Ashok Leyland Limited has entered the European market, via Turkey by joining hands with Turkish company Utikar. The tie-up is producing a new range of inter-city and intra-city buses for West Asia, North Africa and the CIS markets. According to company officials, this is a stepping stone for the company into the European market in a big way.
The Hinduja Group flagship company ALL is planning to develop 8-metre buses and with Katmerciler and Volkan, a special equipment manufacturer, to produce special application vehicles such as the garbage compactors, hook loaders and fire trucks. All these vehicles will be specially-built on the Ashok Leyland's chassis and will be developed along with Utikar, according to company sources.
The company will strongly leverage technology, manufacturing capabilities and skilled labour of its local partners. Besides, due to its geostrategic importance, Turkey will become the company's distribution base to reach markets like Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and West Asia.
These operations will complement the bus supplies from the company’s manufacturing facility at Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE. In addition to this, AVIA Ashok Leyland Motors represents the company’s presence in Europe that makes and markets the popular D-Line series of trucks, according to company sources.
Going forward, ALL also plans to produce 6-metre, 7-8 metre and 11-metre bus chasses for inter-city and intra-city applications and will also develop rear engine buses in partnership with Utikar.
Apart from bus chassis, Ashok Leyland is also likely to export trucks which have capacity in the range of 9 tonne, 16 tonne and 25 tonne with the chasses built locally in Turkey. The trucks will cater to the growing demand for municipal application vehicles. Ashok Leyland also plans to set up a branch office in Turkey to streamline operations there.