Volvo sets out Indian Plans

Reports in the Economic Times clarify in part Volvo’s plans for its Indian operations. India is to become a sourcing hub for its world-wide operations, and, as a result, Volvo plans to increase its Indian R&D and engineering design activities, IT services and auto components sourcing. Last year, the Swedish OEM sourced €70 / $91.97 / £46.95 from India. Initially, Volvo will increase the headcount at its engineering design office. "We currently employ 80 engineers at our engineering design office. We plan to employ another 100 this year. This office looks at product development primarily for the Asian market," said Eric Leblanc, managing director, Volvo India. In addition, the Hoskote plant will migrate to double shift production, allowing for output to be doubled to 2400 units per year. Volvo currently has sales of around 600 units per year within India. This move will facilitate the supply of Volvo product into Asian markets – such as Vietnam and Indonesia from Indian as opposed to European facilities. Hoskote already supplies Volvo customers in South Korea and Bangladesh. Volvo claims this move is as much about freeing up capacity within its existing EU facilities as it is about developing a strong Indian manufacturing base. Given the somewhat parlous state of the EU heavy truck market post-Euro 4, we find this assertion to be rather odd. Intriguingly, other reports suggest that Volvo will – in time – export to China from India, giving further reason to believe that the relationship between Gothenburg and CNHTC is becoming increasingly fractious.

CB radio licencing requirement removed

25 years after CB radio became legal in the UK, the need to licence sets has finally been removed. Ofcom, the regulatory body responsible, deregulated CB radio in the same changes that saw the use of approved (ie CE marked) low-power FM transmitters legalised. These are used to transmit wireless signals from MP3 players and I-pods to car radios. The new rules came into effect on 8 December 2006.