Ashok Leyland, after buying out Nissan’s stake in the three LCV ventures, has shifted its gear to overdrive to tap new avenues that weren’t available earlier. Following the dilution of the joint venture, Ashok Leyland is free to tap any market across the world. Also Ashok Leyland is working on various other variants and platforms which weren’t a part of initial plans.
The total product development team of 250 executives from LCV and 170 Executives from Ashok Leyland are now free to work on newer products and variants. Ashok Leyland’s LCV business has reportedly lost nearly Rs 800 crore. Under its full ownership, it is investing Rs 400 crore to grow the business. With the newly launched products and a new launch every subsequent quarter in the domestic market, and the entry into new markets.
Dost which was launched in 2011 held onto its segment market share of around 15 percent despite being the most expensive and least discounted product, since launch. So its natural that Ashok Leyland is working on newer variants as well.
Left hand drive Dost
Under the earlier agreement with Nissan, the LCVs could be exported only to SAARC countries which restricted the development of new variants. As new opportunities open up, Ashok Leyland is now reportedly working on a left-hand-drive (LHD) version of its LCVs. Ashok Leyland heavy trucks and bus range is exported to Middle east, African and Latin American countries and have established good network as well. The market volume for these countries are estimated close to 500,000 units and its a good opportunity for Ashok Leyland Dost. Dost has tasted a good level of success in India and Ashok Leyland is aiming to repeat the same in overseas as well. The new truck may have more powerful engines as well.
Higher payload Dost
Dost currently is offered with GVW of 2.5T. Reportedly after launching the rigid front axle varaint Dost Strong, Dost is now engineered for a higher ton of say 2.8T. The required changes in axles, tyres, suspension and a higher power engines are worked as well. This is likely to move the competition to next level as none of the pickup trucks are offered more than 2.5T. As already Dost has proved in over loaded application which is now primarily catered by Mahindra Bolero Maxx trucks, will now see more variants of Dost to share a pie from Bolero’s share, which is now a leader with more than 65% market share in the 2 to 2.5T segment.
Mitr is yet to go on big level in sales in India. One of the prime reason was, it was launched at a time when the JV was undergoing turmoil. Now with full control, power train is getting optimised with newer gear box and facia as well. Ashok Leyland is also launching Mitr school bus along with Sunshine school bus. Both buses are showcased and given demo to Customer are offered in as many as 14 locations across India.
While Ashok Leyland and many outside body builders are working on passenger variants of Dost like this
check out our artistic rendering of Dual cab Dost…
and high roof Dost Express.