Commercial vehicle (CV) manufacturer and flagship company of the Hinduja Group, Ashok Leyland, is planning to set up a new production facility near Chennai.
The new plant, which is expected to be ready in three years, will support the growing domestic demand and anticipated export demand, V Sumantran, executive vice chairman of Hinduja Automotive, said. The greenfield plant would cater to the demand for its recently launched LCV (light commercial vehicle), Dost, and two other LCV platforms- Stile and Partner.
Addressing the media at the launch of ‘Dost’ here on Thursday, Sumantran said the company was also planning to launch a variant of the three LCV platforms every six months. It would also launch Nissan’s NV 200 under the brand Evalia, being designed on its Stile platform, during this calendar year. The company will reinforce the custom vehicles segment like ambulance, refrigerated carriers and containers. It has already tied up with some automobile body builders for making customised vehicles, he said. It has proposed a capex of Rs 2,400 crore for the projects, including for the new plant for the LCVs, he said.
The market size of LCVs in India is currently estimated to be 380,000 units a year, which is growing 20 per cent year-on-year. The bigger truck segment, whose size is estimated to be 290,000 lakh units, is growing at nine per cent.
“We have 22 per cent market share in the LCV segment in the six states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra — where we operate. Nationally, our market share is about 10 per cent in the LCV segment. The demand for LCVs is increasing, and will likely account for more than 57 per cent of the total commercial vehicle demand,” he said.
The company has sold over 5,000 units of Dost and will soon unveil its CNG (compressed natural gas) version.