NEW DELHI -- Swedish automaker Volvo AB on Thursday said it is studying the possibility of setting up a manufacturing plant in India as part of a drive to nearly double global sales.

The automaker aims to increase worldwide sales to 800,000 vehicles by 2020, from the current level of 440,000 vehicles per year.

"It makes sense to set up a car-manufacturing facility in India as we target sales of 20,000 units by 2020 here," Volvo Auto India managing director Tomas Ernberg said in the western city of Ahmedabad, the Press Trust of India reported.

"A group within Volvo is conducting a feasibility report," he told reporters.

Volvo sold 820 units in India this year, up from 320 vehicles last year. The company expects sales of 1,200 vehicles in 2013.

Luxury automakers have dealerships in many large Indian cities, attracted by the growing numbers of wealthy Indians.

Around 28,000 luxury car units were sold in India by players such as Mercedes, Audi AG (IW 1000/69), BMW AG (IW 1000/36), Volvo, among others, this year.

Along with China, India has become a key market for global car manufacturers after growth in Europe and the United States has stagnated in recent years.

Volvo entered India a decade ago to make heavy-duty trucks before moving into the luxury-bus segment. The company already has a large bus-manufacturing factory in Hoskote, near the southern city of Bangalore.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012