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Old 14th October 2008, 01:54   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram View Post
The open questions are:
With the appearance of a Mercedes branded competitor to Volvo,
  1. will things get cheaper or costlier for India?
  2. will Volvo's quality come under pressure to improve? what improvement do you seek?
  3. do we really know Mercedes to be the slightest bit superior or inferior to Volvo?
  4. In what measurable way (other than hype)?
  5. is this supposed superiority proportionate to its price (ref: law of diminishing returns -- post #145 -- Will 0.1% more for 15% more price make any sense?
Very good points that you bring up. Some of my thoughts below

When I said things will get better, I was simply going by the broad based law of economics that suggests that with more competition the customer always gets a better deal, sometimes its in the form of a price reduction and at other times a product/service enhancement at the same price.

In this case, I don't think things should get a whole lot more expensive for the customer. As far as ticket prices they should pretty much stay where they are. Merc and Volvo will be lumped into one category called
'ultra premium' and the rest will be the regular class. Merc at 80 lakhs is about 5 lakhs more than the Volvo and in the large scheme of things that's about 7%. Unless the Merc provides something more I don't expect operators to dump Volvo overnight.

That 'something more' could be various things that an operator looks for like:
  • more seats on the same footprint
  • better seats = less passenger fatigue
  • more legroom, shoulder room etc
  • better fuel economy,
  • higher performance (quicker trips)
  • lower maintenance,
  • cheaper spares,
  • less NVH,
  • Lower driver fatigue
  • more rugged construction so that the bus doesn't squeak and rattle after a few years, longer bus-life
  • better and more convenient service stations
First thing is that the brand, unlike a MAN or Scania the name Mercedes is well known, respected and revered in India. So the marketing battle is half won already and getting operators to try their bus shouldn't be a challenge.

The challenge then is to impresses them and ultimately the passengers from day-1 and learn from the mistakes that Volvo made.
Volvo for sure will come under pressure to improve their product and their service and I'm sure they will. (measurable as above) After all Mercedes is an old friend (foe?) that they fight with in other large bus markets in Europe and South America. (unfortunately for me, not in the US).

At the moment we do not know if its just hpye or is there anything substantial. On paper, some novel features are front independent air suspension with double wishbone (like in luxury cars). Front disk brakes with ABS, T/C and ESP. Euro4 emissions package. The front IFS should really make a difference on our bumpy roads. (info from DC Australia website)

Private operators are already charging anywhere from 20-50% more for the same route compared to STCs and customers seem to be ready to pay. Another 5-10% for a brand new Merc bus should not be hard sell.
For all you know a STC Mercedes ticket might be lower than a private Volvo.

As far as the law of diminishing returns, I guess as long as its reasonably priced and feels much nicer, the customer is always looking for an upgrade. We have to wait and see.... 10 years ago, I never expected Volvo coaches would be so successful in India. The Indian customer is quite discerning and demanding looks like.
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Old 15th October 2008, 11:04   #152
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Lightbulb Any news on the B9R?

Reading this post http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...ml#post1015123 I realised that Volvo has launched the multi rear axle B9R with a 9 litre engine.

Some Google search revealed this: Volvo eyeing India, China for exports - The Financial Express

India and China are the two countries which are witnessing an “outstanding increase” in the volume of buses used and produced, he told a news conference, launching the Volvo 9400 6x2 (B9R) inter-city coach for the first time in India.. <snip> ...Rune said the new variant will be produced at Volvo buses plant in Hoskote near Bangalore.

With a 9-litre rear engine and 6x2 configuration, Volvo 9400 6x2 is developed to provide passengers with an even higher level of comfort and provide bus operators with a tool to achieve even better transport economy through higher occupancy levels and better fuel consumption per passenger km.

The variant features EBS-5 (Electronic Brake System), the first in India, ensuring highest safety for passengers.

Besides, drivers now have on their on-board computer display providing data on engine, brakes and suspension.


Interesting! Any body has more info on this! Would love to see these buses soon!
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Old 15th October 2008, 17:29   #153
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I haven't heard of the B9R launching in India. A new bus from Volvo would have been a much bigger news splash !!

Last edited by Mpower : 15th October 2008 at 17:37.
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Old 15th October 2008, 19:21   #154
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Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
I haven't heard of the B9R launching in India. A new bus from Volvo would have been a much bigger news splash !!
Not launched but Volvo is eyeing(whatever that means - English ka murder) to launch in India.

Check the link above by Glifford.
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Old 15th October 2008, 20:12   #155
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There was an article in economic times yesterday which mentioned the launch of the B9R. It mentioned the price to be 85 lakhs! There was a picture of the bus as well where one could make out the multi axle! Here is the link: Volvo 9400 6x2 | Luxury Buses | Public Transport | Automobile Design | Features

Info from the link:
"Volvo Bus Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of heavy buses and coaches in the world, today launched Indian market's first coach with a multi-axel Inter-City luxury bus Volvo 9400 6x2.
Speaking after announcing the launch of the multi-axel coach here Mr Rune Lundberg, Senior Vice President Volvo Bus Corporation said the new multi-axel coach designed in line with the 'Coach of the year 2008' Volvo 9400 6x2, brings the state-of-the-art European styling to India.
The vehicle which costs about Rs 85 lakhs per unit is being introduced for the first time in the Indian market, with an additional pusher axel at the rear. The 13.7 meter length coach contributes higher revenue and profitability for the customers can accommodate 53 seats, eight seats more than its earlier version Volvo 8400 4x2.

'Drivers now have on their on-board computer display providing data on dozens of information about the engine, brakes and suspension' he added.

'The new model will offer a new standard in performance-economy ratio among all the vehicles in this segment' he said.
He said the Volvo 9400 6x2 had been developed to provide passengers a higher level of comfort and the bus operators a tool to achieve even better transport economy through higher occupancy levels and better fuel consumption per km.
Outlining the unique features that comes with the new coach Mr Lundberg said the vehicle is equipped with an electronic architecture, which offers greater benefits to operators.
'Drivers now have on their on-board computer display providing data on dozens of information about the engine, brakes and suspension' he added.
He said the high capacity new version coach produced at Volvo Buses plant in Hoskote, near Bangalore offers a higher capacity of 53 luxury, reclining seats, the best in class offered in luxury coaches.
Responding to a question he said company which enjoys over 25 per cent of market share in the luxury segment coaches in India, have an order of 40 coaches for the year and already 50 per cent of the demand was met."
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Old 15th October 2008, 20:23   #156
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Ok lets end the speculation by looking at some good pictures (Courtesy Google,Volvo.com)
The 9700-3 axle coach is based on the B12B chassis and comes factory built.The engine, the Volvo DH12E, is an in-line six-cylinderdiesel unit with a displacement of 12.1 litres and features aturbocharger and Intercooler. Modern technology with unitinjectors, an overhead camshaft and four valves per cylinderhelp give the engine masses of power together with low ..emissions and low fuel consumption. In combination with SCR exhaust filtration, the engine has such low emissions
The 340 & 420 hp versions is also available in a Euro V incentive version.
The chassis is available with two or three axles, with the third axle in either fixed or steered tag configuration.
All-round air suspension and disc brakes are standard. There is a wide range of gearboxes, both fully-manual and manual with automated gearchanging, as well as fully-automatic.


The hybrid city bus is cool and runs on diesel+ electric with retardation generator.
More details in the next post..also will share some information on the Tag Axle Steering Operation if you may require more information.


[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Mike/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Mike/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg[/IMG]
Attached Thumbnails
Volvo B7R reviews?-volvo-9700.jpg  

Volvo B7R reviews?-hybrid-city-bus-rear.jpg  

Volvo B7R reviews?-engine-bay.jpg  

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Attached Images
File Type: bmp Disk Brakes-EBS+Electronic Controll & ABS+ Air Suspension.bmp (372.9 KB, 11411 views)
File Type: bmp Engine-B12B.bmp (602.5 KB, 9411 views)
File Type: jpg Hybrid City Bus Front.jpg (276.3 KB, 480 views)
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Old 16th October 2008, 14:50   #157
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Originally Posted by Miyer View Post
Ok lets end the speculation by looking at some good pictures (Courtesy Google,Volvo.com)
Ok, here it finally is!

The thread dedicated to the new King of comfortable road travel!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-9400-6x2.html

Step aside Sutlej-Mercedes and everyone else!
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Old 2nd November 2008, 16:09   #158
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Default Bonnetcam® Volvo Chasing on NH5 (enroute Bangalore to Kolkata)

Bonnetcam® Volvo Chasing on NH5 (enroute Bangalore to Kolkata)



Original Story Featured in http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...s-nonstop.html (DRIVOBLOG® | Bangalore to Kolkata | 36 Hours NONSTOP!)
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Old 2nd November 2008, 16:28   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
I haven't heard of the B9R launching in India. A new bus from Volvo would have been a much bigger news splash !!
Hi, I have already spotted a VOLVO B9R run by Sharma transport in Bangalore. Just got to see it from behind, holds a huge B9R logo and a chick LED tail-lamp!
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Old 2nd November 2008, 19:35   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btirthankar View Post
Bonnetcam® Volvo Chasing on NH5 (enroute Bangalore to Kolkata)



Original Story Featured in http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...s-nonstop.html (DRIVOBLOG® | Bangalore to Kolkata | 36 Hours NONSTOP!)
were u in your innova or astra??
what speed were you cruising at?
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Old 2nd November 2008, 23:38   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
were u in your innova or astra??
what speed were you cruising at?
It was the Innova.

In the volvo chase I was doing a confident 70-100 kmph.

And at safe distances (its not what it appears in the video)
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Old 2nd November 2008, 23:40   #162
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Whenever I am on the old airport road in Bangalore, I wish a volvo pass me on the other side of the road. The sound is like 'wooooshhh' and its gone.

And it nudges you to press your accelerator a bit more, just to realise the airforce region got over and you are in Domlur. Brakes Now.
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Old 4th November 2008, 19:16   #163
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I have never sat in volvo bus but my brother has twice used volvo to go from Delhi to Manali and has raved about ride. Looking forward to travelling in these comfortable buses in next vacation inside India.
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Old 17th November 2008, 16:31   #164
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Last night was on the way to BIAL to drop off a friend to the airport. We were negotiating these lovely BMTC BIAS some in totally different colours from their signature reds because of advertising coverage .

Just then I noticed a golden brown B7R heading away from Bangalore. It looked to be in a pretty battered shape. The rear number plate showed some AP registration. Asked my friend to catch up to see what it was actually.

The bus was speeding nevertheless. It happened to be what I had guessed. An APSRTC Garuda Service. The window panes seemed out of plane with the rest of the body on both sides. It was either the bus was scratched by something that had gone past (along the body under the glass) or had hit something head on causing this serious misalignment.

I wondered what it could be. Was expecting it to be going for service. But then it was heading away from Bangalore.

The last thing I could expect was it to be doing a service. But closer inspection showed it was :( It actually had a load of passengers inside. I wondered how could they put such a bus into regular service. It was virtually falling apart.

Wonder if KSRTC also puts in battered B7Rs into service. I hope not!
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Old 17th November 2008, 18:34   #165
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Atleast i havent see any battered KSRTC/BMTC Volvo's in use. No wonder its the only profit making PSU transport company in the country.
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