Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group, announced the beginning of construction of its bus assembly plant at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh with an initial investment of 170 crore. The company, which is the fourth-largest bus manufacturer in the world, will assemble 16 buses per day taking the total to 4,800 buses per annum in the next 12 months.
The greenfield factory will be the first Ashok Leyland plant in Andhra Pradesh and is situated in Model Industrial Park, Mallavalli Village in Krishna district. The company has two manufacturing plants — Trichy in Tamil Nadu and Alwar in Rajasthan. According to Vinod K Dasari, MD and CEO, the plant will be spread over 75 acres, and will include latest technologies to deliver the high-quality standards of the brand.
“Our bus business contributes about 25% of our total sales volume and we are looking at more opportunities for supply of electric buses,” he said. The company recently won an order from the Ahmedabad Bus Rapid Transit System for supply of 40 electric buses.
“The plant, once fully completed, would be able to produce 4800 buses per annum and would also have a state-of-the-art learning center and an advanced service training center. The setting up of this plant will help increase the skill level of the employable workforce in the state, and will have the potential to employ over 5,000 employees,” he said.
While it will have the capability to make the entire range of buses of the brand, the facility will also include an electric vehicle (EV) development centre comprising of a futuristic conveyor line, pilot assembly line and prototype development. It will be a completely green facility, with rooftop solar panels, LED lighting, battery-operated vehicles for in-plant movement, positive water balance and zero discharge.