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On Backdrop of New Deals, Ashok Leyland Envisions Stronger Defence Role

Published On Apr 11, 2016By Prashant Talreja

Ashok Leyland has long dominated the local heavy duty sector. However, a recent trend indicates that the company is now making vast progress into the defence area. Just recently, the firm had signed a deal with the Defence Ministry worth nearly INR 800 crores. The auto maker is actively developing equipment for this area, including Field Artillery Tractor (FAT) machines, 4x4 armoured vehicles and ambulances.

Regarding the recent order that they had received, Nitin Seth, President – LCV & Defence, Ashok Leyland, said, “We plan to execute this order in the next two years. As far as the stallions are concerned, we were only making 4x4 all this while. Now, the Ministry wants us to make 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10, on tender basis. Stallion is a regular business for us.” He added, “During the tender process, we emerged as the leader winning 12 out of 14 bids. We have cleared the trials and emerged the best and cheapest.”

According to Seth, the company's plant at Hosur would play a pivotal role in its defence business. The firm is planning to boost the efficiency of this plant, by increasing the number of workers. To further enhance its performance in this relatively new area, the company is also looking to join hands with more known players, including Lockheed Martin and SAAB. Recently, Ashok Leyland had initiated a partnership with Lockheed Martin, which it hopes to gain technological benefits from. “We hope the bidder will be announced in the next two-three years. We have long-term plans for these light armoured vehicles. The Indian Army is in dire need of these vehicles. So, we hope to receive major orders,” Seth said.

Apart from arming the domestic defence front, the firm is also envisioning a more active role in overseas markets.

See Also:

Ashok Leyland Reports 31% Sales Growth for March

Deutsche Bank Holds 'Buy' Rating on Ashok Leyland, Forecasts Continued Growth for Industry

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