Truck maker Ashok Leyland has lined up a series of product launches, including a low-floor bus and a variant of a small truck. Speaking at the companys annual general meeting today, Vinod K Dasari, managing director of Ashok Leyland, said the company had orders for 1,600 low-floor buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.He added the company had filed four patents for its JANBUS, which would be launched in Kolkata on June 30.The companyâ€™s Neptune engine for multi-axle trucks that offered improved fuel performance would be rolled out in the next four months, Dasari said.
He added the big truck segment had shown some recovery in the last couple of months. Compared to the previous year, things are looking better for Ashok Leyland after it corrected inventories with dealers in south India. If you look at inventory overall, there are signs that demand is coming back, Dasari said, pointing out the companys inventory level was around 10 days.I am hoping that sometime in October or November things will improve, he said. In the interim, Ashok Leyland was focussing on other businesses like buses, small trucks, power solutions, spare parts and defence. Exports to the Middle East and Bangladesh are doing well. The company has a large order from the Sri Lankan government.
We want exports and the non-truck business to grow, Dasari said. Ashok Leylands non-truck business contributes around 50 per cent to the companys revenue. Dheeraj G Hinduja, chairman of Ashok Leyland, said the company would continue to focus on material cost reduction, value engineering, faster market response, and an expanded global footprint.He said the company had used the two-year slowdown in truck sales for course correction and improving internal efficiencies.