Ashok Leyland has taken a significant step towards achieving its goal of becoming a top-10 commercial vehicle (CV) company globally, with new Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) products under the 'BADA Dost' brand. The company has invested around Rs 350 crore in a new platform, from which one new product will be launched every three months for the next 2-2.5 years, for the both global and domestic markets.
The CV major has said that LCV will be one of the three major levers to drive company's future growth.
This will be the first platform completely designed and launched by Ashok Leyland after the company broke its JV with Nissan few years back.
Dheeraj Hinduja, chairman, Ashok Leyland, said the launch is an important milestone to achieve the firm's vision of becoming a top-10 global player in the CV industry. He noted that 70 per cent of the global CV industry is LCV today.
Hinduja said the new products will help the firm increase its addressable market to 65 per cent from 34 per cent currently.
BADA Dost will be added to Ashok Leyland's current LCV range, which includes Dost, Mitr and Partner. These three brands currently compete with 42 brands in the domestic and global markets.
Of the total sales, in term of volumes, today LCV accounts nearly 40 per cent and the company expects the pie to increase considering Medium High Commercial Vehicle (M&HCV) is currently under pressure and on the other side LCV as a market is growing.
Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO of Ashok Leyland added, the all new BadaDost will be available in two variants -- 2.99T GVW and 3.49 GVW -- and is the first product to be based on the new platform. "It will be a global offering and will spawn ICE and an electric.
The new platform will help the company to expand the global market considering the new vehicles will now be available in both right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive options, enabling the company to look at international markets more aggressively. He estimates, the markets, including Africa, Asia, Gulf etc., which the company target is estimated to be around 800,000 units.
Nitin Seth, COO, Ashok Leyland, said that a decade back LCV accounted for 35-40 per cent of country's overall CV sales in India, and later rose to 70 per cent in line with global trend. Under Covid, LCV makes up 86 per cent of overall CV sales, though it is not a sustainable. Seth expects it will touch around 70-75 per cent. Today, the LCV market in India is around 500,000 units.
The current demand is largely driven by e-commerce and rural markets, said Seth, adding that of the total LCV sales in the country 60 per cent comes from e-commerce, vegetable transportation and small goods transportation.
On launching electric vehicle, Hinduja said the vehicle is ready and the launch will be based on Government policy, customer base, and charging stations. Seth added that the CNG version will be ready in 8-12 months and will be launched at NCR initially.