Indian commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland will enter the Russian market with a local partner in a year’s time, a top company official has said, according to Outlook India. He also said the company plans to enter the top 10 global commercial vehicle manufacturer`s club soon.
“We have identified a local assembler in Russia to take our franchise. We will enter the Russian market in next 12 months,” the company’s chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja told reporters on Monday.
According to him, in the new market, the company will have a local partner to obtain tax concessions. Hinduja also said the company is looking at newer overseas markets like Indonesia, Malaysia and other markets apart from Russia.
As a measure to look at newer overseas markets, Ashok Leyland has decided to come out with a left hand drive vehicle for all its new models.
Currently, the company exports to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Middle East, Bhutan, East and West African markets. He said Ashok Leyland is faring better during this downturn as compared to earlier downturn in 2013-14.
“We have gained market share in the bus and medium and heavy commercial vehicle”s segment. Our market share now is 31 per cent. We are also cutting costs,” Hinduja said.
According to the exec, the company had a debt levels of about $1.09 billion during 2013-14 and it has come down to about $326.5 million.
Hinduja said earlier the company was in an investment mode putting money in now-exited joint ventures with John Deere, Nissan and others which was draining cash.
Hinduja said the company saw good potential in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) rolled out by the joint venture with Nissan and bought out the Japanese company’s stake in the venture.