annum. The capacity can be progressively enhanced to 1,00,000 units in the future based on the demand and an additional investment of Rs. 125 crore will be made accordingly.
The high tech manufacturing plant complies with Volvo’s international manufacturing standards by adopting heavy automation. The flexible final assembly line boasts Automated Guides Vehicles and Smart Cell Technology which can assemble 166 components in just 2 minutes.
The inauguration of the powertrain plant also marks the completion of 5 years of Volvo-Eicher partnership. The JV has invested around 1,300 crore as of last fiscal and there would be additional investment of Rs. 1,000 crore in the years to come.
The JV will also inaugurate a new bus body plant at Baggad (near Pithampur), MP. Regarding future products, Mr. Siddhartha Lal, MD and CEO, Eicher Motors, said the company will renovate its entire lineup of products (ranging from 5 to 50 tonne) starting from end of this year through 2015.
With the new powertrain plant, Volvo will take advantage of the low costs of manufacturing while Eicher will be able to offer Volvo’s engine technology in its Indian products.