Ashok Leyland to counter slowdown with new LCVs

Written by R Ravichandran | Chennai | Updated: Oct 11 2013, 17:15pm hrs
Ashok Leyland on Thursday said it would not offer discounts, incentives or any kind of subvention to offset slowdown blues in the light commercial vehicles (LCV) segment, but rather beat the trend with a slew of new LCV launches.

Despite challenging times and a 12% degrowth in our LCV segment in September 2013 (Dost is the only LCV), the company will stick to its no discounting policy and as such it has lined up a slew of new vehicles, including the latest Stile, a seven seater multi-purpose vehicle, Ashok Leyland vice-chairman V Sumantran said. The current slowdown in the CV industry is a cyclical one and hope next fiscal will be much better, he added.

We are not sure how the ongoing festival season would have an impact on the overall CV industry and in particular LCV industry as the recent Onam festival failed to bring in the necessary excitement. However, farmers happiness on their yields tell us that things are looking up on the CV front.

The companys LCV sales for the first six months declined by 12% to 14,021 units, compared with 15,913 units in the same six months period last fiscal. The LCV segment started seeing decline in growth from May onwards and the company hopes to end the current fiscal with a near flat growth over last years 37,000 units. We believe our MPV Stile will give us the necessary sales push and we hope to sell 500 to 1,000 units a month, executive director (LCV & defence) Nitin Seth said.

He said, We felt slow down was the right time for us to launch products and accordingly lined up CNG version of Dost (now only in Delhi), Dost Express (a 13-seater passenger vehicle) by October-end and Dost Ambulance by November-end.