The CV industry in India grew by 20 per cent in FY2017-18 according to a report by an analyst firm ICRA. Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs) outperformed the industry with a growth of 28 per cent at 2.12 lakh unit in FY2017-18. Driven by healthy demand from end-user industries, especially automobiles, container traffic and bulk materials according to Subrata Ray, Sr. Group Vice President, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA, the ongoing economic recovery also supported higher demand for CVs. What played an important role as well was the stricter implementation of overloading norms over the past 12 to 18 months across many North Indian states. Drawing attention to the shift towards higher tonnage trucks (from 16-tonne to 25-tonne, and from 31-tonne to 37-tonne trucks), Ray mentioned that it were the 37-tonne trucks that recorded the most growth during the last fiscal. Capacity addition (in tonnage terms) outpacing volume growth by a 30 per cent growth margin compared to 19 per cent rise in M&HCV (truck) sales in FY2017-18, the share of 35-tonne and higher tonnage trucks increased 63 per cent in FY2017-18 from 19 per cent (FY2013). The average tonnage of trucks in India, said Ray, rose to 20-tonnes in FY2018-17 from 15-tonne in FY2008-9. Supporting this trend are factors like superior economics, improving road infra, dearth of experienced drivers and stricter implementation of overloading norms. Stating that the total cost of ownership is improving, Ray explained, “The cost of operating a 35-tonne truck is approximately 35 per cent lower versus a 16-tonne truck on a cost per tonne per kilometre basis approximately.”

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