Ashok Leyland has rolled out Light Commercial Vehicle ‘Dost+’, the improvised version of ‘Dost’ in Bengaluru.

Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of Hinduja Group,  said ‘Dost+’ would address a bigger pie in the LCV segment with superior mileage, excellent pick-up, 18 per cent extra  higher payload, 7 per cent more loading space and bigger and 15-inch tyres. ‘Dost+ starts at Rs 5.68 lakh whereas ‘Dost+’ with AC  starts at Rs 5.98 lakh.

 Nitin Seth, president, Ashok Leyland (LCV), said 70 per cent of the commercial vehicles sold in the world were LCVs whereas in India it was 60 per cent.

 Presently, Ashok Leyland’s market share in India was about 15 per cent. Giving a perspective of Ashok Leyland’s future plans, Seth told reporters that the company ended its partnership with Nissan a year ago so that it could expand rapidly within and outside India.

 “Seventy per cent of the commercial vehicles sold outside India are LCV. Ashok Leyland can expand into global market, which we were not able to do because we were not allowed to do by the joint venture.

 Now, Ashok Leyland can do a much better job in India as well as outside India,” Seth explained. Seth told the gathering that every six months the company would roll out a new vehicle in LCV business so that by next three to four years it can expand its volume to a very big number.

 The company had elaborate plans to rapidly manufacture left-hand drive vehicles to cater to the global need. “We want to make faster left hand vehicles to cater to the global need. That is the work our company is doing in a big way. You should see in the month of January then you can start tracking us how the export is happening. It is not easy to make left hand drive vehicle,” said Seth.

 Seth gave a glimpse of challenges automobile major would face in manufacturing left hand drive vehicle saying that  Russia is minus 40 degree centigrade with snow, Gulf 55 degree with sand. “You cannot sell a vehicle of Russia in Gulf and vice- versa. So you have to make two types of vehicles – one which  will go to Russia and one which will go to the Gulf. I can assure  you the company is on the job,” said Seth.

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