India's leading commercial vehicles manufacturer Ashok Leyland will be renamed Hinduja Motors, a long time after the Hinduja group took ownership of the company in early 1987. However, when the change will occur is not clear yet and we expect this to happen very shortly. This is a big turnaround of sorts as the name bears historic significance.
Some news from Ashok Leyland-
Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland on 28th August unveiled plans to introduce a new range of vehicles that will replace its entire product line by 2012-13. The company’s ‘UNITRUCK’, the modular truck range with a capacity of 16-49 tons, would be introduced from 2010. It would be designed to address the needs of developing as well as developed markets.
The company would introduce a new family of 6-cylinder engines labelled ‘Neptune’ and ‘NEWGEN’ cabs. “The UNITRUCK range reflects our global ambitions. With higher power-to weight ratio, and superior cab ergonomics, the trucks will conform to European standards, and will spearhead our entry into developed markets, with competitive advantages in costs,” Seshasayee said.
The new range would conform to Bharat Stage (BS)-3, BS-5 and Euro-4 emission norms. Ashok Leyland will offer products at a lower price point for the developed markets. The price advantage of developing the products here would be in the region of 1:4, Seshasayee said. Stating that there would not be much difference in power train, mobility requirements and emission norms between developing and developed markets in the future, he said that several features including driver comfort needs to be customised. Ashok Leyland is targeting a 15% share in revenues from exports in the next 5 years, which would be through organic growth. It wants the share of exports in turnover to go up, which could be achieved through acquisitions.
Ashok Motors was setup in 1948 for the assembly of Austin cars in Chennai(then Madras).The Company's destiny and name changed soon with equity participation by British Leyland and Ashok Leyland commenced manufacture of commercial vehicles in 1955. Since then Ashok Leyland has been a major presence in India's commercial vehicle industry with a tradition of technological leadership, achieved through tie-ups with international technology leaders and through vigorous in-house R&D.