The Ashok Leyland Bada Dost LCV was launched a day ago. It is available right now with a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder diesel engine that makes 80hp power and 190Nm torque. There is also a 5-speed manual transmission in the works. On the sidelines of the Bada Dost LCV, Express Drives had a virtual chat with Nitin Seth, COO, Ashok Leyland. Nitin confirmed that the Bada Dost electric is in the works. Phoenix Platform, on which the Bada Dost is based, is capable of churning out EV variants too, added Nitin. He further said, “We will launch the EV version when the market is ready and will announce this in due course of time.” For the record, in a staggering 24 months the Bada Dost was developed whereas, it usually takes 36 months for any new platform or product development.
The Bada Dost platform carries no legacy and is all-new. Nitin said that Bada Dost will be initially launched in RHD configuration. To address international markets, we will be launching in LHD configuration very shortly. The vehicle will be homologated to meet the requirements of specific markets. The vehicle is already package protected for a whole range of international markets, both RHD and LHD. Bada Dost is launched in the 2.49 and 3.49-tonne gross vehicle weight (GVW) categories.
We checked with Nitin if the Bada Dost will cannibalise sales of the older model. He said that the newer LCV has a higher tonnage capacity and hence will not eat into the sales of the Dost. We also asked about the warranty as well as service packages. Nitin mentioned that the warranty costs is one of the lowest in the industry due to the least defect in our range of products, whereas the details of the service are available at our dealerships.
The Bada Dost will be built at the company’s new Hosur plant. It is likely that the upcoming electric version too will be made here.
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