Ashok Leyland Nissan rolls out Dost light commercial vehicle


Chennai: Indian-Japanese commercial vehicle joint venture Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles Friday rolled out its first product “Dost” from Ashok Leyland’s plant in Tamil Nadu’s Hosur.

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Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles is a 51:49 joint venture between the Indian truck major and the Japanese auto firm to produce light commercial vehicles (LCV).

In a statement issued here, the company said commercial launch of Dost will be later this quarter through an exclusive dealer network.

The LCV will be available in three versions with the top-end version featuring air-conditioning, power steering, dual-colour of a beige-gray trim and fabric seats.

The joint venture unveiled the 1.25 tonne Dost in March this year.

Terming the rollout as a very important milestone for Ashok Leyland-Nissant joint venture V. Sumantran, executive vice chairman of parent company Hinduja Automotive Ltd, said: “Dost is the first physical manifestation of our association and a matter of great pride for us as this marks the fruition of a project that started effectively in 2008.”

He said the Indian small commercial vehicle customer is fast evolving and becoming increasingly demanding, apart from fuel efficiency and durability, about other attributes like driveability, power, comfort, safety, loading capacity and even styling.

“Ashok Leyland and Nissan have remained faithful to the vision of joining forces to create value for the Indian business customer. Our aim was to combine our expertise and experience to create high quality, global standard products with affordable technologies, and with relevance to today’s Indian market, said Andy Palmer, executive vice president, Nissan Motors Company and chairman of Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles.

Unveiling the model in March, Sumantran said the second product of the joint venture will be launched by Nissan from its car plant near here.

“Between 2011 and 2013 three vehicles will be launched and exports will begin in 2012. The company will produce components for other manufacturing sites,” Palmer told reporters in March.

During the first three years, Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles will be launching around 150,000 units to be split equally between the two promoters.