High capacity vehicles taking over India’s CV market

A government crackdown on overloaded trailers in India is affecting the country's commercial vehicle and trailer market, with a notable shift to heavy-duty vehicles.

According to the Economic Times, a government notice released in December 2015 directed toll gate operators to confiscate overloaded vehicles, hold them until excess load is removed and charge a penalty of 10 times the toll price.

The strict measures have seen the country's transport operators invest in trailing equipment with a higher payload capacity to avoid paying the fees, mostly 37-tonne and 49-tonne tippers and semi-trailers, said the newspaper.

The shift to heavy-duty vehicles has caused a substantial decline in medium-duty vehicles, with the Economic Times reporting sales figures of 25-tonne trucks nearly halving since April. 

The productivity gains of the larger capacity vehicles has resulted in a decrease in the overall heavy-duty commercial vehicle market (>16-tonnes), as fewer vehicle are required to carry the same cargo.

“Overall sales of heavy-duty commercial vehicles (above 16 tonnes) have declined by around 1.7 per cent till October this (fiscal) year. But the decline in the number of units sold is largely because the carrying capacity of vehicles being purchased today has increased,” the newspaper quoted Vinnod Aggarwal, CEO of VE Commercial Vehicles, a Joint Venture between Volvo Group and Indian truck maker, Eicher Motors.

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