Hinduja Group's flagship company Ashok Leyland on Monday announced the launch of 'Dost +', a light commercial vehicle (LCV) from its stable which will be out in a phased manner starting with Telangana.
Viewed as an important game changer in the country's commercial vehicle market, the new LCV targets the upper-end of the small commercial vehicle space in the 2-3.5 tonne segment, according to the company.
Its new product launch comes at a time the LCV sales in India grew 20 per cent in the first five months of the current financial year, while there was a corresponding 20 per cent dip in medium to heavy vehicle sales volumes.
"There is a headroom for further growth of LCV segment in India in line with the global trend. We want to grow and establish ourselves as a full-fledged player with multiple models targeting each addressable segment in LCV space. That is reason why we had acquired the LCV business from our JV partners," Nitin Sethi, president, LCVs at Ashok Leyland, told Business Standard.
While the medium to heavy commercial vehicle market undergoes periodic cycles of growth and slowdown in terms of sales volumes, LCVs can help hedge against such business volatilities as this segment always remain stable, according to Sethi.
With more than 1.7 lakh DOSTs already serving in the markets today, this brand is already a runaway success for Ashok Leyland, he says. "With 'DOST +'joining the family, we are extending the trust and reliability of this brand to the upper segment of LCVs," he said.
Ashok Leyland currently enjoys a 40 per cent market share in the LCV segment on the back of existing DOST and Partner models, accounting for 25 per cent of the sales volumes across all the vehicle segments of the company, according to him.
Sethi also believes that the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) would give a boost to LCVs, albeit of higher tonnage, as these vehicles are suitable for the hub and spoke distribution channels.
The new version of LCV comes with 18 per cent higher payload, more loading space among other new features, adding more value to every trip made, ensuring higher earnings. 'DOST +' is designed to address various transport applications to extract a wider appeal to both the urban market customers who have to navigate city streets regularly and the semi-urban and rural customers.