Eicher unveiled its new generation Pro series truck and bus range at Pithampur, near Indore through VECV (Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles), a 50:50 joint venture formed five years ago. The Pro series will be launched in a phased manner from February '14, thus no information on pricing was shared during the unveil. The Pro series trucks are aimed at various load-carrying segments: Pro 1000 : 5-14 tonne GVW light and medium trucks Pro 3000 : 9-14 tonne GVW medium trucks Pro 6000 : 16-40 tonne GVW heavy trucks, tippers and trailers Pro 8000 : 25-49 tonne GVW premium heavy trucks, tippers and trailers
Volvo currently owns the truck division of Renault, Mack, UD and is present in 192 countries across the world. The Pro series will be priced higher than the current range of Eicher vehicles and will replace the old products, one at a time. Over 3200 new parts and sub-assemblies have been developed for this particular project. Basic engine capacity of the 4-cylinder block has been increased from 3.3 litres to 3.8 litres, thus increasing power from 115 to 140 bhp (Pro 1000 and Pro 3000). The Pro 6000 and the Pro 8000 get a new 6-cylinder engine either with displacement of 5 litres or 7.7 litres, churning out 180 to 280 bhp. The 7.7 litre has a torque rating of 1190 Nm. The smaller trucks and the buses are fitted with a five speed gearbox, whereas, the Pro 8000 gets a 9-speed transmission. The low-floor buses continue to get the old 3.3 litre engine. Standard features include tilt and telescopic steering, height adjustable driver seat. Optional extras include GPS, Air conditioning (standard in the Pro 8000), stereo, cruise control, Eicher telematics. Eicher claims that the Pro series range will be the most fuel efficient in its class, 10% more than the competition.
Eicher will have lower capacity, lower powered models compared to the ones available from Volvo India to prohibit any direct competition. VECV will use the downgraded version of the Euro6 compliant engine in the Pro series variants that are on sale in India, South-east Asia and part of Africa. This engine is supplied to trucks in Europe as Euro6 becomes mandatory from January 1st, 2014. The Pro series will be introduced simultaneously in Sri Lanka as well. Out of the total sales of approximately 40,000 Eicher trucks and buses manufactured at the Pithampur plant, around 3000 vehicles are exported in either LHD or RHD forms. Currently available VE series trucks will continue to be on sale side by side the Pro series. Eicher currently has 13.8% market share, selling their vehicles across 274 authorized dealerships and service centers in India. Eicher sold 48,262 trucks and buses in 2012.The biggest visible change is the new front facia. Much better looking than the current rudimentary design. The Pro series in most of its variants comes fitted with a three piece bumper, making it easier to replace it in parts.