Ashok Leyland recently launched their first ever LCV, the Dost last Friday. The company has now set a target of selling 1,40,000 models over a period of three years. While, the Dost was developed in joint collaboration, with their Japanese auto partner, Nissan, the Dost was manufactured from Ashok Leyland’s facility in Hosur. Both of the partners have bet high on their new premium segment.
The executive vice chairman of the Hinduja Auto Ltd. and the chairman of Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain, the new vehicles are on 3 different platforms. They 2 companies will be selling the vehicles through their own respective brands.
The first vehicle is from Ashok Leyland, the next one will be produced at the Oragadam facility of Nissan, and the third one will again be produced through Ashok Leyland’s plant.
Sumantran added that the JV partners have planned an INR 2,400 crore outlay, and plan to introduce 2 more vehicles by 2013. The companies would make an investment of INR 1,500 crores in the first Phase and introduce three different vehicles, while the partners would launch a greenfield plant near Chennai in Pillaipakkam in the second phase.
Meanwhile, the executive VP of Nissan Motors Co., Andy Palmer, and the chairman of Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles, said that the JV will help the company to become a lead player in the LCV market. Last year alone, the company managed to sell a total of 8,50,000 vehicles over the world.
Palmer added that India is among their key markets for their company to grow, and this JV commemorates the entry of Nissan in the low cost market.
Sumantran said that the vehicles from Nissan wouldn’t be displayed in their network and the same went for Nissan as well. He further added that their main focus was on the commercial aspect, while Nissan’s main focus is on the personal front.