Ashok Leyland to focus on existing models from LCV stable
Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland today said it would focus on existing models from its Light Commercial Vehicle stable over the next few years.autos Updated: Feb 04, 2014 19:06 IST
Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland today said it would focus on existing models from its Light Commercial Vehicle stable over the next few years.
"The theme of Japanese quality at Indian cost has been driving our Indian philosophy. It feels like we just had a heavy meal (with the launch of new products through joint venture Nissan Motor India).
"Our focus in the next couple of years will be in (introducing) variants of these models," company Non-Executive Vice-Chairman V Sumantran said.
He was responding to a query from reporters here on what the company's focus would be in the next two years.
Sumantran said the company would introduce a new variant of its highly popular LCV 'Dost at the AutoExpo 2014 in Delhi.
"We will be launching a tipper version of DOST in Auto Expo".
Earlier, Sumantran and senior company officials unveiled the company's latest LCV truck -- PARTNER and LCV bus -- MiTR as part of strengthening its portfolio in the LCV segment.
The launch of today's new products follows the launch of DOST, STiLE under the Ashok Leyland-Nissan Motor India Joint Venture. Ashok Leyland has three JVs with Nissan Motor India.
On the prices of today's products, he said PARTNER LS variant is priced at Rs. 8.89 lakh while the top model LX with power steering and an air-conditioning cab is priced at Rs. 9.19 lakh (Ex-showroom Chennai).
The MiTR standard bus (a 26 seater) with power steering is offered at Rs. 12.49 lakh (Ex-showroom Chennai). Its school variant standard bus would be launched in a month.
In the LCV truck platform, he said the company has DOST (under the 2.5tonne category), in the 3.5 tonne to 4 tonne category, it has PARTNER, above eight tonne category BOSS, then in the 16tonne category CAPTAIN, he said.
In the passenger segment, Sumantran said the company has Stile, DOST Express, MiTR, JanBus and bigger buses. "In a way I think we have a good line up of products", he said.
Ashok Leyland Executive Director (LCV Sales), Nitin Seth claimed it was the first time in the last 27 years that a product has been rolled out in the LCV Truck and Bus category.
He said the market size for LCV trucks (in 3.5tonne GVW category) was 30,000 units a year while for LCV bus it was about 35,000 units a year.
The engine in PARTNER and MiTR is locally made with 97 per cent indigenisation and the vehicles are made at Nissan Motor India's facility at Oragadam near Chennai and the Hosur plant of Ashok Leyland.
"With these launches we have completed phase I of our journey in LCV segment. We have reached an important milestone," he said.
A company official said TATA 407 and Eicher 10.59 tonne trucks are competitiors for LCV truck PARTNER while Tata Starbus and Eicher Starline range in the LCV segment.
The company has 330 touch points and it would be increased to 400 by March 31, 2014.