CHENNAI: Hinduja group flagship Ashok Leyland is working on hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles and a team is currently engaged in developing them, a top official said on Monday.
For the time being, the company would stick to the Rs 750 crore earmarked for taking up the capital expenditure plan this financial year.
"We are working very closely on hydrogen-powered CVs (commercial vehicles) At this point of time, we do not want to talk more about it. We are deeply engaged and a team is currently working on it," Ashok Leyland CEO and MD Vipin Sondhi told reporters.
The company has drawn up plans to roll out CNG-fitted commercial vehicles that are expected to hit the roads during the fourth quarter of this financial year.
Ashok Leyland CFO Gopal Mahadevan, responding to a query on whether the company was would invest more than the Rs 750-crore capex as was announced earlier or whether will look at revising it, said, "I think we will stay with that number (Rs 750 crore) at the moment".
To a query on exports, Sondhi said the company was looking at having a greater play in the African market.
"Our traditional markets have been SAARC, Middle-East, Nepal and Sri Lanka. As we move forward, you will see us having a greater play in Africa. I think the fleet we have is larger, more comprehensive both in left-hand and right-hand drive (markets)," he said.
Expanding into the African market would be crucial, Sondhi said.
He further said the company would look at South-East Asian markets too.
"In Africa, we have laid out a retail distribution channel," he said.
To a query on the used vehicle segment, Mahadevan said the company would use the digital platform in a big way and not just the traditional way of buying and selling a used vehicle.
"What we are going to do is to use digital in a big way in catering to this segment and not just traditional way of buying and selling used vehicles," he said.
To another query on the total debt, Mahadevan said it was Rs 3,112 crore as on date and sequentially about Rs 1,000 crore was reduced on the back of exemplary work done by the management to reduce the debt levels.