Ashok Leyland plans to invest Rs 70 crore to set up Africa unit

Ashok Leyland is going to invest $10 million (about Rs 70 crore) in the west African nation of Ivory Coast to set up an assembling facility, sources said. 


The commercial vehicle (CV) major also inaugurated its office for the western African region at the Ivorian city of Abidjan. 


The company said it might set up a facility in the southern African nation of Zambia. Leyland and Industrial Development Corporation, Zambia, have agreed to jointly evaluate the CV segment there and formulate a business case. Details are being worked out, said a spokesperson, without disclosing any detail. This is part of a global expansion drive at Leyland, second biggest maker of CVs in India.


Presently 24th in global ranking, it aims to be among the top 10 in about nine years. 


One idea had been to set up two assembly units in Africa over the next couple of years. Earlier, company chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said they were looking at both east and west Africa and West. The idea was to create own infrastructure — assembling facilities, distribution network, hiring locals, etc. 


If the volumes were good, the company would look at assembly plants in a “very cost effective manner”, rather than putting up large manufacturing facilities. 

Leyland would be taking on Chinese brands in these markets. 


The company sold 12,301 vehicles in the Middle East, Africa and the South Asian region in 2018-19, according to its annual report.