Ashok Leyland Limited (ALL), the Hinduja group flagship, has commercially launched Dost – its first entry in India’s fast expanding LCV segment. It also marks the first vehicle to be launched from their Joint Venture with Nissan Motor Company. Competitively priced at Rs. 3.79 lakhs to 4.39 lakh (ex-showroom - Chennai), Dost will be sold through a modern dealership network with brand new infrastructure which will grow to 60 main nodes by the end of the current fiscal.
Dost, which has a payload capacity of 1.25T, 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 have a palette of three colours to choose from: white, beige and blue. As another ‘first’ in the LCV industry, Ashok Leyland will offer Ready-to-Use Vehicles (RUVs) on the Dost platform for various applications such as Refrigerated containers, Steel containers, Ambulance, Aluminium Fixed Side Decks and Service-At-Site vehicles from the date of launch.
Speaking on the occasion, Dheeraj G. Hinduja, Chairman, Ashok Leyland, noted, “With the commercial launch of Dost, Ashok Leyland fills an important gap in its product line up. We had examined the opportunity in this LCV sector for several years. We wanted to make an entry only after we had assured ourselves that we had competitive products as well as a product line expansion strategy. This accelerated since our association with Nissan, who shared our philosophy. I am hopeful that with Dost, Ashok Leyland will write a new chapter of success.”
Dr. V. Sumantran, Executive Vice Chairman, Hinduja Automotive Ltd. and Chairman, Nissan Ashok Leyland Powertrain Ltd. said, “Dost embodies our attempt to deliver to the Indian LCV customer, Japanese technology at Indian costs. It is a true reflection of the evolving needs of today’s Indian LCV customer and we are happy that we have been able to manufacture a product that will be attuned to the growing expectations of the LCV market. We have attempted to pack a lot into Dost – increased payload, improved fuel efficiency as well as class-leading performance, comfort and safety, all aimed at offering a uniquely superior experience at a very competitive cost of ownership.”
Dost enters the Small Commercial Vehicle (SCV) market (below 3.5T) which is witnessing a perceptible upward shift in terms of features, performance and payload. The overall LCV market (up to 7.5T) is growing robustly helped by the increase in urbanisation, organized retailing, improved rural connectivity coupled with growth in rural demand. Adding to this are factors like increased focus on the hub-and-spoke model.
The Ashok Leyland Dost is being initially launched in the 4 states of South (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala), Maharashtra and Gujarat and will be made available across the country in a phased manner as the production ramp up is executed.