Ashok Leyland to invest big money

Commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland is planing to invest around Rs 2,000 crore over the next two years


Company managing director R Seshasayee said in 2009-10 capex incurrence was Rs 810 crore and investments in JVs were at Rs 142 crore. Going forward, over the next two years, planned capex incurrence would be Rs 1,200 crore and investments in JVs around Rs 800 crore.

The developmental activity for all the joint ventures are on schedule, he said, adding the first batch of light commercial vehicle products as part of the JV with Nissan Motor Company would roll out by early 2011. 

The JV with John Deere for the construction equipment business is also on track with pilot production set to commence at its new manufacturing facility at Goomdipoondi, near here, from October 2010 and products are set to roll out by early 2011.  

Seshasayee said, “The future appears promising. Though macro-economic indicators are positive, there are issues of rising fuel and raw material prices. In October, the migration to superior emission norms will happen and we are ready with the products and the technology to improve our market share.” 

Ashok Leyland is planning to introduce 25 models over the next 18 months. “While one may not expect the around 30 per cent-plus growth levels witnessed in 2009-10, we are optimistic of a healthy growth at over 15 per cent for the commercial vehicle industry in this fiscal,” said Seshasayee.

With the recently inaugurated manufacturing facility at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, the company’s annual installed capacity will now be 150,500 vehicles.

The new chassis and bus assembly plant at Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, has already begun production and, at full capacity, can roll out 2,000 buses. These products, which will eventually also include trucks, will be manufactured to cater to the neighbouring Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) and African markets.