To accelerate light commercial vehicle (LCV) exports from just 5% to over 20-22% over the next two to three years, Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland is developing left hand drive LCVs for markets such as Middle East, CIS and West Africa, among others, a top official of the company said on Monday.
The first set of left hand drive LCVs is expected to be ready by January 2018 for exports, the company's president (LCV) Nitin Seth said on the sidelines of the launch of its new LCV -- DOST+ -- in Hyderabad.
"Currently, we export right hand drive LCVs to SAARC countries but are now working on left hand drive vehicles to export to new geographies such as Gulf, West Africa and CIS. These are developed markets and we feel there is a good potential for business. Over the next two to three years, we plan to increase our exports to 20-22% from 5%," Seth explained.
Speaking about the LCV market (2.5-7.5 tonne segment) in the country, Seth pointed out that it has been growing at 20% in the past five to six months. The growth momentum is expected to continue as post GST, a lot of organisations will consolidate their warehouse presence in the country due to which more number of LCVs will be in demand to carry goods, he explained. Meanwhile, speaking about the launch of its new LCV, Seth said, "With more than 1.7 lakh DOSTs already serving the Indian markets today, this brand is already a success for Ashok Leyland. With DOST+, we are extending the trust and reliability of the brand to the upper segment of LCVs."
He also pointed out that this is the first vehicle to be launched after Ashok Leyland completed the acquisition of Nissan Motor Co Ltd's stake in the LCV business joint venture and the company plans to introduce new models every six months to cater to the fast growing LCV market in the country.