By Sharad Matade
Eicher Trucks and Buses, part of VE Commercial Vehicles Limited (VECV), has launched BS-VI compliant new range of Eicher Pro 2000 series of light duty trucks in India. These trucks have been designed for better mileage and modernised features and is ideal for the logistics and intra-city applications.
Eicher Trucks and Buses (ETB) is present in the light and medium range of 4.9T-16T trucks and has an increasing market share in the 16T-49T heavy duty trucks segment. Eicher Pro Series buses also have a strong presence in the LMD segment along with leadership in the school bus segment.
Vinod Aggarwal, MD and CEO of VECV said, “It is a moment of immense pride for us to usher the automotive industry into its next evolution with the BS-VI emission technology. We have always believed in investing in R&D to stay ahead in the industry by improving transportation efficiency and the Pro 2000 series is a testament to that mission. With a strong blend of technology and engineering innovations, we are yet again bringing in a new benchmark for the industry, offering our customers a radically different experience in the CV space. We have superior and long-standing expertise in manufacturing and exporting base engines for the Euro-VI requirements of the Volvo Group for the last six years. This extensive experience with Euro -6 allows us the first mover advantage to deliver products engineered to cater to the new emission norms in the country. The select models that we unveiled today will be fuelled by our two new BS-VI engine platforms, equipped with all new state of the art cabin and industry-first features.”
On Eicher Pro 2000 series, he said, “We are leaders and innovators of the Indian LMD trucks market, and the new Eicher Pro 2000 series takes logistics and intra-city distribution to the next level, focusing on the drivers and their comfort. We believe the winning combination of best in class fuel efficiency, better turnaround, more payload, superior cabin aggregates and a competitive price point will help reduce the operating costs for customers, resulting in higher profitability.”
The company will leverage its capabilities of manufacturing Euro-VI engines to tap opportunities in the BS-VI, which will come into effect from April 1, 2020, in India. VECV has been manufacturing and exporting Euro-VI engines for Volvo since the last six years. “We have the experience of manufacturing and aftermarket for Euro-VI engines and have incorporated that experience into the manufacturing, processes and design of BS-VI engines,” Aggarwal said.
VECV has 30 percent market share in the light and medium duty truck segment in India. In the heavy-duty truck segment, it has five percent, and in the bus category, it owns a 16 percent market share.
The company uses two new engine platforms, E474 and E49, which are made of aluminium, plastics and other composites that make them lighter and durable, for its Pro 2000 series. The new global series sets new benchmarks for driver safety in the CV industry. The new ergonomically designed cabin offers a better turning radius, reduced NVH levels and a comfortable driving environment. The Pro 2000 series will be equipped with Eicher Live, an advanced telematics solution for the business owners to manage trips, fuel and uptime of the range of vehicles.
The new range also comes with two new smart cabins offering safe and comfortable driver operation in 1.8 m and 2.0 m configurations and these cabins are tiltable. The Eicher Pro 2095XP has a payload of 7.2 tonne, industry highest in the category, and comes with five cargo body options across 14.1, 17.6, 19, 20 and 21.5 feet. According to the company, Eicher Pro 2095XP has the highest fuel efficiency in the segment due to dual mode M-Booster technology and 6- speed gearbox variant. It has a tool, called fuel coaching, which guides the driver to improve fuel efficiency. The vehicle is also equipped with the Eicher Live telematics for trip, fuel and uptime management. The Pro 2095XP has the lowest turnaround time and a 190-litre high density polymer fuel tank for longest mile delivery without stoppage.
The Eicher Pro 2049 has been designed to cater to the last mile distribution with a 1.8m cabin. With a high legal payload of 2.7 tonne, dual mode M-Booster technology and larger loading space, the mini truck offers the lowest turnaround time to ensure faster delivery. Eicher Pro 2049 also has the industry best loading space of 10.4 feet. The mini truck is also equipped with M-Booster technology to have better mileage and has the fuel coaching system and steering mounted car-like controls. The Eicher Pro 2049 has turning circle diameter of 10 metre for easier manoeuvrability.
VECV has paid serious attention to the infotainment. The vehicles come with infotainment and Bluetooth connectivity, telematics and fuel coaching to give a car-like cabin experience. VECV recorded sales of 4569 units in June 2019 compared to 6390 units in June 2018 recording a decline of 28.5 percent. This includes 4502 units of Eicher brand and 67 units of Volvo brand.
In the domestic CV market, Eicher branded trucks and buses recorded sales of 4136 units in June 2019 as compared to 5496 units in June 2018, representing a decline of 24.7 percent. On the exports front, Eicher branded trucks and buses recorded sales of 366 units in June 2019 as compared to 819 units in June 2018, representing a decline of 55.3 percent. Volvo Trucks has recorded sales of 67 units in June 2019 as compared to 75 units in June 2018, representing a decline of 10.7 percent. In the last financial year, the company clocked a growth of 11percent.
“The CV industry is driven by economic growth. The government is taking many steps to solve the liquidity crisis and boost the economy. It is expected that the industry will pick up after September on the pre-BS-VI buying,” Aggarwal said.
Eicher also plans to export the new range to the ASEAN market, where it will compete with the Japanese peers, under the UD Truck brands.