Ashok Leyland diverging into LCV business was a major milestone in the history of Ashok Leyland and it has brought enough reach for the brand more than expected. The First product, Dost did create a niche for itself in the 2.5T mini truck segment and was a roaring success. Though the segment is lead by Mahindra with its range of pickups, Ashok Leyland has defended its market share at around 15% for the past seven years. Dost was the first truck to offer Air conditioned cabin in its segment and had seen product upgrades over a period of time, and the major one being, Dost Strong – a rigid front axle variant with leaf spring setup. From time to time, there were other variants showcased and it was offered in CNG as well. While Indian SCV truck market currently at around 3.2 lks units is likely to grow upto 5.2 lks units by 2022, as per Frost&Sullivan. This means every manufacturer is working in variants and options to increase the sales and to retain the market share. While the current Dost was doing well, there was a need for higher payload variant, and here is Dost+ variant.
Need for Dost+
With a GVW of 2.5T, Ashok Leyland Dost was used in many overload applications like Construction, tiles and sanitary ware application, etc and there was a need for a higher payload variant. One reason for this, is to avoid customers adding more leaves to the existing suspension setup and tampering the same. The requirement for higher payload version was also a need driven from Customer’s as well. Also since competition has moved up the ladder with Xenon Yodha, Genio with 3T GVW, Dost need to be upgraded to compete with that segment as well. So with enough headroom available and volume from higher tonnage segment anticipated, the need for Dost+ was justified.
Major changes in Dost+
Product development for ‘Dost+’, was undergoing for past couple of years, and it was not just an addition of leaf springs and increasing the load body. The truck underwent some major changes in wheel base, front and rear wheel track, propeller shaft, tyre size, load body and of course engine. All the changes were related and required a thorough validation as well. While engine and power train was an major strength for the Dost in the past, increasing the horse power required its own validation as well. Engine now produces healthy 63hp power and 170 Nm of torque. The single largest USP of Dost was its higher payload the new truck will have even more higher payload as its GVW is at 2750 Kgs, up 255 kgs from current Dost.
The load body is length is increased to 2650 mm up from 2500 mm, and tyres are now at 15″ with 195 section tyres as against 14″ and 185 section tyres. Also the wheel base of the truck is increased by 160 mm to 2510 mm. There needed an increase in wheel tracks and front track is increased to 1441 mm and 1372 mm. As always the truck will be available in three variants LE – the base model, LS – with power steering and LX – with power steering and Air condition. The product is due for launch on 4th of this month and we shall post more pictures and information post launch.