Ashok Leyland Eyes 30%c Share in Domestic CV Mkt in 3-4 Years - The New Indian Express

Ashok Leyland Eyes 30%c Share in Domestic CV Mkt in 3-4 Years

Published: 05th February 2014 01:04 PM

Last Updated: 05th February 2014 01:04 PM

With a new range of products completing its commercial vehicles (CV) portfolio, Hinduja flagship firm Ashok Leyland is aiming for about 30 per cent of the market share in India in the next three to four years.

The company that has been reporting losses for the past three quarter also expects to break even in the ongoing quarter while becoming profitable in the next financial year as it sees improvement in demand for its commercial vehicles.

Besides, it is also looking to expand its global footprints by entering new markets in Middle East, Africa, ASEAN region, East Europe, Russia and Latin America. It may also consider setting up assembly plants, most probably in Africa as part of its international expansion programme.

"Today, we have a market share of about 25 per cent in India. Our focus is to continue to grow it further and the target is to take it to about 30 per cent in the next three to four years," Ashok Leyland Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja told PTI.

The total domestic commercial vehicles sales stood at 6,87,230 units in 2013 as against 8,13,821 units in 2012, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

He said the company hoped to be able to achieve its target on the back of new products, focus on increasing sales and service network besides offering quality back up to its customers.

"We have a complete range of commercial vehicles, while Dost (light commercial vehicle) has already started paying dividends, the other newer products will also start doing the same in the next six to nine months," Hinduja said.

The other new products include passenger carrier Stile from its joint venture with Nissan, light commercial vehicle Partner, intermediate commercial vehicle Boss and new series of medium and heavy CV, Captain.

Commenting on the CV market, he said for Ashok Leyland December and January were better from the previous 20 months during which the CV segment has been on a downslide.

"February is also looking good...while the fundamentals have not changed for the CV industry, for us we are seeing better demand for our vehicles," he said.

When asked if this could help in turning around the financial performance of the company, Hinduja said: "With the uptick in market, we are hopeful of break-even in this ongoing quarter.

Also, with the benefit of our new products expected to come going forward, in the new financial year we should be profitable."

He also said the company has completed its various cost cutting measures, including voluntary retirement scheme, but it will continue to have 5-day production schedule till the time the market improved.

Commenting on exports, Hinduja said: "Our aim is to increase the contribution of exports to 20 per cent of our business from the current 10 per cent in the next three to four years. We have been exporting only buses, we are planning to export truck as well."

On new global markets, he said: "Africa has a large potential, so is Middle East. Other markets like Russia, East Europe, Latin America, ASEAN countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand also offer good opportunities."

When asked if the company could consider setting up assembly plants in the new global markets, as it has done in Ras Al Khaimah in UAE for buses, he said: "That's a possibility. We would need such a facility if we have to address large volume."

While he did not specify which country could it be, Hinduja said it could be in Africa, where countries such as Ghana and Nigeria offer good opportunity to serve as a hub for supplying to other neighbouring countries.

All these plans, according to him are part of strategy for the company's stated aim announced in 2011 of becoming a top 10 global truck maker and top 5 bus manufacturer in a 5-10 years horizon.

When asked if the company will make fresh investments, he replied in the negative saying the company has invested about Rs 5,500 crore on product development and capacity creation and it would not be requiring further large spendings.

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