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Reliance Retail in talks with Volvo

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) is in talks with truck and logistics major Volvo for a joint venture (JV) to specifically cater to the back-end logistics requirements of Reliance Retail. Volvo applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to include logistics, freight forwarding and transport in its roster of activities in India in 2007. The JV between Reliance Retail and Volvo India may include a new manufacturing facility where Volvo will assemble completely knocked down trucks specifically for Reliance Retail. This unique arrangement makes sense to Reliance Retail, as it is starting stores focused on rural distribution at the village and block level. Volvo currently produces around 2,600 trucks a year, sells 1,600 domestically, and is currently ramping up capacity to 4,000 units a year in India, where it has been operating since 1998. (October 19, 2007)