Saturday, 23 July 2011

AL-Nissan LCV JV plans two dedicated dealer brands




The light commercial vehicle (LCV) joint venture of Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland and Japanese auto firm Nissan is to set up dedicated dealer network under two brands – Leyland and Nissan to market the and service the products of the company in India.
The joint venture – Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles, which is gearing up for the commercial launch of its much-awaited small commercial vehicle Dost later this quarter, commenced production of Dost out of Ashok Leyland’s Hosur facility on Friday. The JV intends to launch 6-tonne truck and a minivan after the roll-out of its pick-up vehicle.

“The customer profile and their earning systems are different in LCV segment when compared with heavy commercial vehicle segment. As most of them are individual owners or entrepreneurs, they can’t afford to keep the vehicle at service point or out of work for long. Hence we have decided to set up a dedicated dealer network tuned to support the LCV customer’s needs,” Dr V Sumantran, executive vice president, Hinduja Automotive Ltd said.

“Under this dedicated dealer network, we will have Ashok Leyland-branded and Nissan-branded outlets and there won’t be any overlap,” he added.

The JV intends to have 25 outlets during the commercial launch of Dost. These will be called main nodes and under these nodes there will be satellite nodes. The JV intends to ramp up the dealer (main) network to 63 by the end of this year and 100 by next year.

Dost, which is the result of Japanese quality and technology and Ashok Leyland’s frugal engineering capabilities, is Nissan’s first price-centric product and Nissan, a leader in LCV globally, couldn’t have achieved the product alone,” Dr Andy Palmer, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Company said.

With 55 HP high-torque, 3-cylinder turbo-charged common rail direct fuel injection (CRDI) engine, the yet-to-be-priced Dost offers a payload capacity of 1.25 tonnes. Dost will be available in three variants with both BS III and BS IV versions. 

Dost is expected to attract customers in the segment of Tata’s Ace and Mahindra’s Maxximo and Genio. The company seeks to have a production capacity of 55,000 units over the next one and half years.

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