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​Ashok Leyland: The Master of Marketing?

Published On Nov 11, 2016By Mukul Yudhveer Singh

Ashok Leyland has made India proud with its first Deming Prize and the CV brand is leaving no stone unturned in using this laurel as part of its current advertising strategy. Many newspapers today have carried paid advertisements highlighting the ‘firsts’ that Ashok Leyland has introduced in the country. The advertisements cover every feather in Ashok Leyland’s cap starting from India’s first double decker bus to the newly introduced electric bus in the Indian sub-continent.

The occasion is extra-ordinary as the home grown CV maker has become the first from the country to be honoured with the distinguished title. But the fact that Ashok Leyland is the first CV maker outside of Japan to be conferred with the prize, really adds icing to the cake.

While we join the celebrations, let’s have a look at the firsts that Ashok Leyland claims has done for India.

The launch of India’s First Double Decker Bus – Titan

Population in India was growing at a rapid rate after the independence. Most metro cities were flooded with people migrating to urban areas in search of work opportunities. As a result, the authorities were left facing a plethora of problems that included providing ample public transport facilities. Then, in 1967, Ashok Leyland introduced ‘Titan’, the first double decker bus in the country, and the rest, is history.

First Company to Introduce Power Steering and Air Brakes in Commercial Vehicles

People who have driven commercial vehicles, with and without power-steering, know the difference a power-steering makes in handling and safety. Ashok Leyland introduced power steering and air brakes in its range of CVs in 1969 and raised the safety benchmarks by a mile for the other CV brands in India. These CVs were the first in country to have been equipped with air brakes and power-steering.

Tauras - India's First Multi Axle Truck

Though the country started shifting towards multi-axle trucks after 2001, Ashok Leyland had introduced India’s first multi axle truck way back in 1979. Christened Tauras, the truck was ahead of its time but still laid a platform for the upcoming trucks in the Indian market.

Launch of Cheetah, India's First Rear Engine Bus

Bus drivers in India, in the early 1970s, often complained of discomfort while driving due to the heat generated by the engine in the driver’s cabin. Ashok Leyland took notice of the situation and launched Cheetah, India’s first bus with engine located in the rear part. The company claims that the only thing drivers complained about in Cheetah bus was their inability to hear the engine noise!

India’s First Vestibule Bus

With increasing population, the need for bigger public transportation vehicles was also increasing. And as double decker buses had already become a thing of the past, Ashok Leyland in 1982, went one step forward and introduced vestibule buses in the Indian market. This was also a first in the Indian market. Another proof that Ashok Leyland thinks way beyond its competitors and makes moves that are hard to beat.

India’s First CNG Bus - Towards Green India

The year 1997 marked a year where scientists around the globe had started taking global warming seriously. Newspapers, magazines, and social workers were full of negatives against the increased usage of petroleum products. And then came India’s very first CNG bus. Many State governments ordered these buses in the following years and another first from Ashok Leyland got transformed into hot selling cakes.

India's First Hybrid Electric Bus

Ashok Leyland, at Auto Expo 2002 proved that even showcasing what you are capable of can do wonders for your brand. The CV manufacturer showcased India’s first hybrid electric vehicle at the expo and made sure the brand got all the attention it needs.

India's First Hybrid CNG Plug In Buses

The year 2010 could easily be counted as the golden year for Ashok Leyland. It showcased India’s first Hybrid CNG Plug-in bus at the Auto Expo 2010 held in India. The same buses were used later during the Commonwealth Games in India. What a way to market your products!

India's First 37 Tonne Haulage Truck

India was constantly being rated as one of the fastest developing economies in the world. Fleet owners in India needed trucks that could haul more than what existing commercial vehicles in the country could not. So came India’s first 37 tonne haulage truck from Ashok Leyland, U3723.

India's First Euro 6 Truck

Governments across the world are taking serious measures against the grave global warming crisis. Talks of banning commercial vehicles plying for more than 15 years are continuously haunting the truck owners in India. Ashok Leyland took hold of the chaos and showcased Captain 4940 truck in 2016. The truck not only complies with Euro 6 norms but also boosts of ‘Made in India’ tag.

India's first electric Bus

Ashok Leyland recently launched India’s first 100 percent electric bus at an event held in Chennai. The new bus again boosts of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, and appeals as the first completely ‘in India’ designed and developed bus. That sure is going to generate pride in people. Pride to ride ‘Made in India’ Ashok Leyland buses.

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