Riding on demand for its light commercial vehicle (LCV) 'Dost', Ashok Leyland expects Gujarat sales to grow at a 20-25 per cent rate especially ahead of the festive season. Rise in diesel prices is unlikely to be a dampener.
Viplav Shah, regional manager, west zone, Ashok Leyland, said "We have sold 2050 'Dosts' in Gujarat so far since it was launched here in October 2011. We started with just two dealerships, at Surat and Rajkot, and have now expanded our reach to Ahmedabad and Vadodara. In January we were selling 100 units per month, and now it has scaled up to 325 units per month."
Nationally, Ashok Leyland has so far sold 20,479 units of 'Dost', the 2.5 tonne truck that has been jointly developed by Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor Company, garnering a 31 per cent market share in the the eight states in operates in ( Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa).
"The 2-3.5 tonne commercial vehicle market is clocking a healthy growth rate, and with good rains in the last couple of weeks combined with the festive buying season ahead, we are expecting to record healthy sales in Gujarat", Shah said adding that sales in Gujarat is likely to grow by 20-25 per cent.
The 'Dost' is manufactured at the company's Hosur plant in Tamil Nadu where the LCV line is expected to ramp up to peak production of 55,000 units in the next financial year.
Meanwhile, the company is putting up an exclusive LCV plant at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, but that is expected to be operational only after two years.
As the demand for the 'Dost' is growing at a rapid rate, and given our production constraints at the Hosur plant, we have decided to concentrate on the eight states where we currently sell the model and hold back entry into new states, Shah explained.
Light commercial vehicles are faring better compared to medium and heavy vehicles. Shah said that while the load segments are bigger volume segments, however, they have actually seen de-growth.