Hinduja group flagship Ashok Leyland in joint venture with Nissan rolled out its first light commercial vehicle (LCV) – Dost – at half the envisaged investments in the project, even as both partners are mulling over the possibility of expanding the scope for the JV to make vans.
Ashok Leyland and Nissan had signed three JV agreements, one each for manufacturing, technology and power train essentially covering designing and developing a range of LCVs for India and abroad. The cumulative investments for all three ventures was projected at Rs 2300 crore including the setting up of a greenfield manufacturing unit in Oragadam, near Chennai.
The first LCV –– a 55hp, three cylinder turbo charged common rail direct engine mounted 'Dost' was unveiled on Tuesday. "We will launch the vehicle in a few months from now," Sumantran said.
Agency reports quoted Andy Palmer, senior vice president at Nissan as saying that both partners were exploring the possibility of extending the JV to manufacture multi-purpose vehicles like vans. "One year should be a reasonable period (to launch multi-purpose vehicles )," he said.