Ashok Leyland, the flagship brand of the Hinduja Group, on Wednesday announced bagging orders from major fleets for 1,400 school buses in the UAE, the company’s largest ever supply of school buses in this country.
The total fleet deal worth AED 276 Million (USD 75.15 million) for the GCC-made buses has been bagged by Chennai-based Ashok Leyland’s UAE distribution partners, Swaidan Trading – Al Naboodah Group.
Most of the supplies will be made to Emirates Transport and STS Group, a statement from the company said.
The world’s fourth largest bus manufacturer also said that the 55-seater Falcon bus and 32-seater Oyster bus – will be supplied from Ashok Leyland’s USD 50 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, which is the only certified local bus making facility in the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
Dheeraj Hinduja, Executive Chairman, Ashok Leyland said this is a historic moment for Ashok Leyland in UAE.
“This is a testament to the reliability, durability, and robustness of our buses and reaffirms the faith that our customers have on our buses being the safest for transporting school students,” he said.
“These products are made in the UAE assembly plant. The product concepts originate in the UAE, the designs are done by our engineers in UAE and are assembled in the factory in UAE, with more than 55 percent of parts sourced in UAE.
It will be apt to call it “The Emirati Bus”- Made in UAE, for the GCC,” said Hinduja.
The Ras Al Khaimah plant is a joint venture between Ashok Leyland and the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), UAE, and has an installed capacity of 4,000 buses a year.
Ever since its start in 2008, Ashok Leyland has rolled out 25,500 buses from the plant so far which also exports buses to African countries.
“Our new electric vehicle company, Switch Mobility, based out of the UK, will help us fulfill our aspiration of zero carbon emission transportation.
We see huge opportunities for growth through Switch’s expansion in UAE and the GCC and look forward to launching our electric vehicles in these markets soon,” added Hinduja.
Amandeep Singh, Head- of International Operations said Ashok Leyland is one of the fastest growing brands in the Middle East with a growing market presence in UAE.
“Our lowest total cost of ownership and strong after-sales support differentiates us and has helped us win these orders.
We are excited about the growth we are seeing in the UAE economy and the opportunity it provides. We have aggressive plans to further enhance our portfolio in the Light commercial vehicle space. You will hear from us shortly,” Singh said.
More than 7000 establishments in GCC own an Ashok Leyland product, transporting 1.8 million passengers every day.
Building on the patronage of its customers, the company has expanded its portfolio and launched light commercial vehicles “Partner Truck” and “Gazl Buses”.