Ashok Leyland forays into MPVs
Commercial Vehicles company Ashok Leyland on Tuesday rolled out its first multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) ‘Stile’ in Bangalore, targeting a new market for ‘dual-purpose’ vehicles that cater to both commercial and personal requirements.
The roll-out of the Stile, priced between Rs 7,49,990 and Rs 9,29,990 (ex-showroom, Bangalore) across variants, is a product from the company’s joint venture (JV) with Nissan Motor Company, and will be manufactured at the latter’s plant at Oragadam, near Chennai.
“Ashok Leyland has set a target to sell 1,000 Stile units every month in India, and the MPV may also be exported in the future,” Ashok Leyland Executive Director (LCV and Defence) Nitin Seth said, adding that the company is aiming to increase the number of dealerships from the present 125 to 200 by March 2014.
On investments, he said, “Presently, the Ashok Leyland-Nissan JV has an investment of Rs 1,200 crore and we have envisaged a future investment layout going up to Rs 2,500 crore. The ‘Dost’ (mini truck) was launched under this pact last year, which is followed by the Stile this year. We will be launching a new truck format called ‘Partner’ in January next year.”
Seth mentioned that Ashok Leyland does not plan to launch cars, though there are ideas to bring in some of Nissan’s popular van formats to India.
“We believe we are a company that builds ‘people-carrying vehicles’, rather than cars. With the booming utility vehicle market at 43,000 units per month, we hope to make the most of it with good products” he added.