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Ashok Leyland to launch LCV variants

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Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland would soon launch variants of its light commercial vehicles (LCV) to address different market segments, said a senior company official here Thursday.

“We will be launching variants to our existing LCVs, targeting different segments. The LCV segment is marked by high volumes with low margins,” said vice chairman V. Sumantran after launching two new vehicles.

He said the two new LCVs – truck Partner and bus MiTR – would fill the void in the company’s product line up.

The two models are the outcome of Ashok Leyland’s joint venture with Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Company.

Sumantran said the joint venture agreement signed in 2007 is progressing strongly and there are no “seven-year itches” for the partners.

He said the other vehicles rolled out under the joint venture are goods carrier Dost and passenger carrier Stile.

According to Sumantran, the local content in these vehicles is around 97 percent.

Speaking about the industry trend, he said 10 years ago the share of LCV in the total commercial vehicles market was around 40 percent and now it is around 68 percent.

Though the LCV sales volumes have dropped now, the economic growth story of India is intact and the demand would pick up, he asserted.

Sumantran said the company would showcase at the ensuing Auto Expo in New Delhi a tipper model of its LCV Dost, a school bus variant of the MiTR and a slider door variant of its truck Captain.

He said Partner is an air-conditioned LCV goods carrier aimed to provide better driver comforts. The gross vehicle weight (GVW) is 6.6 tonnes and is targeted at operators carrying perishables, consumer durables and others.

The vehicle comes with two wheel base sizes and the price ranges around Rs.889,000-Rs.919,000, ex-showroom Chennai.

The 26+1+1 MiTR bus is priced at Rs.12.49 lakh.

According to Sumantran, the company would also look at overseas markets like the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia for the two new vehicles.

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