Ashok Leyland plans to expand LCV business, international operations

An Ashok Leyland truck loaded in IDM Doodle at Chennai Port to Bangladesh

Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland is gearing up to expand its light commercial vehicle business, international operations and defence mobility segment, according to company Chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja.

For the electric vehicle (EV) segment, Ashok Leyland is also looking to tap the proven success of its Optare bus range in the United Kingdom, for other locations as well.

Addressing shareholders in the company's Annual Report 2017-18, Hinduja said there would be a greater focus on cost control, revenue generation and return on capital employed (ROCE) going forward.

"In the years to follow, to sustain the growth momentum and take a great leap forward, your company is gearing to set globally bench-marked standards in reliability and after-market support," he said.

There will be added thrust on cost control, cash generation and ROCE, he added.

"Furthermore, ambitious plans will be rolled out soon to grow the LCV business, international operations and defence mobility even further," Hinduja said.

The company, which sells LCVs like Dost and Partner in the country, also has a wide presence across international markets with footprint in more than 50 countries.

Ashok Leyland is one of the leading suppliers of logistics vehicles to the Indian Army. Its range of products include rapid intervention vehicles, field artillery tractors, light recovery vehicles, water bowsers, truck fire fighters and fuel dispensers.

On EVs, Hinduja said the company plans to leverage on the proven success of its Optare bus range in both developed and emerging markets.

"Your company will leverage on the proven success of the Optare range in the UK to position integrated offerings that straddle developed and emerging markets," Hinduja said.

Bullish on company's growth prospects, he said: "Having performed well in the recent years in the highs and lows of this business, I believe your company is at a striking distance from being among the global majors in the commercial vehicle field with attributes of operational efficiency, cost control, quality and reliability and product innovation."

The Chennai-based company reported record sale of 1,74,873 units in 2017-18, its highest ever dispatch in a financial year.

"It is remarkable that the largest volume growth in the domestic truck sales is from the northern region outpacing our traditional southern stronghold where we continue to be market leaders," Hinduja said.

The company achieved revenue of Rs 26,248 crore and a record profit of Rs 1,563 crore during the last fiscal.

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