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Ashok Leyland would confidently move towards 35% market share in MHCV segments: Hinduja



Chennai, Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland would safely remain above 30 per cent market share in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segments and confidently move towards 35 per cent going forward, a top official said on Tuesday. The company expects to continue its growth in the medium, heavy and light commercial vehicle segments.

The city-headquartered company reported a 61 per cent rise in net profit of Rs 580 crore on the back of robust sales. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 361 crore in the year-ago period.

“The third quarter (of the current financial year) has been the best for Ashok Leyland. Before the start of this financial year we had expected that the medium and heavy commercial vehicle industry will grow at 8-10 per cent. The market has grown by 9 per cent (as of October-December 2023 period). Ashok Leyland has grown by 7 per cent in line with the industry growth and growth in bus segment is at 65 per cent almost twice the industry growth,” Dheeraj Hinduja, the company’s Executive Chairman, said.

The heavy commercial vehicle maker has also improved its market share from 28.2 per cent, last year to 33 per cent now and recently handed over the first set of keys of 14 tonne Boss Electric Trucks to Billion E-Mobility at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo in New Delhi, he said.

“Ashok Leyland is nearing market trials of fully electric 55 tonne AVTAR Tractor Trailers for long haul transport. We have started doing now it in the North and East where there is more headroom to grow,” he said.

The company was also expanding its dealer network and service towards reaching the target of 1,000 from the current 890, he said. On the Light Commercial Vehicle industry, Hinduja said, “The industry has seen a 3 per cent de-growth this year and our (Ashok Leyland) volumes have grown by 2 per cent which has resulted in market share improvement of 1 per cent.” “I am confident with the strength of current and new products backed by continuous expansion of the sales network. We will continue to grow in both LCV and MHCV despite challenging international market conditions. We have managed to stay marginally ahead of the volumes clocked last year,” he said.

Hinduja said the company posted growth in non-commercial vehicle businesses with revenue contributed from spare parts growing more than 30 per cent while volumes in power solutions surged by 40 per cent during the April-December 2023 period.

Revenues from the defence segment also went up by “three and half times” more, over the same period of last year, he said.

“We are on track towards achieving our mid-term goals of product and market share expansion, improving geographical presence and becoming more profitable,” he said.

To a query about the capital infusion into company’s EV arm SWITCH Mobility, Ashok Leyland Managing Director and CEO, Shenu Agarwal said, “the Ashok Leyland Board has approved an equity infusion of Rs 1,200 crore into Optare which is the holding company for Switch India and UK. Out of that Rs 1,200 crore, we have already infused Rs 662 crore in the quarter gone by (October-December 2023). The rest of the amount we will infuse in the next few months in one or more tranches.”

Asked about the new product launches in the coming months, he said the company was close to launching its electric LCVs under the SWITCH brand. “Let me begin with the one we are really very excited about. It is very close to a market launch. I think within the next two to three months, it should see the light of the day. And that is our electric LCVs that will be launched under the SWITCH brand,” Agarwal said.

The company was also close to launching its 55 tonne electric tractor trailer, he added.

Agarwal said the company would come up with a product under the light commercial vehicle segment that will cater to the sub two tonne market segment. “That product is also on the anvil which will be launched sometime in FY25,” he said.

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