Ashok Leyland to re-examine business, operating models amid Covid-19 crisis
Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland is re-examining the business and operating models in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, a top official has said. In this direction, the company has taken a series of initiatives for sustainable growth, its chairman Dheeraj G Hinduja said.
The long-term outlook for the commercial vehicle sector continues to remain positive amid the pandemic, he said. With the government taking measures to re-activate the commercial space, Hinduja, addressing the shareholders, said the management has taken the opportunity in the last few months to re-examine the business and operating models without any presumptions.
"On an assessment of the short- and long-term prospects, a series of initiatives has been set in motion to reconfigure the company aimed at sustainable growth while minimising the adverse impact of economic cycles," he said.
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The current market situation is the right time for Indian OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) like Ashok Leyland to move, without inhibition and seek a global position by showcasing the company's manufacturing prowess and demonstrate the products of global standards of quality and reliability, Hinduja said. With the upcoming light commercial vehicle range of products, the company was ready to expand its presence in the country and overseas, he said.
"Another thrust area is the defence sector," he said, adding as one of the largest providers of logistic vehicles to the armed forces, Ashok Leyland would continue to position mobility products and solutions in an accelerated manner. "We should be seeing the benefits of our plans and efforts before long," he said.
On the impact of Covid-19 outbreak, he said the pandemic has caused an debilitating effect on all sectors of the economy. During the pandemic, the situation was managed well with some careful planning, he said, adding that the management made a courageous decision to introduce for the first time a modular truck platform AVTR for medium and heavy range alongside the introduction of BS 6 emission technology.
"Both are individually major technical challenges along with a mandated timeline to be met. It is a proud moment for the company when the design, cost and time targets were achieved indigenously and innovatively," he said.
The company was also ready with in-house developed new light commercial vehicle range but the launch was deferred due to the virus outbreak, he said. "The introduction of the new range of products was expected to be a game-changer," he said.
On the company's launch of electric vehicles, he said Ashok Leyland was making inroads in this segment with buses in the domestic market and through the Optare range of products in London. "We are moving fast in the learning curve in this realm keeping pace with global trends and are poised for major strides soon," he said.