Chennai: The Rs.70-crore Chandigarh-based JCBL Limited is all set to give Volvo India a run for its money. The company has launched its luxury bus/JCBL integral coach KL 6113 priced at Rs48 lakh - 20 per cent cheaper than its closet competitor.
JCBL is a commercial vehicle bodybuilding company that builds luxury buses, cargo trucks, special utility vehicles, mobile homes, display vans and others. According to JCBL''s director, Rishi Aggarwal, the company commands a 40 per cent market share in the organised bus bodybuilding sector.
The company is part of Rs115-crore JCBL group that is also into seating systems, pneumatic suspension, fibre reinforced plastic coach components, window panels for caches and special application vehicles thorough another outfit, Mobility Solutions Limited.
"Last year JCBL built 1,600 buses, of which half were for the southern market. This year our target is 4,000 buses," Aggarwal says. According to him, the passenger bus segment is showing strong growth. Last year JCBL grew by 35 per cent.
To cash in on the growing demand and the changing preference of the travellers, JCBL has launched its own luxury bus at an investment of around Rs15 crore. The company has started assembling the bus, importing components like the chassis from China''s Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Company. The bus is powered by the Cummins ''C'' series 245 HP engine, made in the UK, a ZF gear box from Germany and the Neway Holland air suspension system in the US.
JCBL claims a fuel efficiency of 3.6 km/litre and lower spares cost that accelerate the pay back for transport operators. The coach, approved by the Pune-based Automotive Research Association of India, comes with roof-mounted air circulation systems, ergonomically designed seats, fire retardant interiors and an optional chemical wash toilet.
"Thanks to the features of our bus, the Andhra Pradesh State Transport Corporation that has bought two of our buses has named them as Garuda Plus while Volvo''s coach is called just Garuda," boasts Aggarwal.
In Chennai, private bus operator, Praveen Travels, has bought four units. This fiscal JCBL hopes to sell at least 150 units. "We are also talking to other big bus fleet operators and state transport corporations." he adds.
JCBL follows the dual marketing strategy of dealer and direct sales. The company has two dealers now. For post-sales service, JCBL has tied up with Cummins Auto Services Limited. "We have nine service stations now and in six months time six more will be opened," remarks Aggarwal.