Hinduja group company Ashok Leyland expects its sales volumes to rise in the second half of the current fiscal year, with help from increasing sales of light commercial vehicles built in joint venture with Japanese Nissan Motor and a likely pick up in demand from south India.
According to CFO K Sridharan the company would hopefully be able to sell over 1 lakh vehicles in 2011-12.
Commercial vehicle sales were up 27 per cent last fiscal. but this year a sharp slowdown has been experienced especially as the RBI has hiked interest rates several times, which has resulted increasing the cost of truck financing.
Sluggish freight rates in parts of India and uncertainty on diesel prices were other factors that were putting pressure on sales, according to Sridharan.
While there had been a strong demand for light commercial vehicles [LCV] and tippers, tractor trailer industry volumes were down 25 per cent.
Ashok Leyland saw its volumes fall 3.8 per cent to 23,659 units in July-September as domestic sales were down 8 per cent to 20,429 units. Exports, however, surged 37 per cent to 3,230 units in the second quarter.