Saturday, August 30, 2008

Volvo faces competition

Volvo faces competition
By: Chetan R
Date: 2008-08-29

Bangalore:

Volvo will soon have competition from Tata's Marco Polo.

The cost-efficient Marco Polo buses will be introduced on the city roads in the first week of September.

Initially two buses will be commissioned on a trial basis. Experts will check its road- worthiness, especially if it is suited for Bangalore roads. Its performance will be compared with that of the existing Volvo buses.

Trial run

Confirming the news, transport minister R Ashok said, "If the buses meet our expectations during the trial run, we will go ahead with it."

M N Srihari, traffic expert, said, "Marco Polo buses will be evaluated for important aspects like roadworthiness, turning radius and pollution level. Whether they will perform on par with Volvo buses, only a trial run will tell."

Officials in transport ministry will submit a report after evaluating its performance, including its operating costs.

Based on the report, the transport ministry will take a decision on whether to add Marco Polos to the existing Volvo fleet or to replace the Volvo buses entirely. If the Marco Polos' performance is on par with that of Volvos, then they will be added to the existing fleet of 150 Volvos. "We will phase out ordinary buses if we are happy with Marco Polos," Ashok said.

Though Marco Polos will cost half as much as Volvos, there are no plans to cut fares.

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