Ashok Leyland on Monday launched new variants of intermediate commercial vehicle (ICV) GURU 1010 and a medium duty vehicle (MDV) Boss 1616 and 1916.
While GURU 1010 is 10 tonne gross vehicle weight (gvw) , Boss will come in 16 and 19 tonne gvw. The company is betting on providing better profitability to the customer with the new variants by providing better operational efficiency in terms of driver comfort and fuel efficiency.
Commenting on the launch, Anuj Kathuria, president, Global Trucks, Ashok Leyland, said, “Demand for ICV trucks has improved by 30% year-on-year (y-o-y) so far while the overall industry grew by 15%. With the launch of GURU and Boss, we have bridged the gap in our range.”
For the 10 months from April to January, the commercial vehicle segment growth stood at 23% y-o-y at 8,10,853 units. The commercial vehicle segment was faring well until October with M&HCV segment growing at 12% y-o-y at 27,571 units and LCV growing at 32% y-o-y at 55,593 units.
However, in November, the growth took a reverse trend with M&HCV de-growing at 19% y-o-y and LCV at 18% y-o-y. The tipper segment was relatively unaffected on the back of road construction, affordable housing, irrigation projects and government spending on infrastructure projects. For December, M&HCV segment declined by 25% while LCV grew by 6% y-o-y.
Umesh Revankar, managing director, Shriram Transport, observes that while axle load norms is one of the reasons for the slowdown in demand, major factor is the liquidity crunch that has hit the real estate sector.
With the slowdown of real estate and infrastructure, steel, cement and sand demand has come down too. These are the bulk materials and slowdown in their movement automatically drags down the vehicle utility.
However, Kathuria said that axle load norms has had an impact not on the volumes but on the type of vehicle which people are buying. “Post axle load norms, since the payload has increased, so instead of buying A 14 wheel vehicle, the customer is now preferring to buy 12 wheel vehicle. So there is a segmental shift. But whether it is a 12 wheel or 14 wheel vehicle, it will still count as one,” Kathuria added.