Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ashok Leyland has plans for an Innova-like vehicle

Ashok Leyland
Company working on common platform derived from Nissan van; planning to launch 7-8 seater vehicle in 2 years.

Burgeoning demand for spacious people movers in India has led Ashok Leyland, a medium and heavy truck builder, to plan on developing a utility vehicle to take on the likes of Toyota Innova, India’s largest selling multi-seater personal vehicle.

The Chennai-based company is targeting a medium-powered, seven to eight-seater vehicle. This segment is majorly catered to by Toyota, General Motors, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra.

V Sumantran, executive vice chairman, Hinduja Automotive, said, “The demand for the Innova has defined the overall demand for such vehicles in India. The way people travel has completely changed in India in the past few years. There used to be a Tata Sumo, which got replaced by Toyota’s top-selling Qualis, which eventually made way for the Innova. Today, there is a waiting period for the Innova, which sells close to 5,000 units every month.”

Launched in 2005, the Toyota Innova (price starts at Rs 8.64 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai) has consistently maintained superior demand compared to the competition, despite carrying a premium price tag.

Handicapped by production constraints, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, the Indian subsidiary of Toyota Motors, sold 4,765 units of the Innova last month, a growth of 126 per cent over 2,108 units sold in the same month last year.

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