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Achieving High Mileage

The company has been building on the success of its current LCV range on which a suite of products in a new platform is currently being readied for the April 2020 launch

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Considering the ever-changing market dynamics and increasing competitive pressures, it was a milestone for Ashok Leyland to join the ranks among the world’s top 10 medium and heavy truck manufacturers. It also achieved the high point of being ranked among the top 5 bus makers in the world. 

In FY19, despite the dampening effect of revision in axle load norms and non-banking financial company (NBFC) liquidity crisis, it sold 131,936 Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (M&HCV) in the domestic market and registered an increase of 13.2 per cent over the previous year. Within this, the company also attained a market leadership in the 4x2 haulage segment, alongwith a 40 per cent share. In the bus segment, it witnessed a significant rise in its market share in southern India. Similarly,  it also sustained its leadership position in the private medium duty segment. In the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment, the record sale of 54,508 vehicles made an impressive 26 per cent surge over the previous year with the market share gains in each of its product segments, as per its annual report. Last fiscal, the company moved up from 37th to 34th position among India’s Best Brands, thereby validating some of its corporate and market promotion initiatives.

Moving ahead, FY21 is a period for all the players to get ready for BS-VI launch by 1 April 2020. Unlike global majors, Indian players too are gearing up to leapfrog from BS-IV to BS-VI in just 3 years. This is a steep challenge for both OEMs and the ancillary sector. “In this regard, I am pleased to confirm that our state of readiness is next to none in emission conformance and fuel performance. Concurrently, we are also rolling out our Modular Vehicle Programme that enhances flexibility to meet customer needs in a cost efficient way,” said the company’s Chairman, Dheeraj G Hinduja. 

The company has been building on the success of its current LCV range on which a suite of products in a new platform is currently being readied for the April 2020 launch, Hinduja informed. The company is geared up for its electric vehicle strategy and rollout plan. A competent team was put in place last fiscal to pursue this thrust area vigorously, he added. 

The auto sector faced one of its worst years in 2019. But in fiscal 2018-19, the Commercial Vehicle (CV) market in India posted a growth of 18 per cent YoY in total industry volume (TIV). This was driven by a 19 per cent growth in LCV volume and a 15 per cent growth in the M&HCV segment. The exports of CV grew by only 3 per cent over the last year that was driven by a 27 per cent growth in M&HCV Trucks. Other segments showed decline over the last year, it said. But all that was till July 2019. In the weeks and months after that, the auto sector saw its sales nosedive -- be it the passenger vehicle (PV) side of the business or the CV business. 

In the third-quarter numbers posted earlier in February 2020, Ashok Leyland showed the state of affairs in the vehicles market. Its revenues dipped 37 per cent on the back of lower volumes, along with an 11 per cent drop in realisations. It said, an adverse product mix, coupled with high discounts dented the operating profit margins.   

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