Ashok Leyland's new vehicle factory inaugurated in UAE

The factory was inaugurated by Sheikh Saud Bin Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone. The function was attended by UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nayahan, RAKIA Chief Executive Officer Khater Massaad, Hinduja Group Chairman Srichand P Hinduja and other dignitaries from the Hinduja Family and senior management of Ashok Leyland.

The facility, which is UAE's first vehicle factory, was dedicated by the RAK ruler at another event that closely followed the inauguration, where he also launched the AVIA range of trucks manufactured by Ashok Leyland's Czech venture, AVIA Ashok Leyland Ltd.

These vehicles will soon start rolling out from the RAK facility. The launch models for the market are the D75-140, a 7.5-tonne truck powered by a 140-hp engine, and the D120-180 (12-tonne, 180-hp engine), with wheel base options.

"For the Hinduja Group, this event is an important step in reinforcing our presence in the Middle East," said Srichand P Hinduja.

"The support and cooperation that we have received from His Highness and the officials for getting this factory up and running has been overwhelming and it is our goal to make this a benchmark manufacturing facility in the world," he added.

Ashok Leyland Managing Director R Seshasayee said: "This facility is an important building block in our quest to be a global player. "Ashok Leyland has enjoyed a dominant position in the popular bus market of the Gulf region and therefore, it was only natural for us to set up a manufacturing base closer to our customers. This facility will not only cater to the growing markets in GCC, but also to African and... European markets too. This new facility will be a great fillip to the local economy," said Massaad.

"It will provide more employment opportunities, world-class vehicles and the 'Made-in-RAK' tag will surely find great acceptance in the local markets, which will in turn help the economy grow.

"Occupying over 100,000 square meters of land with a built up area of 20,000 sq metres, the vehicle factory is a world-class facility with an initial annual production capacity of 2,000 buses and trucks per annum.

There are two separate weld lines that can handle multiple models, a conveyorised paint line consisting of a paint booth, baking zone and cooling zone; two conveyorised trim lines and an extremely flexible vehicle assembly line suitable for current and prospective models, all supported by modern facilities to test multiple product features.

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