STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Geely-owned automaker Volvo Cars said on Thursday it would start vehicle assembly operations in India this year aiming to grab a bigger share of the country’s fast-growing premium car segment.
Bought by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group from Ford Motor Co. in 2010, Volvo has invested in new models and plants to secure a niche in the premium auto market dominated by Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Volvo Cars said it will be working together with Volvo Group in India, using the truck maker’s infrastructure and production licences, but disclosed no financial details.
“Starting vehicle assembly in India is an important step for Volvo Cars as we aim to grow our sales in this fast-growing market and double our market share in the premium segment in coming years,” Volvo Cars Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.
The company’s main car production plants are currently located in Sweden, Belgium and China.
Volvo Cars has a premium segment share of roughly 5 percent, and aims to double it by 2020. Volvo’s sales in India rose 24 percent in 2016 to over 1,400 cars.
The automaker reported a rise in first-quarter operating profit last month, as strong demand for its XC60 and 90 series cars gave it a boost, and it stuck to a forecast of higher sales this year.
Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; editing by Simon Johnson and Jason Neely