The Hinduja Group flagship, Ashok Leyland and Nissan Motor Company have rolled out their first product, the Ashok Leyland Dost, from Ashok Leyland’s Hosur facility. The first production vehicle was symbolically driven out from the dedicated newly commissioned Light Commercial Vehicle line by Dr. V. Sumantran, Executive Vice Chairman, Hinduja Automotive Ltd. and Chairman, Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd. and Dr. Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Company Ltd & Chairman, Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles Ltd. The commercial launch of Ashok Leyland DOST is scheduled later this quarter through a new exclusive dealer network.
Dost is a brand new offering, which in comparison to the products presently available in the SCV (Small Commercial Vehicle) segment, offers its users a new experience and contemporary technology. Designed for a higher payload of 1.25 tonnes, it is equipped with a state-of-the-art 55 hp, 3-cylinder 1.5 litre CRDI engine. This brand-new engine is tuned for fuel economy as well as the drivability and gradeability required for Indian roads, thanks to the Common Rail technology and a substantial torque of 150Nm. Completing the powertrain package is a five-speed manual gear box. Dost’s practicality is further increased by its tight turning circle radius of just 4.8 m, designed to easily negotiate both congested city roads and narrow rural lanes.
The Euro-look cab is roomy, comfortable with superior ergonomics and incorporates an in-built safety structure. The unique Front Transverse leaf suspension blends superior ride quality with high durability. The Load Sensing Proportioning Valve (LSPV) technology measures the weight on the load body and applies the brake force accordingly to ensure stable braking irrespective of whether the vehicle is fully loaded or empty.
Dost will be available in three versions with the top-end version featuring air-conditioning, power steering, dual-colour beige-gray trim and fabric seats. The customer will also have a palette of three colours to choose from: white, beige and blue.
Dr. V. Sumantran, Executive Vice Chairman, Hinduja Automotive Ltd. and Chairman, Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd., “This is a very important milestone in the journey of the Ashok Leyland – Nissan Joint Venture. 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. The Indian SCV 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 and we are confident that Dost has been well engineered to offer him a new level of experience hitherto unavailable in India. We have endeavoured to listen carefully to Indian SCV customers and offer them, with the DOST, our best product.”
Dr. Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motors Company and Chairman, Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles Ltd., commented, “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. Our vision is now becoming a reality with the first Dost coming off the production line. We are confident that DOST, and future products from our partnership with Ashok Leyland, will contribute to the success of many businesses in India.