After three years of joint working, Ashok Leyland Nissan vehicles, the 50:50 JV between ALL and Nissan Motor, has unveiled its first light commercial product, “Ashok Leyland Dost”. The 1.25 tonne payload capacity vehicle is to hit the market in the second quarter of 2011-12. The vehicle will not bear Nissan logos.
It’s not only the car segment but also the LCV segment which is facing the heat of immense competition with more players launching new models. Tata was the first to launch the Ace in the light truck segment followed by Piaggio, Mahindra and Force. Now, India’s second largest truck maker, Ashok Leyland has also introduced their new product DOST in the LCV segment which will compete with Force Trump 40 and Tata’s Super Ace.
Powered using a 3-cylinder turbocharged CRDI engine, it produces 55hp and is offered in three variants – a base model with manual steering, a mid model with power steering and a top-end model hosting luxuries like air conditioning, power steering and attractive dual tone interiors.
Both BS3 and BS4 versions of the mini truck will be sold.
Official Press Release -
The Hinduja Group flagship, Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor Company today unveiled their first Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) – the Ashok Leyland DOST. The product will be launched to the market, as indicated earlier, in the second quarter of FY 2011-2012. The ‘Ashok Leyland DOST’ will be produced in Ashok Leyland’s Hosur manufacturing plant.
Powered by a specially-developed, 55 hp high-torque, 3-cylinder, turbo-charged Common Rail Diesel engine, the vehicle has a payload capacity of 1.25 Tonnes. Reflecting the growing expectations of the Indian LCV customer, the Ashok Leyland DOST will be available in 3 versions: a base version with manual steering, a mid version with power steering and a higher version which will have dual tone interiors, power steering and AC. The vehicle will be available in both BSIII and BSIV versions.
Mirroring the evolution of the entire Indian car and light truck market, the Small Commercial Vehicle segment (vehicles less than 3.5 Tonnes) has been witnessing a perceptible upward shift in terms of features, performance and payload and the Ashok Leyland DOST has been positioned as a contemporary, powerful yet highly efficient product. With the hub-and-spoke model fast gaining ground, it is well-placed to ride the robust demand for vehicles making last-mile deliveries. The Ashok Leyland DOST will be available through a newly developed LCV exclusive network to give customers a new level of experience.
“The Indian market is rapidly evolving and customer expectations are growing. We believe that the LCV segment is ready for a substantial upgradation of products that yet offer low cost of ownership. The Ashok Leyland DOST, with its carefully calibrated design and features, attempts to offer a new level of experience to the Indian customer,” said Dr. V. Sumantran, Executive Vice Chairman, Hinduja Automotive Ltd. and Chairman, Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd. “Its design reflects the philosophy of both partners: blending the long traditions of quality and comfort of Nissan with the proven record of rugged reliability and fuel efficiency of Ashok Leyland,” he elaborated.
Dr. Andy Palmer, Senior Vice-President, Nissan Motor Company and Chairman, Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles Ltd., said, “The product blends the best in terms of Japanese engineering from Nissan, with local relevance that Ashok Leyland brings to the table. It represents a very attractive value proposition to the small and medium businesses that it is targeted at and we are confident that it will find wide acceptance when launched.”
About the Hinduja Group -
Hinduja Group is an investment and banking group with a diversified global portfolio of holdings across the manufacturing services and banking sectors. The Group, founded by Shri P.D. Hinduja in 1914 has activities across three core areas: Investment Banking, International Trading and Global Investments. It also supports charitable and philanthropic activities across the world through the Hinduja Foundation. As part of its Global investments, the Group owns businesses in Automotive, Information Technology, Media, Entertainment & Communications, Banking & Finance, Infrastructure Project Development, Chemicals & Agri business, Energy, Real Estate, Trading and Healthcare. www.hindujagroup.com.