Ashok Leyland to export left hand drive Partner

Chennai: Commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland Ltd filled up its vehicle portfolio launching two new models on Wednesday of which the light commercial vehicle (LCV) will also be exported.

“We identified two segments where we were historically weak and launched the two new vehicles,” Vinod K. Dasari, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, told reporters here.

He said the company would be launching a new product every quarter for the next two years.

The company launched an upgraded LCV Partner (7.2 tonne gross vehicle weight-GVW) and 13 tonne GVW Guru an intermediate commercial vehicle (ICV).

Ashok Leyland, after buying out Japan’s Nissan Motor Corp’s stake in its LCV joint venture, would be free to ship out its new Partner to overseas markets.

“We will be exporting Partner with left hand drive soon. The left hand drive model will be made soon,” Nitin Seth, President, LCV and Defence, told reporters here after launching the model.

He said the company will be looking at its current overseas markets-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Africa and elsewhere.

According to Seth, the new Partner has a higher payload capacity, a BS-IV engine and an air-conditioned cabin.

“The market size of this segment is around 35,000 units and we would like to capture around 10 per cent of that,” Seth added.

He said the engine technology is from Nissan Motor Corp and Ashok Leyland will be paying some royalty for the same.

Seth said the engine will be made at Ashok Leyland’s plant.

The Partner model comes in two variants-four tyre priced at Rs 10.29 lakh and six tyre (Rs 10.59 lakh).

According to Anuj Kathuria, President, Global Trucks, the ICV segment is one of the company’s key focus areas and Guru will enable the company increase its market share.