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Old 4th April 2010, 23:15   #46
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My understanding is, BMTC is getting all these buses on lease with an agreement of revenue sharing (60:40 Volvo:BMTC) and not going in for an outright purchase.

I believe its the same with Tata-Marcopolo Buses.

Cons of Volvo/Marcopolo buses.

1. Seats are not designed properly. You dont feel comfortable. Pushpak/Pushpak Plus buses have better cushions.

2. Leg space is an issue.

PS: I am only writing for the BMTC buses.
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Old 5th April 2010, 09:53   #47
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True guys,. Volvo has redefined bus travel in India. I am done traveling on tata and al buses. Said and done, private travel agents like KPN do not maintain their buses well as they lease or rent their buses. Once I traveled on a KPN bus, it was leaking rain water,. and those guys fill kerosine with diesel,. one of the worst travels.
The best one I have travelled is KSRTC (karnataka). Their volvos are top notch,. hats off to them.
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Old 5th April 2010, 18:18   #48
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The B9R or the new 9400 series are way better than the Merc buses which IMHO are even inferior to the King Longs as far as NVH levels are concerned. Even spoke to one driver who said that he preferred the Volvo over the others as far as driver comfort and driving is concerned.
I speak only from my experience based on my numerous travels on the MSRTC Shivneri between Mumbai and Pune.
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Old 6th April 2010, 13:27   #49
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Default How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

With the introduction of Volvo Multiaxle,the ride quality is amazing. Happened to board a bus to Cochin.
Start Time - 9.00pm
Arrival Time - 5.45am

This was inspite of a mechanical failure to the cruise control.The manuals were bought out a few calls made to the helpline. Time consumed about 1 hr. Inspite of this the time was covered up
The ride was like sailing through rough terrains. The Multiaxle is designed for bad road. I was nice and comfy till I realised that the bus was on the outskirts of cochin. It doesnt enter the city as per the driver due to turning radius etc. I was not sure about it. Overall thumbs up to Volvo.
Travelling just got better.
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Old 6th April 2010, 15:11   #50
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What i like about Volvo is it has no windows !!! I mean you cant open it

So that no body sitting in bus can spit on road from the running bus )
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Old 6th April 2010, 15:19   #51
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Originally Posted by aniketi View Post
What i like about Volvo is it has no windows !!! I mean you cant open it

So that no body sitting in bus can spit on road from the running bus )
yea, good for other road users, but now where will these guys spit paan?
maybe in the sidewall below the glass windows like they do in old theatres/buildings..
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Old 6th April 2010, 15:54   #52
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Volvo in India still remains a bus for metros or Bigger cities.
I belong to M.P. and there people still react as they have seen Rolls Royce when they see a VOLVO. May be its because of poor road conditions, but still it will be really great if Volvo increase its presence in all over India
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Old 6th April 2010, 16:15   #53
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A volvo is a volvo is a volvo.

This package is amazing. I dont see others like Marcopolo even coming nearer. This is a marvel in engineering. Earlier, a bus was just a chassis and some body built over it. At most, it is about semi reclining or fully reclining seats.

Volvo redefined expectations. A ride in a volvo really makes you feel good about it. It is the small things that are excellent about this vehicle. Consider the smooth operation of the doors, the rubber beadings perfectly aligned with the doors. Then as you get it, the acceleration is smooth and the suspensions are dead smooth - you really got to get into a volvo to know about this.

The power of the engine is amazing - it just zips past cars, a nice CRdi engine - Not sure about Marcopolo, but way-way ahead. It has tubeless tyres that probably add to the great ride. Big side mirrors, and a rear view camera - allows drivers to park well towards the bus bays - usually much better than the normal buses.

Whatever it is - Volvo is a game changer. It has created a market for itself where none existed. Surely a nice case study for the MBA folks!!
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Old 6th April 2010, 16:52   #54
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The bigger deal to me is, how on earth did Volvo convince bus operators, during the early days, to pay multiple times the price of competitors? This extends not only to buses but even trucks. I mean, that same truck operator could buy a Tata at 1/2 or 1/3rd the price. Obviously Volvo sold them on the value component (and not necessarily price), still its a case study in the making. I mean, these are the kind of operators who would think twice before ordering a premium cup of tea at 8 bucks, instead of the "regular kadak" at 4 bucks.

Volvo deserves credit for raising the bar in India, when it comes to trucks & buses.
Early 2001 or 2002 when the B7R was first launched in India ,I think it was Sharma Transports and National travels on the Mumbai-Bangalore route who first experimented with these buses.I dont know how true this is ,but the deal was that these operators didnt have to buy these buses,but just run it .Everything including maintainance was taken care of by Volvo India ,which by then was doing well with its FH series of trucks.

Way back then,I remember the b7rs overtake the other ALL and Tata buses ,which used to leave 7-8 hours before the Volvos from Bangalore.
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:14   #55
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Volvo is a very good bus for sure. But Price of 67 lacs (taken from one of the posts) looks really costly for me. Are they charging for brand name? Or they charging for USP? Recovering 67 lacs + interest paid on that must be a tough task for Transport people.

I guess this is best opportunity for Tata & AL to bring buses in competition with Volvo. They can make similar bus for atleast 20-30% cheaper cost. Transport People will definitely prefer Tata & AL buses over Volvo if they produce such buses. What say???
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:41   #56
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Originally Posted by aniketi View Post
Volvo is a very good bus for sure. But Price of 67 lacs (taken from one of the posts) looks really costly for me. Are they charging for brand name? Or they charging for USP? Recovering 67 lacs + interest paid on that must be a tough task for Transport people.

I guess this is best opportunity for Tata & AL to bring buses in competition with Volvo. They can make similar bus for atleast 20-30% cheaper cost. Transport People will definitely prefer Tata & AL buses over Volvo if they produce such buses. What say???
Well I am not sure about Leyland but TATA has definitely tried with the Globus which IMHO was not really a challenger to the Volvo. Mercedes has their Sutlej bodied buses which along with the chinese Cerita Kinglong are the only competition so far. I have seen a few ISUZU buses plying around am not sure if they have what it takes to challenge the mighty B7R and its incarnations.
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Old 7th April 2010, 12:46   #57
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I guess this is best opportunity for Tata & AL to bring buses in competition with Volvo. They can make similar bus for atleast 20-30% cheaper cost. Transport People will definitely prefer Tata & AL buses over Volvo if they produce such buses. What say???
Ok this is an oft repeated question.

First, if AL and TATA want to match the quality, the engineering and the R&D that goes into a VOLVO bus it will cost the same. Also remember this would require newer plants, better processes, better vendors an overall upgrade in the way they do business and the segment they will need to target. This involves cost and huge ones at that and to offset that the final product if it matches what VOLVO delivers will cost as much as a Volvo product if not less.

What they are doing instead is acquire companies which are already there and work their way from there.

Simply put TATA and AL are competent to be competition for VOLVO (look at the new range of Prima) in India. But the thing is the commercial business is like a pie, which is shared by the companies as per their expertise. So if the local groups want to go competing with the part of the pie that Volvo enjoys they might lose out on the piece of pie they already have.

So TATA is happy with their piece of the pie and lets VOLVO enjoy theirs.
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Old 7th April 2010, 13:04   #58
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I really wonder how can Volvo change travel in rural India. It may change for a the 25% of Indians living in cities, but what about the 75% living in small towns and villages? Will any State transport operator ever operate a Volvo to a rural village? If at all they operate, will there be many passengers paying to sustain the service? Can the Volvo negotiate the mud and rubble filled roads?

I always wonder, Volvo should rethink their strategy for India. They should bring out a cheaper alternative for villages. With vast experience and best R&D in bus business, they can easily bring out a newer non AC basic bus, with more comfort and ride quality.
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Old 7th April 2010, 13:45   #59
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I always wonder, Volvo should rethink their strategy for India. They should bring out a cheaper alternative for villages. With vast experience and best R&D in bus business, they can easily bring out a newer non AC basic bus, with more comfort and ride quality.
I dont see whats wrong with their current strategy. They created a USP for themselves, and are doing quite well to live up to it. If there was something they need to do better, it is providing more comprehensive maintenance packages so their buses arent seen as white elephants later on.
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Old 7th April 2010, 13:58   #60
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Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post

Simply put TATA and AL are competent to be competition for VOLVO (look at the new range of Prima) in India. But the thing is the commercial business is like a pie, which is shared by the companies as per their expertise. So if the local groups want to go competing with the part of the pie that Volvo enjoys they might lose out on the piece of pie they already have.

So TATA is happy with their piece of the pie and lets VOLVO enjoy theirs.
Don't agree here. You have to create market. Tata created market for themselves with Ace. Now Ace is most successful in that segment & others following them now. Same with 407 i guess. 407 is one of the best selling models in India in commercial vehicles even today.

Tata can come up with bus similar to Volvo but price tag of say 35-40 Lacs. It will surely create market for its own. Similarly there are much better SUV's available in market, but Tata enjoy its share through Safari.
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