Volvo Group & Eicher Motors joint venture

Eicher Trucks & Buses, a joint venture between the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors,  introduced to South Africa its Pro Series that promises class-leading fuel efficiency, superior uptime and minimum maintenance at TruckX last week.

Eicher Pro Series from VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) was launched officially in South Africa at TruckX 2017 at Kyalami. Eicher’s Pro Series range has been developed with the Volvo Group’s world-class technology and processes along with Eicher’ s innovative engineering.

The Volvo Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines, brought to the project its global expertise and world-class technology, while Eicher Motors added its innovative engineering and proven DNA relating to fuel efficiency.

The mission of the joint venture – VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd – is to set new benchmarks in professionalism, quality and service in the commercial transportation industry through its leading brand, Eicher Trucks & Buses.

In this respect, the Pro Series has been designed to deliver a higher level of performance backed by highly responsive local support services, with a view to promoting greater productivity and profitability within South Africa’s transport community.


Numbers behind the Eicher Go Pro Project

  • Three million hours of engineering effort;
  • 7,7 million kilometres of testing;
  • 50 000 hours of engine development;
  • Over $155 million (R2-billion) invested

Eicher’s global presence

The vice-president and country head of VECV South Africa, Surender Singh Rajpurohit, says the country is a strategic market which will play a critical role in Eicher Trucks & Buses international business.

Eicher has a presence in over 30 countries, with key markets including South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The brand has an on-road vehicle population of about 500 000 units and its presence internationally has grown at a fast pace.

Global manufacturing standards

The Eicher Pro Series has been designed and developed in a modern, high-tech, multi-facility manufacturing plant – which also houses a next-generation engine plant – built in collaboration with the Volvo Group.

The facility not only manufactures Euro IV heavy duty engines, but also supplies Euro VI compliant base engines internationally to the Volvo Group. On the Pro Series assembly line, state-of-the-art production processes include a robotic cab weld shop, a CED paint shop and a 100% hot test facility, all of which are aimed at achieving quality and reliability in line with top international standards. 











Volvo Group’s EMS 3.0 engine management system

The Pro 3000 Series is powered by a new generation, fuel-injected, four-cylinder, four-valve Eicher E494 CRS engine which features the Volvo Group’s EMS 3.0 technology – a management system with high processing capability that maintains optimum balance between load demand, fuel efficiency, emission control and low-end torque. The truck is built on a high-strength, modular, Domex ladder-frame chassis.


The six-speed manual-shift gearbox features an aluminium housing with an inspection window, while the robust Monotron propeller shaft has been designed for maintenance-free operation. The spacious cabin has been adapted from a Japanese design for comfort, safety and ergonomic efficiency.


Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS)

Among the vehicle’s many highlights is an Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) which provides advanced diagnostic data in real time regarding operational parameters. Fault indicators – which encompass visual signals, messages and alarms to check for probable causes and take corrective action – include those for engine overheating, water in fuel, air filter restriction, oil and brake pressure, fuel consumption and clutch wear.


IDIS provides live information to the driver, which is relayed through tell-tale icons in a display panel on the dashboard and audible alarms which can be easily understood and processed.


The aim is to ensure safe and efficient driving while flagging potential problems that may require preventative maintenance, thus helping to deliver superior uptime. The system also provides detailed data regarding fuel use, including instant and average consumption as well as distance to empty.













Superior comfort

Comfort features include electrically powered windows, air conditioning, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, a tilt and telescopically adjustable steering wheel & clutch pedal footrest.


Active and passive safety

The Eicher Pro Series complies with the strictest safety standards. The truck’s active and passive safety features include as standard equipment dual circuit full air S-cam brakes and exhausts brakes with ABS, a dual panel cab which complies with AIS 029 global safety standards, retractable three-point seat belts, radial tubeless tyres and fog lamps.


Pro philosophy

Eicher is determined to take the industry to a new level through its PRO philosophy – a philosophy that describes not only Eicher Pro Series trucks, but also the company’s way of working.


Constant productivity improvements, relevant modernisation and a promise to partner customers through the life cycles of their vehicles ensure that clients get more revenue out of their investments, resulting in higher profitability.


In a nutshell, Eicher trucks are designed for superior performance with better fuel economy, higher payloads and faster turnaround times. These trucks have low operating cost and high reliability, leading to higher profits.


Depending on body configuration, the truck is suitable for a variety of cargo-carrying applications, among them fast-moving consumer goods, refrigerated produce, bottled beverages, bread and confectionery, meat and poultry and other agricultural produce.


Aftermarket assurance

The point of sale is just the beginning of the customer-Eicher relationship. “To reiterate, in terms of the brand’s PRO philosophy we commit to partnering with customers right through the entire life cycles of the vehicles they purchase,” says Surender Singh.


He adds that, as a primary focus area, Eicher has been proactively ensured parts availability and technical training before the start of sales. “VECV SA has joined hands with Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL) as its 3PL partner. Millions of rands have already been invested to take care of parts availability. Currently, our warehouse has stocks over 2 600 line items,” he says.


Further, Surender Singh says that through Eicher’s country-wide network of dealers, the brand promises to deliver customer service with unmatched reliability and quality of maintenance or repair. “Our trained technicians are certified by Eicher for diagnostics and have exhaustive knowledge of the products,” he maintains.


Eicher’s workshops are well-appointed with modern equipment and state of the art diagnostic systems, while the parts distribution team ensures speedy supply of items to the company’s dealer network.


With a vision of reducing perceived performance-related issues as well as financial risk to customers, all genuine parts supplied by Eicher carry a warranty, while support aggregates are in place to help to ensure higher uptime of vehicles through a fit first, repair later view.


24 X 7 roadside assistance (Volvo Group – Uptime Support Center)

The company operates through the Volvo Group’s 24×7 call centre, located in Jet Park. In the unlikely event of a vehicle being stranded while on the road, fully equipped dealer teams are in place to respond to emergencies or to offer breakdown assistance.


Built & Tested for South Africa

The Eicher Pro Series has been trialed for more than 200 000km in South Africa, undergoing rigorous endurance and performance testing. The truck has been put into actual applications by a number of renowned fleet operators. According to Surender Singh, testing results have been very positive especially regarding fuel efficiency and durability. All the feedback received during this process has been incorporated into the final product.


In a testimonial a dealer service manager who has overseen Eicher testing for over a year, says: “I have been monitoring the testing of this truck. I am impressed with the vehicle’s robustness and intelligent driver information system, good parts availability and the establishment of a countrywide service network. I am sure this truck will do very well in South Africa.”


A testimonial from a major fleet owner says: “This truck has surprised us with its fuel efficiency” while a testimonial from a spokesman for a testing agency says: “We have driven this truck for over 200 000km and I must say it is really built for Africa. Apart from driving comfort, fuel efficiency is superior.”


Eicher’s Network in South Africa

Initially, Eicher Trucks will available at 14 strategic locations in South Africa, though the intention is for the network to expand rapidly to ensure a high level of sales and aftersales support. Well established truck franchise dealers include the AAD Group, BB Motor Group, Billson Trucks, CMH Group, Fleet Dynamics, Imperial Group & Premier Truck and Bus.

Eicher’s dealer network stretches from Tzaneen in the north to Cape Town in the south. “Service reach is extensive,” No matter where you are, Eicher service is never too far away,” says Surender Singh.


He says VECV has already invested R100-million in setting up its operations in South Africa and is committed to more investment to bring more product platforms into the country.


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